Appointment and Reappointment Criteria and Procedures for Graduate Employees

It is the goal of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department that graduate students receive financial assistantships each academic semester subject to: (i) their making satisfactory progress towards completion of their degree, (ii) their having completed satisfactorily any of the previous work expected of them as the requirement of their assistantship, and (iii) the availability of funds. Funding is made available via appointment as either a Research Assistant (R.A.) or Teaching Assistant (T.A.). Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate students, regardless of the type of appointment, are responsible for making progress towards completion of a graduate degree, including completion of course requirements and satisfactory progress in a research thesis/dissertation that may or may not relate to their assistantship.

Appointment as an R.A.

This appointment is made by the Graduate Program Director on the recommendation of the faculty member who is the principal investigator on the research grant that provides the funding for the R.A. It is expected that graduate students will remain assigned to these projects until the completion of their degree or the grant, whichever comes first, unless it becomes apparent that a student is failing to satisfy the requirements of the degree or the R.A. Request for change in assignment by a graduate student, which involves a change in the chairmanship of the thesis committee, must be approved by the graduate program director in consultation with the faculty member currently serving as chair of the thesis/dissertation committee.

Appointment as a T.A.

This appointment is made by the department Head in consultation with the graduate program director. The specific teaching duties for a particular course will be established by the faculty member responsible for the course commensurate with the number of hours per week dictated by the teaching appointment.


Graduate students who are making satisfactory progress towards a degree can expect that their assistantships will be renewed, subject to the availability of funds and their having satisfactorily completed the work associated with the R.A. or T.A. previously assigned to them. Every effort will be made to provide assistantships to students over a normal period of their residence. The normal period of residence for an M.S. student is intended to be less than 2 years and for a Ph.D. student 3-4 years. Funding for periods longer than these, while often possible, is subject to the availability of funds. It should be noted that Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate students who have assistantships are required to be in residence throughout the year, except for legal holidays and vacation periods (to be arranged in consultation with the chair of the thesis/dissertation committee)