We are committed to helping all of our students secure financial support for the duration of their degree programs. Historically, every student who needs funding has been able to secure some form of support, typically in the form of teaching or research assistantships, depending on funding availability. Fellowships may also be available.

Graduate students may seek assistantship positions 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), and all are unionized positions. Some students remain at one assistantship throughout graduate school, while others may have several. Please note, international students may only work a maximum of 20 hours per week on campus.

Application Process and Opportunities

The application process for assistantships is separate from the program’s admission process. Once you are accepted to the program, it will be your responsibility to seek out and apply for assistantships, with support from the program.

Master’s and doctoral students undergo the same process for securing an assistantship. In addition to administrative positions around campus, doctoral students may also apply for a limited number of teaching- or research-focused assistantships through the College of Education.

The international education program can provide guidance for students seeking assistantships, but students need to be proactive in their search. If you are accepted into the international education program, you should regularly check the Graduate School’s Graduate Assistantship Job Opportunities website and this page to learn about opportunities. (Check postings carefully for the number of hours per week and the semester appointment.) 

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.

Some campus offices come directly to our program seeking graduate students, so we encourage you to make sure the program knows that you’re in the market for a position. You can also peruse the UMass Amherst Organizational Chart to identify offices where you’d like to work and contact them directly.

Hourly Commitment

Most assistantships are 20 hours a week, but some may be 10 and some 30. As long as you work at least 10 hours a week per semester, you are eligible for tuition credit, health insurance, and other benefits.

You can vary the number of hours you work from semester to semester and still maintain your benefits. For instance, if you work 20 hours a week in the fall and 0 hours a week in the spring, both semesters will be covered. If you work 0 hours in the fall and 20 hours in the spring, you will have to pay out of pocket for the fall, but you can be reimbursed for your fall payment once you work a certain percentage of your hours in the spring.

International Students’ Recent Assistantship Sites/Positions