Graduate Assistantship

A graduate assistantship is a form of financial assistance provided to graduate students through part-time employment at the university.  There are two types of assistantships: 

Graduate Assistantships provide students with professional development opportunities, work experience and support university projects. 

Research Assistantships link a graduate student with a faculty member on a meaningful research project, which may lead to a presentation at a conference, a joint publication or other significant professional activity. 

Graduate and research assistants receive several benefits in return for their time and work. Among these are:

  • Tuition remission for fall and spring semesters (free tuition; the student is responsible for all fees).  Tuition remission is considered a financial resource in any financial aid award.
  • $13 an hour for 10 hours of work per week during the fall and spring semesters, when classes are in session (excluding summer and winter sessions). Payment is bi-weekly. 
  • Financial help that allows the students to focus on their studies instead of a full-time job.
  • Hands-on professional experience in projects and/or research applying theory to practice. This is a great opportunity to increase future employment options. 

All new applicants and current students of a graduate degree program are encouraged to apply for an assistantship at any time.  

Students are welcome to submit an assistantship application even if they have not had a decision on their admissions application. The School of Graduate Studies will monitor admissions applications as they go through the process.   

The application deadline is March 1.  Assistantships are generally awarded by May 30.   

Applications will still be accepted after March 1, although students who apply after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list to be considered for any assistantship positions that may become available. Candidates on the waiting list may be considered for other opportunities within the university. 

New applications for assistantship positions are to be submitted each academic year. 

Before applying, please review the requirements to ensure that you are eligible for an assistantship. The School of Graduate Studies will verify your eligibility. Current Salem State University employees are not eligible for assistantships. 

Eligibility requirements

  • Be unconditionally admitted into a master’s degree program at Salem State University (required)
  • Enrollment in at least six credits each semester (required)
  • Minimum 3.0 undergraduate or 3.5 graduate GPA (preferred)
  • Students may not have more than one assistantship position at a time.
  • Students cannot be employed at the university in a professional capacity and receive an assistantship position. 


Assistantship positions are designed to offer students mentoring and hands-on professional experience in projects and/or research applying theory to practice. To help ensure that we achieve this goal, assistants and their supervisors will be asked to complete a survey/evaluation each semester, prepare and present the project’s outcomes at a professional event, and provide a summary of the project and outcomes realized at the end of the academic year.


Please download the graduate assistantship student application, academic year 2016-2017 to be considered.
General Information
Please review our frequently asked questions for more detailed information about the program, positions, benefits, and more.

Contact us:
Maria Leighton
School of Graduate Studies
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA  01970
Phone:  978.542.6321
Fax: 978.542.7215