Doctoral Assistantships

Doctoral Teaching Assistantships

The Department of Sociology awards graduate assistantships each year to doctoral (or joint MA-PhD) students in sociology on a competitive basis, usually for one academic year. These assistantships provide an annual stipend, along with full-time tuition reimbursement and student health insurance during the academic year for which they are awarded. (Occasionally, assistantships may be awarded for one semester, in which case the stipend and tuition reimbursement are granted for that semester only.)  Assistantships do not cover any fees.

In exchange, students are expected to provide 20 hours weekly of service to the department in the form of teaching or research assistance. These assistantships are given to students in the program who have outstanding application scores and recommendations and are believed to have the ability to provide excellent instruction in the classroom or assistance to sociology faculty members.  (NOTE that the Graduate School prohibits students from holding additional employment while serving as a graduate teaching assistant.)

The following policies regarding funding: First, PhD students are eligible for up to three years of funding (students funded by University Fellowships, up to four years; and joint MA-PhD students, up to five years), depending on how much time they have left in the three-year program*, and that funding can come from a variety of sources (including but not limited to the Department of Sociology, the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, and/or grants); renewal each semester/year is dependent upon the availability of funds, as well as on the student remaining in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degree each semester/year.  (Students who are in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degree may apply for a fourth year of funding, if needed; decisions will be made on the availability of funds.)

*For example, a second-year PhD student receiving funding for the first time would be eligible for up to two years of funding; a second-year joint MA-PhD student receiving funding for the first time  would be eligible for up to four years of funding.

Also, renewal of assistantships requires that, by the beginning of the new appointment (the new academic year), the student has: (1) an academic record free of "I" and "X" grades (except for summer independent study credits), and/or (2) begun the timely process of assembling their research study, exam, and/or dissertation committees and chair, if appropriate.  Those serving on an assistantship are expected to register for no less than nine, and no more than twelve, credit hours each fall and spring (and six credit hours each summer, if a PhD GTA) unless fewer hours are required for graduation (and may not register for online courses, per the Graduate School). 

Interested students must:

  • submit to the Graduate Admissions Office their application materials by January 5 for the following fall semester and October 1 for the following spring semester.  (Therefore, applicants seeking funding for Fall, 2023 must submit their materials by January 5, 2023, while those seeking funding for spring, 2024, must submit their materials by October 1, 2023.)
  • submit to Dr. Jonetta Weber their CV/résumé and a letter of interest indicating (a) that they wish to be considered for an assistantship and detailing why they would be a good candidate for an assistantship.

The Doctoral Admissions Committee may also request an interview with assistantship candidates.  Awards are generally determined by March 15 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester.  

For more information on available assistantships, contact Dr. Jonetta Weber.