Graduate assistants are graduate students who provide academic and program support to academic, adminitrative or service units of the university. GA responsibilities may be administrative in nature and consist of duties not directly related to teaching or research (such as academic advising, program planning, advising student groups, and assisting with the administration of student services offices). GA responsibilities may also be academic in nature and include grading examinations, problem sets, and/or lab assignments, setting up displays for lectures or laboratory sections, and preparing or maintaining equipment used in laboratory sections.
Each year the department awards assistantships on a competitive basis. Assistantships are slightly higher for students entering with an M.S. degree. In addition, students on assistantship receive full tuition remission, which includes the academic fee and the out-of-state differential is waived. Graduate students are responsible for paying the Comprehensive Student Fee each Fall and Spring semester.
Other opporutnities for graduate teaching assistantships or graduate research assistantships are available across the university.
Contracts are for one year, with renewal depending on progress in the degree program and satisfactory performance of assistantship duties. The majority of our students are funded for two years.
Assistantships provide these benefits:
- tuition waiver
- health insurance program (see the Graduate School benefits page for details)
You can find details on benefits and fees under "financial matters" at the Graduate School website: www.grads.vt.edu.
Graduate teaching assistants receive a stipend for teaching undergraduate courses, usually public speaking. Other campus-wide opportunities are avaialble. See additional assistantship information avaialble through the Graduate School.
Students pay non-academic fees. Students are advised to apply for Virginia residency as soon as possible (after one year in residence).
A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for a teaching assistantship. If you check yes, you will automatically be added to our list of candidates. All new positions begin in the fall semester.
Graduate students are encouraged to seek funding for their work from other resources. Students should also consider applying for scholarships that offer research funding.