An assistantship is financial support provided to a graduate student in exchange for the student’s intellectual labor. An assistantship is a job, and it pays in two forms: first, it waives all tuition costs (but not fees, unfortunately) and secondly, it provides $10,000 per nine-month academic year as a stipend. First-year assistantships in the English Department usually involve helping a professor to grade in larger undergraduate classes. First-year assistants are not required to teach their own courses.

A student on assistantship must maintain a full-time course load of nine hours per semester.
Assistantships are competitive and are generally offered only to our most qualified applicants. In order to apply for an assistantship, a potential student must apply to the program by the priority deadline for Fall admission. Assistantships are given on an academic-year basis; they are generally not available beginning in Spring semesters.

A student who fulfills all of their assignments well in their first year will generally receive a second-year assistantship that involves functioning as a teacher of record for the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. More information is available here.

Assistantships should not be confused with financial aid, which is a different concern covered by Office of Student Financial Assistance.