Academics

Graduate Assistantship

A Graduate or Research Assistantship is a form of financial assistance provided to graduate students through part-time employment at the university.

Categories of Assistantships

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. 

Eligibility Requirements

Assistantships are awarded according to the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be unconditionally admitted into a master’s degree program at Salem State University (required). Graduate certificates do not fulfill this requirement.
  • Enrollment in at least six graduate 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.
  • Current Salem State University employees are not eligible for Assistantships.  

Benefits of Holding an Assistantship

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.
  • 10 hours per week or 160 hours each semester (fall and spring) at $13/hour during the fall 2016 semester, and $13.50/hour as of the spring 2017 semester (excluding summer and winter sessions).   Schedules are subject to agreement between Graduate/Research Assistant and their Supervisor.
  • This financial help allows the student 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.  

Assistantship Term

Assistantships are awarded for one academic year - fall and spring semesters - and may be renewable for a second year.   

Applications for Assistantship positions must be submitted for each academic year. 

Assistantship Activities

Activities and responsibilities vary; each position has a different description.   

Graduate and Research Assistantships are awarded to different departments, programs and faculty, providing opportunities for many disciplines.  We do our best to match students and positions. Prior to awarding a position each candidate has the opportunity to interview with the Supervisor of a prospective Assistantship to learn all about the position - schedules, expectations, tasks and other information.  Final offers are based upon the Supervisor and applicant agreeing that the assignment is mutually beneficial. 

Deliverables

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 an evaluation and survey 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. 

Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply for the next academic year is March 1.  Assistantships are generally awarded by May 30.    

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

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.    

How to Apply

Required documents:

To be considered for an Assistantship your documents should include:

  • Application (download application here):  Applications are accepted by email, regular mail, fax or in person - please help us save trees by sending your application and documents by e-mail.
  • Resume
  • Personal statement:   provides an opportunity to present yourself, your interests, career goals and reasons for applying for a Graduate and/or Research Assistantship (two pages, any format).    Include your five strongest skills.  If you plan to apply for both – Graduate and Research Assistantship – make sure your personal statement is relevant to both types of positions.
  • For new graduate students – complete application to a graduate degree program. 

Applications for the 2017-2018 academic year will be available for download in November.

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
E-mail: gradassist@salemstate.edu