Graduate Assistantships

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The University provides a limited number of graduate assistantships, graduate teaching assistantships, and graduate research assistantships for qualified graduate students. Stipends vary according to assignment and educational level of the applicant. Information regarding appointment procedures and remuneration is located on the Graduate School website .

Graduate programs are designed to enhance the student's scholarly and professional development. Assignments and responsibilities will enhance the assistant's scholarship and professional development. The assistant receives a stipend for contributing to the teaching and research mission of the University.

The University recognizes three types of graduate assistants:

  1. A graduate teaching assistant will be employed as the teacher of record. As the teacher of record, the graduate teaching assistant is responsible for assigning final grades. Work units are determined in the same way as for a regular faculty member.
    A graduate teaching assistant who is working toward the master’s degree may be assigned to teach  undergraduate courses only. A graduate teaching assistant who holds the master’s degree and is working toward the doctoral degree may be assigned to teach undergraduate courses. Only under extremely unusual circumstances or in cases of demonstrated expertise or experience may a graduate teaching assistant working toward the doctorate be assigned to teach master’s level courses. This arrangement must be reviewed and approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate School. A graduate teaching assistant may not be assigned to teach doctoral level courses. An exception at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School may be made in the case of graduate teaching assistants who have demonstrated exceptional expertise or experience.
    A graduate teaching assistant is both a student and a faculty member. As a student, the assistant is expected to maintain high academic standards to retain the assistantship. As a faculty member, the assistant is expected to complete teaching and research responsibilities in a timely and efficient manner. For the graduate teaching assistant, the teaching assignment should provide opportunity for obtaining depth of knowledge within the academic discipline.

  2. A graduate assistant will not be considered to be the teacher of record. The graduate assistant will be paid from Instructional Funds. The graduate assistant will provide direct support of instruction and will assist students as needed. The primary purpose of the graduate assistant should not be to do filing and clerical work.

  3. A graduate research assistant is employed in conjunction with the research of a faculty member in a capacity that enhances the student's career and educational development. For the graduate research assistant, the research project may ideally result in a professional paper, thesis, or dissertation. Duties vary depending on the type of research project and may include laboratory experiments, library searches, data entry, preparation of reports, and other relevant assignments.

Applications for assistantships may be secured from the Graduate School website . The application must be filed with the head of the academic component in which the assistantship is sought for review and recommendation.  If the assistantship is outside of the student's academic program, the student needs to inform her/his academic advisor of her/his assistantship.

General criteria for all graduate assistants:

  1. The student must be admitted to graduate school.

  2. The student must be in good academic standing at TWU. A student who is on scholastic probation may not hold a graduate assistantship.

  3. A student who is employed full-time in any position cannot be appointed as a graduate teaching assistant. A student who holds a full-time position may hold a graduate research assistantship.

  4. A student is not permitted to hold a graduate assistantship at TWU concurrently with an assistantship at any other college or university or with a student assistantship at TWU.

  5. The maximum course load for a student who holds a graduate assistantship of approximately half time is 12 semester credit hours. The recommended course load for a graduate assistant with an appointment of approximately half time is nine semester credit hours. The minimum course load for a graduate assistant with an appointment of approximately half time is six semester credit hours. (Students enrolled over summer should consult with the Graduate School). Graduate students who are enrolled for professional paper, thesis, or dissertation will be permitted to register for the number of semester credit hours required by their programs so long as clear evidence of progress on the research paper can be demonstrated. Any requests for exceptions are required to come from the Chair of the student's program.

  6. In-state Tuition waiver: A graduate assistant is entitled to register by paying the tuition and other fees or charges required for Texas residents without regard to the length of time the assistant has resided in Texas if the assistant is employed at least one-half time (.50 FTE), is enrolled in the minimum required course load, and is working in a position which relates to his/her degree program. The student should complete the Request for In-State Tuition form, have it signed by the Chair of the department, and send it to the Graduate School. Graduate School personnel will approve and forward it to the Registrar.

  7. Special criteria for graduate teaching assistants assigned primary responsibility for teaching a course for credit and assigning final grades include the following: 

    1. The student should have earned at least 18 semester hours of graduate credit in the teaching field. 

    2. Preferably the student will have had teaching experience in the specialty area. 

    3. The student whose primary language is not English should have demonstrated proficiency in English as described in the Graduate Catalog and as mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

  8. International students must demonstrate English speaking proficiency through one of the following in order to hold a graduate teaching assistantship

    • score of 26 or higher on the TOEFL iBT speaking section
    • score of 7.5 or higher on the IELTS Speaking Test
    • score of 4 or higher on the MELAB Speaking Test
  9. International students must also follow the guidelines of International Education .