Assistantships & Funding Opportunities

Graduate assistantship positions are available to students in a variety of areas on the UMass campus. The assistantships are 10-30 hours/week, provide a full tuition credit, excellent benefits (including health care), a $28 hourly wage, and all are unionized positions.  Most assistantships are not guaranteed upon admission to a program.  Once you are accepted to the program, it will be your responsibility to seek out and apply for assistantships, with support from the program.  Students must be enrolled in 9 credits or more to maintain eligibility for assistantships awarded by the College of Education.

UMass offices post assistantship opportunities throughout the spring, summer, and into the fall semester, so we encourage you to be patient even if you do not have an assistantship lined up immediately. If you receive an assistantship of at least 10 hours after the start of the fall semester, your tuition waiver will be retroactive to the beginning of the semester.

College of Education Graduate Assistantship Appointment and Reappointment Procedures

The College of Education employs students to assist in instruction and projects and makes every effort to provide graduate assistantships that augment students’ academic preparation. The number of available assistantships varies from semester to semester as these positions are contingent upon multiple sources of funding. Therefore, the College must take many factors into account when making decisions regarding the allocation of assistantships. More specifically, financial support in the form of graduate assistantships will be prioritized to support students who have: 

  • Full-time status 
  • Specialized knowledge and skills related to the assistantship duties 
  • Good academic progress or demonstrated potential to make good academic progress

 Criteria for reappointment include: 

  • Good academic standing and progress 
  • Experience 
  • Previous performance 
  • Available funding

Departments and Principal Investigators, with Department Chair approval, will post open and available assistantships, listing duties, qualifications, and application instructions in the College’s weekly newsletter. Graduate students seeking assistantships should follow the instructions in the newsletter for applying to specific assistantships. Reappointments are not posted. 

Assistantship policies and application procedures will be available on the college website, and posted annually in the newsletter and in locations in Furcolo Hall by academic departments. 

Assistantships will be for at least 10 hours per week, unless approved otherwise by the Department Chair. 

Appointment and Reappointment 

Hiring Authorities and/or supervisors will review application materials and make recommendations for awarding assistantships to the relevant Department Chairs according to the schedule established by the Graduate Assistantship Office. Final decisions to award assistantships rest with the relevant Department Chair. 

By December 1 or April 15 of each semester, Department Chairs or designee will notify each graduate student holding an assistantship, in writing, their expectations regarding whether or not they will be offered assistantships the following semester. Students with fall appointments will be notified by December 1 of fall semester; students with spring appointments or academic year appointments will be notified by April 15 of spring semester. 

Graduate School guidelines regarding assistantships can be found at

Funding Opportunities for 2019-2020 

Research Assistantships with the Center for Student Success Research (CSSR)

While students in the Higher Education program work one-on-one with their advisor to discuss funding options, the CSSR has three assistantships available during the upcoming academic year for students to engage in research projects. Preference for these assistantships is given to doctoral students. Interested students should note within their application materials assistantships that they are interested in and any relevant qualifications. To learn more about these projects and the CSSR, please visit our website.

Quantitative Research Assistant (20 hours)

One full-time (20 hours/week) research assistantship is available for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Responsibilities include:  This research assistant will work on quantitative analyses related to one of several active CSSR projects focused on success for underrepresented student populations. 

Qualifications include: The ideal candidate will have foundational statistics skills, a desire to learn advanced quantitative methods, and an interest in applying those skills to questions of success for underrepresented student populations.

For questions, contact Dr. Ryan Wells.


Mixed Methods Research Assistant (10 hours)

One part-time (10 hours/week) research assistantship is available for the 2019-2020 academic year. Strong possibility of summer funding. 

Responsibilities include:  This research assistant will work on an NSF-funded research project examining a community-university partnership designed to support the development of STEM aspirations among teenage girls. Research assistant will be responsible for assisting with survey research design and data collection in an interview format. Some travel to local communities (e.g., Holyoke, Chicopee) will be required.

Qualifications include: The ideal candidate will have both survey research and qualitative interviewing experience. Knowledge of Qualtrics, NVivo, and/or STATA is desirable. Completion of CITI training is required prior to the start of the assistantship.

For questions contact, Dr. Zeke Kimball.


Students with Disabilities Research Assistant (10-20 hours)

One part-time (10-20 hours/week) research assistantship is available for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Responsibilities include:  This research assistant will work on one of several active CSSR project focused on the postsecondary experiences of students with disabilities. 

Qualifications include: The ideal candidate will have prior experience working with people with disabilities (for example, in a work-study role or as a peer mentor). Priority will also be given to candidates with prior experience conducting qualitative and/or quantitive data analysis. Completion of CITI training is required prior to the start of the assistantship.

For questions contact, Dr. Zeke Kimball.

EDUC 210 Teaching Assistant

The Department of Student Development is hiring one 10-hour/week Teaching Assistant  (TA) to join the Teaching Team for EDUC 210, Social Diversity in Education (General Education I & D) for Spring ’19.

The Teaching Assistant will attend the weekly lecture, participate in the Teaching Team meeting as indicated by the instructor, be responsible for maintaining Moodle, maintain attendance/participation and assignment grade records, grading and providing feedback on written assignments submitted by students, answer or re-direct student questions and email queries in a timely fashion, hold weekly office hours, and be available as needed to assist in administrative and logistical tasks of the course.   

The applicant should be a self-motivated, with excellent organizational and communication skills, strong ability to collaborate across difference, social justice and diversity-oriented education experience, and a background in teaching/facilitation and/or experience working with diverse students. Experience with academic administrative work, including Moodle, is preferred. 

Applications should be submitted by January 18th, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit a letter of interest and your current CV to Judy Pierce at  Please use the subject ‘210 TA’ in your email application.

University Resources for Finding Assistantships

  • Check with the Graduate School for assistantship listings, financial aid information, and grant and fellowship awards. 

  • The Office of Professional Development (OPD) positions graduate students and postdoctoral researchers for success in their careers at UMass and beyond. Building upon the academic and technical expertise of the scholars we serve, OPD provides professional skills training to cultivate strengths in the areas of career preparation, communication, grants and fellowships, personal development, and teaching

  • Take advantage of Career Services on campus for career preparation, preparing your resume, cover letter, or curriculum vitae (CV), job search, and interview help.

  • Follow the College of Education’s newsletter, which sometimes contains assistantship postings.

  • Consult the UMass at a Glance and Organizational Chart - which lists all offices and departments within UMass Amherst. If one is in your area of interest, check with them directly about possible assistantships.

  • Visit Financial Aid Services for information about applying for financial aid. 

  • Review your employee benefits and rights with the Graduate Employee Organization.

  • Apply for scholarships through the College of Education.