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.  

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.