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Graduate Program: Graduate Assistantships and Other Funding Opportunities

Graduate Assistantships | Summer Tuition Waivers | Other Funding Opportunities | Frequently Asked Questions

Graduate Assistantships

The department offers graduate assistantships.  Every student who is accepted into the program receives an application as part of the admissions process.  If you need another application, contact the secretaries in the department office.  All other financial aid is administered outside the department.  The Graduate School offers a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), Research Grants for Graduate Students (RGGS) and Travel Grants for Graduate Student.  The RGGS has specific deadlines in Fall and Spring terms, and is intended to help defray the costs of theses and other graduate student research projects.  Other types of aid may also be available, and will be administered in the Student Work and Financial Aid office or the Graduate School.

The department policies concerning graduate assistantships are appended to the end of this handbook.  A copy of the University’s Graduate Assistant Handbook is available in the Graduate School.

  • How much does a graduate assistant earn?

Most contracts are quarter time, 10 hours per week.  Check out the Graduate School website for current wages.  In addition to remuneration, tuition and some fees are waived during the semesters you have the assistantship.  Finally, there is one additional semester of waived tuition and fees after you  have held the assistantship for two semesters (e.g. the following summer); you must apply to the Grad School for this.  Occasionally, 20-hour assistantships are possible, depending on the budget situation.  Usually, 20-hour assistantships are only awarded to second-year students only.  We encourage assistants to investigate Work Study funding through the Student Financial Aid office because it saves the department resources and often will allow extra assistantships to be awarded.

  • How long will I hold the assistantship?

This varies somewhat.  Usually, you can count on three semesters of support, assuming that your grades and job performance are satisfactory.  Grades below B, incompletes or inadequate job performance may jeopardize the renewal of your assistantship from semester to semester.  A fourth semester depends on the budget.  Per Graduate School policy, the upper limit is four semesters.

  • Do I have to apply to renew the assistantship after the initial contract expires

Yes, if you wish to be considered for continuation as an assistant in the following Fall.  Please apply by April 15th.  There are times in which assistantships become available for the Spring semester.  Please contact the graduate advisor.  If there is an opening, students interested in assistantships for the spring should apply by October 15th.

  • What will be required of me for my assistantship?

You will be assigned to a faculty member for one semester at a time.  That faculty member will work out your assignment with you.  Some want assistance in teaching, others in research.  If your assigned tasks seem inappropriate, contact the Graduate Program Director.  Your workload should not average more than the number of hours per week specified in you contract.  If you find that your load is more than that, you should contact the Graduate Program Director.  When possible, we will accommodate your schedule constraints, but you may not be able to work with the person you prefer if your schedules are incompatible.  Those who work off campus may find it difficult to arrange a compatible schedule, and therefore may jeopardize their ability to carry out assigned duties.

  • How will I be assigned to a faculty member?

Our primary rule is mutual preference.  If there is someone you want to work with, ask that person.  If he or she is agreeable, list the appropriate name on the assistantship preference form you will be asked to fill out.  If you have no preference or if someone has beaten you to Professor Right, you will be assigned by faculty preference, skill-matching, desirability of rotating assignments, and so on.  Normally we try not to split a 10-hour graduate assistant assignment among different professors, but occasionally it is necessary due to faculty load, staffing constraints or student/faculty schedules.

Graduate Assistantships

Financial aid for sociology graduate students is available in the form of graduate assistantships.  In addition to providing financial aid and a tuition waiver, assistantships also serve as an important educational experience by offering opportunities for graduate students to work closely with faculty members in their teaching, research and community service activities.  Please refer to the Graduate School website for more information about assistantships.

The department normally awards assistantships on an academic year basis.  Students should apply to the Department by April 15 for graduate assistantships beginning the following fall semester.  In order to be considered for an assistantship, however, you must already be accepted into the graduate program.  Thus, those interested in an assistantship should apply for entry into the graduate program no later than February 15.

Any student wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship must complete three application forms:

Submit the above completed applications, along with a Resume and 3 Letters of Recommendation to:

Dr. Sandra Weissinger, Graduate Program Director
Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies
Box 1455, SIUE
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1455

Summer Tuition Waivers

Students who have served as a graduate assistant for at least two consecutive semesters are eligible for a Summer Tuition Waiver.  According to the Graduate Assistant Handbook, such waivers:
  • Do not require you to work;
  • Are available only one time during your SIUE graduate career;
  • Must be used during summer term immediately following two consecutive semesters of service as a graduate assistant; and
  • Do not limit the number of class hours for which you may register.

To apply for a summer tuition waiver, students must complete an authorization form and submit it to the Graduate School for approval.  The Graduate School, upon approval of your waiver, will mail a confirmation to your home address.  Note that this waiver does not cover enrollment in UNIV 500


Other Funding Opportunities

In addition to graduate assistantships and summer tuition waivers, the Graduate School provides numerous funding opportunities for graduate students.  You can find information about these and other funding opportunities at Graduate School’s page on Fellowships and Grants.

  • Competitive Graduate Award:  Provides new graduate students a stipend and a tuition waiver.  Further, the Graduate school has grants for research support as well as travel money.
  • Research Grants for Graduate Students:  Small grants that support graduate student research.
  • Travel Grants for Graduate Students:  Provides funding to support travel for major paper presentations, exhibits and performances by classified graduate students.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does a graduate assistant earn?

Most contracts are quarter time, 10 hours per week.  Check out the Graduate School website for current wages.  In addition to remuneration, tuition and some fees are waived during the semesters you have the assistantship.  Finally, there is one additional semester of waived tuition and fees after you  have held the assistantship for two semesters (e.g. the following summer); you must apply to the Grad School for this.  Occasionally, 20-hour assistantships are possible, depending on the budget situation.  Usually, 20-hour assistantships are only awarded to second-year students only.  We encourage assistants to investigate Work Study funding through the Student Financial Aid office because it saves the department resources and often will allow extra assistantships to be awarded.

  • How long will I hold the assistantship?

This varies somewhat.  Usually, you can count on three semesters of support, assuming that your grades and job performance are satisfactory.  Grades below B, incompletes or inadequate job performance may jeopardize the renewal of your assistantship from semester to semester.  A fourth semester depends on the budget.  Per Graduate School policy, the upper limit is four semesters.

  • Do I have to apply to renew the assistantship after the initial contract expires

Yes, if you wish to be considered for continuation as an assistant in the following Fall.  Please apply by April 15th.  There are times in which assistantships become available for the Spring semester.  Please contact the graduate advisor.  If there is an opening, students interested in assistantships for the spring should apply by October 15th.

  • What will be required of me for my assistantship?

You will be assigned to a faculty member for one semester at a time.  That faculty member will work out your assignment with you.  Some want assistance in teaching, others in research.  If your assigned tasks seem inappropriate, contact the Graduate Program Director.  Your workload should not average more than the number of hours per week specified in you contract.  If you find that your load is more than that, you should contact the Graduate Program Director.  When possible, we will accommodate your schedule constraints, but you may not be able to work with the person you prefer if your schedules are incompatible.  Those who work off campus may find it difficult to arrange a compatible schedule, and therefore may jeopardize their ability to carry out assigned duties.

  • How will I be assigned to a faculty member?

Our primary rule is mutual preference.  If there is someone you want to work with, ask that person.  If he or she is agreeable, list the appropriate name on the assistantship preference form you will be asked to fill out.  If you have no preference or if someone has beaten you to Professor Right, you will be assigned by faculty preference, skill-matching, desirability of rotating assignments, and so on.  Normally we try not to split a 10-hour graduate assistant assignment among different professors, but occasionally it is necessary due to faculty load, staffing constraints or student/faculty schedules.

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