MA in Communication Studies: Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Purpose of the Graduate Assistantship

The graduate assistantship in the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies plays an integral role in fulfilling the mission of the School. Graduate assistants function to help the School meet its teaching and research goals in at least two ways: (1) by allowing the School to offer its undergraduate course work in an effective manner, and (2) by creating a coherent School culture which fosters a productive learning, teaching, and research environment for both faculty and graduate students while establishing a positive environment for our undergraduates as well.

The graduate assistantship is a mutually beneficial arrangement between the graduate student and the faculty of the School. The graduate assistantship assignment constitutes more than clerical or secretarial support for the faculty. An assistantship is equivalent to a professional apprenticeship. The student will gain knowledge and insight about college teaching, research, and/or related academic duties by developing a close working relationship with one or more full time faculty members, by observing experienced educators at work, and/or by gaining teaching experience in the classroom or lab.

Graduate Assistantship Requirements

Graduate assistants must be fully admitted, full time graduate students in the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies. Students must submit an application indicating interest in an assistantship. Graduate teaching assistantship applications are reviewed and recipients are selected by the Graduate Committee of the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies, with approval from the Director of the School.

Graduate Assistantship Workshop

All new graduate teaching assistants are required to attend the School's graduate assistant workshop offered prior to the fall semester of each academic year.

Graduate Assistantship Assignments & Workload

The workload of the total graduate assistantship assignment for one semester averages 20 hours a week. Assignments include teaching lower division courses such as Public Speaking and Interpersonal Communication, assisting professors with large introductory level courses or upper division courses, and/or assisting professors with journal editorships or grant work. Assistantship assignments are determined by the SCMS Teaching Assistant Coordinator in consultation with the faculty.

Graduate Assistantship Duration

Students receiving graduate assistantships in the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies are granted an assistantship for one academic year, which may automatically be renewed for a second year as long as they remain in good standing with the School. Summer assistantships are optional and are available based on funding.

Graduate Assistantship Compensation

Graduate assistants receive a stipend during the academic year as well as a tuition waiver based on the established guidelines of the Graduate School (graduate assistants typically receive a full tuition waiver, but are responsible for paying other student fees; this waiver constitutes around 80% of the total tuition & student fees per semester).