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

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.