The department offers a limited number of graduate assistantships which reduce tuition and provide a monthly income in return for services to the university (grading objective tests, conducting library searches, answering office phones, collecting research data, tutoring students, etc.). These are assigned by the Department Chair each semester from among those students applying or recommended by the faculty.
Some of the factors which contribute to the award decision are: financial need, residency status, academic potential and performance, work performance in previous assistantships, not being otherwise employed, and possession of skills needed by the department. Graduate assistants are required to carry an academic load of at least 9 semester hours with no more than 4 hours of internship. Assistantships are typically awarded for no more than four semesters. Work hours vary by assistantship, but typically are for 10 hours per week through the week of end of semester exams. Working 150 hours a semester total. Assistants will sign contracts each semester specifying the conditions of the assistantship. The award of an assistantship one semester is not a guarantee of future awards, and the university and department reserve the right to modify the number and conditions of awards as necessary.
The award of a graduate assistantship carries with it high expectations of helpfulness, responsibility, professionalism, and ethical standards. For example, assistants given office suite duties should show exemplary courtesy and responsiveness when answering telephones and greeting visitors. Graduate assistants must be above reproach when dealing with sensitive and confidential information in the course of their assignments.
Assistantships may be terminated at any time due to such things as poor academic or work performance, violations of policy, and unethical or inappropriate behavior. It should be noted that students who withdraw from an assistantship or who are terminated from an assistantship are responsible for paying their full tuition for the semester at the point of withdrawal.