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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 $14.50/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

  • 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.  

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 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.

Materials You Need to Prepare

The information and documents you need to prepare before beginning the online application form are:

  • Your undergraduate major, minor, dates, and GPA.
  • If applicable, information about other completed master’s degrees.
  • An updated resume ready to upload (maximum two pages).
  • A personal statement ready to upload:
    • This is an opportunity to present yourself, your interests, career goals and reasons for applying for an assistantship (two pages in the format of your choice). Include your five strongest skills and describe how you plan to apply your strengths and experience to the type of assistantship you are applying for (graduate or research).
  • For new graduate students: Complete your application to a graduate degree program. 

Please allocate enough time to complete the application form, you will not be able to save your work.

Information for the 2019-2020 Graduate Assistantship Application

Please read this document carefully before starting your application! You will be asked to verify that you read and understand the information detailed in the document as part of your application process. 

Start your application now!

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 about their admissions application. The School of Graduate Studies will monitor admissions applications as they go through the process.    


Contact Us

School of Graduate Studies
Salem State University
352 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA  01970
Phone: 978.542.6323
Fax: 978.542.7215 
Email us!

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