Assistantships & Funding Opportunities

Assistantships & Funding Opportunities

Graduate assistantship positions are available to students in a variety of areas on the UMass campus. Assistantships are generally 10-20 hours/week, provide a full tuition credit, excellent benefits (including health care) and all are unionized positions. Assistantships are not guaranteed upon admission to a program. Once you are accepted to a program, it will be your responsibility to seek out and apply for assistantships, with support from the program. Students with a full-time status (at least 9 credits or Doctoral Students with an approved full-time status override on spire) each semester will be prioritized for assistantships awarded by the College of Education.

UMass offices post open 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. Graduate employees shall qualify for a tuition waiver each semester provided they meet the minimum stipend or teaching responsibility requirements as outlined in Article 33 of the GEO Collective Bargaining Agreement 

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.

Assistantships are awarded on a semester or annual basis and reappointment to a position is not guaranteed beyond the end of the contract.

 Criteria for appointment of graduate assistantships will be prioritized to support students who have: 

  • Full-time status (9 credits or more)
  • Specialized knowledge and skills related to the specific assistantship duties and responsibilities
  • Good academic progress in your program of study or demonstrated potential to make good academic progress

 Criteria for reappointment of graduate assistantships include:

  • Full-time status (9 credits or more)
  • Good academic standing and progress
  • Demonstrated experience and knowledge of the position
  • Past performance
  • Needs of the academic department and available funding
  • Other criteria specific to the position

Departments and Principal Investigators, with Department Chair approval, will post open and available assistantships to the College website or student list-serves, outlining duties, qualifications, and application instructions for each position. Graduate students seeking assistantships should follow the instructions for applying. Re- appointments are not posted.

Assistantships in the College of Education are generally 10-20 hours/week, unless approved otherwise by the Department Chair.

Schedule of 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 Department Chair.

By December 1 or April 15 of each semester, Department Chairs or their 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 each fall semester; students with spring appointments or academic year appointments will be notified by April 15 of each spring semester.

Graduate School guidelines regarding assistantships can be found  here.  

Research Assistantship - EPRA - Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Research Assistantship- Longer-term Effects of Cultural Relevance

Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration

One part-time (10 hour/week) research assistantship is available for Fall 2019 with potential to continue for the Spring and Summer of 2020.

Project Description: An extensive body of research, largely from the field of social- psychology, has provided leading evidence on the promise of interventions that seek to increase students’ engagement and performance through the promotion of positive academic identities and belongingness in schools. However, we know relatively little about how to incorporate these insights into the everyday profession practice of teachers. One prominent counter-example is the grade-9 ethnic studies curriculum developed in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). A recent study found that students who took a year-long ethnic studies class experienced dramatic increases in grade 9 GPA, credit accumulation and attendance. This study will follow students and examine longer-term outcomes (e.g., high-school persistence, graduation, college matriculation etc.) to determine whether the early gains were sustained.

Job Description: This student will primarily work on quasi-experimental research projects examining the impact of participating in culturally relevant pedagogy. The GRA will assist with data management, the IRB process, writing for publication, and quantitative research (e.g., regression discontinuity, differences-in-differences).

Qualifications include: The ideal candidate will have developed skills in quantitative research methods, particularly data management skills. They will also have the ability to manage large data sets and experience using Stata. Strong writing, organizational, and time management skills are required, as is the ability to work in collaboration as well as independently.

To apply, please send a brief email stating your research interests, summarizing your skillset and your CV to Professor Sade Bonilla at

Teaching Assistant - EDUC 210

Fall 19 semester Teaching Assistantship – Student Development, EDUC 210, Social Diversity in Education.

The Department of Student Development will hire one 10-hour/week Teaching Assistant  (TA) to join the Teaching Team for EDUC 210, Social Diversity in Education (General Education I & D) for Fall ’19. In this 4-credit course, students attend lecture on Tuesdays and a discussion section on Thursdays 11:30-12:45 (four concurrent discussion sections). 

Teaching Assistants will be expected to attend lecture and a Teaching Team meeting each week, and lead a discussion section. The teaching team will be responsible for collectively creating and maintaining Moodle, course materials, activities and assignments. Throughout the semester, each teaching assistant will also be expected to lead one discussion section of up to 20 students, grade papers and/or projects, hold weekly office hours throughout the semester, and calculate final grades.  Additionally, each TA will assume primary responsibility for a 1 week “special topic” in the course, under the supervision of the Primary Instructor.

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. Applicants should be in good academic standing.

Please submit a letter of interest and your current CV by July 10th to Judy Pierce at  Please use the subject ‘210 TA’ in your email application.

Teaching Assistantship - EDUC 115 - Fall 2019

Fall 2019 semester Teaching Assistantship – EPRA, EDUC 115: Embracing Diversity

The Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration (EPRA) is looking to hire one 15-hour/week Teaching Assistant (TA) to join the teaching team for EDUC 115: Embracing Diversity (General Education DU & I) for Fall 2019. In this 4-credit course, students attend lecture on Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:25PM - 2:15PM, and a discussion section on Fridays between 10:10am-2:15pm.

Teaching Assistants will be expected to attend the lectures as well as lead two or the Team Based Learning Lab sections. The traditional Discussion Sections, that are part and parcel to most large lecture courses like 115, is being replaced by Team Based Learning Labs. During Lab time each week, students will work within a team to take the concepts learned during the lecture and apply them to real-life scenarios, in order to see how these concepts are experienced in the real world.

The teaching team will be responsible for collectively creating and maintaining Moodle, course materials, activities and assignments. Each teaching assistant will be responsible for grading assignments and projects for students enrolled in their section, as well as contribute to the grading of assignments given in the lecture.  Additionally, each TA will be responsible for holding weekly office hours.

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.

Applications should be submitted by August 16, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please submit a letter of interest and your current CV to Jennie Southgate at  Please use “115 TA” in the subject line of 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.

  • College of Education career job talk video's

  • 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.