To be eligible for an assistantship, students must be admitted to a degree-granting program and be in good academic standing. The student must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and must be continuously enrolled in at least 6 graduate level credits (600-700) throughout the duration of the assistantship (upon approval of the Graduate Dean, English Bridge Course credits may be used to help satisfy the enrollment requirements.)

A student enrolled in a prescribed program is ineligible for a teaching or research assistantship.

State-funded assistantships (TA/RA) may be held for a maximum of:

  • Three (3) years for master's degree students;
  • Five (5) years for doctoral degree students

Enrollment Requirements

  • Students who register for nine (9) graduate credits or more in a semester are considered full-time.
  • For graduate assistants on any contract, six (6) graduate credits or more constitute full-time.
  • To be considered full-time for financial aid purposes, all graduate students, including those on assistantships, must be enrolled in nine (9) graduate credits, to be considered part-time for financial aid reporting purposes you must be enrolled in five (5) graduate credits.
  • For those graduate students who are required to take Intensive English Language Center Bridge Courses, these courses can be considered part of full registration upon approval by the Dean of the Graduate School but these courses will not count for Federal Financial Aid purposes.

While the Graduate School cannot monitor outside or additional employment for students on assistantships, such additional work is discouraged as it may impede academic success and timely progress towards degree completion. In some departments, acceptance of an assistantship is contingent upon agreeing to limited additional employment. The Graduate School is responsible for approval of graduate assistantships after a department has requested the initiation of a contract. All positions are contingent upon available funding.

International Students

International students serving as Teaching Assistants must meet minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. TOEFL and Test of Spoken English (TSE) minimum scores are below:

TOEFL and Test of Spoken English (TSE) Minimum Scores
Requirement Part A - TestScoreRequirement Part B - TestScore
TOEFL paper version 550 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better
TOEFL computer version 213 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better
TOEFL Internet-based version (iBT) 79/80 or better TOEFL internet based – speaking section OR Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 7.5 or better/50 or better
International Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.5 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better

The University's Intensive English Language Center (IELC) has resources to assist International Students. The IELC also administers the SPEAK test, which costs $60. Contact the IELC at (775) 784-6075 to schedule a test.

For more information about Graduate Assistantships please visit the Human Resources, Graduate Assistantships page.