Graduate Assistantships | Salem State University Skip to main content

Graduate Assistantships

An 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 and work experience; supports 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. They include:

  • 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 $13.50/hour during the fall and spring semesters (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 Details

  • 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.  
  • 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. 

    Consideration for renewal is contingent on timely application, position availability, prior academic year’s evaluations and compliance with assistantship requirements. Graduate or Research Assistantships may be held for a maximum of two academic years.

  • Activities and Responsibilities

    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. 


    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.

  • How to Apply

    To be considered for an assistantship your documents should include:

    • The 2018-19 application. Please Note: If you plan to submit this application via email, you must download and save the application to your device before filling it out. Otherwise, your application will not be saved properly.
    • 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. 
    • Resumé 
    • 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. 
  • Deadlines

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

    All new 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 late applications 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.    


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 
Email us

Back to top