Approximately 65 percent of HNFE graduate students receive assistantships from the department. Some students are also funded through fellowships and scholarships, through assistantships from other departments or campus units, and some  fund their own degree.


Two types of assistantships are available:

  1. Graduate Research Assistantships are available on a limited basis and are linked to specific grants secured by individual faculty members and/or research institutes, Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs (IGEP), or other programs across the university. Eligibility for GRA support is limited to the discretion of the faculty member holding the grant or the requirement of the institute or program. Students who have questions about a GRA position should speak to their faculty advisor.
  2. Graduate Teaching Assistantships require the student to serve as a teaching assistant for one or more academic courses.
    • The GTA application is due Feb. 1 for the following fall semester and Oct. 1 for the following spring semester.
    • Awarding of GTA positions is competitive based on the important nature of supporting the department’s teaching mission and the limited number of positions available.

    • The following factors are taken into account when reviewing GTA applications: skills and expertise, previous academic and GTA performance, communication skills, teaching experience, degree sought, and department needs.

    • International students who have not scored a 26 or higher on the Speaking portion of the Internet-Based TOEFL must pass the TEACH test or take English 0014 Oral Communication for International Teaching Assistants prior to being eligible for a GTA position.

    • If awarded a GTA position, students must complete GRAD 5004 GTA Workshop (the week before classes start) and be able to attend class and/or lab regularly as assigned by the instructor of record for the course.

    • The faculty advisor, Graduate Program Director, or Graduate Program Coordinator are good resources for questions about GTA positions.

  • GTA positions are generally awarded for the full academic year (August 10 - May 10).
  • GRA positions may be awarded by the semester or academic year and may or may not include summers.

Additional assistantship facts:

  • Full-time assistantships require 20 hours of work/week; half-time and other partial assistantships may be awarded

Assistantships include:

  • Tuition and some fees (students are responsible for comprehensive fees)
  • A monthly stipend (pay rate varies by student and may change annually)
  • Access to discounted health insurance (optional)