Graduate Assistantships


All types of assistantships are highly competitive. Many academic departments begin to review applicants for Fall assistantships in March of each year. For general priority consideration, your application and all supporting materials must be submitted to The Graduate School prior to March 1. For information on assistantship consideration deadlines for specific academic departments, please visit the department’s website or contact the Department Chair.

Note: Most assistantship positions are awarded for a full academic year (September 1 through June 30) beginning in the Fall of each year. Students applying to begin a graduate program in the Spring semester will be considered for assistantship positions as they become available.

How to Apply for an Assistantship

A separate application for an assistantship does not exist. Students should be sure to mark the appropriate area on the admission application if interested in a graduate, teaching, or doctoral assistantship. If a student would like to be considered for an assistantship after the initial semester of their doctoral program, they must e-mail The Graduate School at and request to be added to the list of students to be considered for a specific semester.

Assistantship position assignments will be considered as part of the admission process to a graduate degree program. Most of our graduate degree programs have rolling admission, so the earlier a student completes the application for admission, the greater chance the student has to be considered for open graduate assistantship positions.

Assistantship Appointment Process Overview

Please note that simply applying for an Assistantship and being admitted to the University does not in any way guarantee that an Assistantship award will be received. All applicants must undergo a review and approval process, which involves initial review by the academic department, interview of potential candidates (at the department's discretion), recommendation for a position by the department, and approval by both The Graduate School and the Dean's office of the College that houses the recommending academic department. An offer of an Assistantship position is only official when it is sent to the student from The Graduate School. Offers are sent via U.S. mail. A verbal offer of an assistantship from any department, including The Graduate School, does not constitute an official appointment to an assistantship.

* Students should not begin work until they have signed and accepted the offer and terms of the assistantship with The Graduate School.  Payroll papers (I-9 Eligibility of Employment, W-4 tax forms, Direct Deposit) must be completed at The Graduate School before beginning the graduate assistantship position.

Master's Degree Students

The Graduate School offers approximately 200 graduate and teaching assistantships for first-time master’s degree seeking graduate students who are interested in an opportunity to gain an academic experience that directly complements the student's degree program curriculum. All assistantships are diverse in nature and encompass a wide variety of responsibilities and duties while allowing students to also achieve their academic goals. Assistantships will offer opportunities to work with faculty on research, assist faculty with instructional support, and/or be related to the student’s clinical or field work.

Assistantships are NOT available to students:

  • Seeking any type of certificate or certification only
  • Who are teaching or completing their in-service supervised training as an M.A.T. student
  • Maintaining a non-degree status
  • Who are fully matriculated in an online-only program
  • With a conditional admission/matriculation to The Graduate School
  • Who have an undergraduate GPA lower than 3.0

Term of the Assistantship: One full academic year, beginning September 1 and ending June 30 (half-year appointments may be made at the discretion of the department, or to fill a vacancy)

Graduate and Teaching Assistants must:

  • Be fully matriculated in a master's degree program at MSU
  • Be a full-time student, maintaining a minimum of nine (9) credits per semester, and a maximum of twelve (12) credits per semester
  • Maintain at least a 3.00 GPA during each semester of the assistantship
  • Fulfill twenty hours per week

Students awarded a Graduate or Teaching assistantship receive varied compensation packages in exchange for a specified number of service hours to the academic department. Students are expected to establish the details of their duties with the faculty member to whom they are assigned.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistant assignments are consistent with the goals and objective of the student’s academic program. Students will be directly involved with faculty research or the instructional function of the University. Graduate Assistants receive tuition and University-wide fee remission for up to 24 graduate credits per academic year. Fees that are specific to courses or to individual students are not included in the remission (e.g. housing, studio fees, supplies, parking, and/or Health Insurance, etc.). Graduate assistants also receive a stipend for their work throughout the term of their appointment. The value of the stipend payment may vary and is taxable.

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistants have one or more of the following responsibilities in courses for which they do not have primary responsibility: 1) coordinate, lead, or assist in the instructional process in preparation and direct interaction with students; 2) meet with students and teach during office hours; 3) grade papers; 4) proctor/grade exams; 5) counsel students. Teaching assistants receive a stipend for their work throughout the term of their appointment. The value of the stipend payment may vary and is taxable. Teaching assistants do not receive a tuition scholarship.

Students receiving a Teaching Assistantship do not hold faculty or adjunct status and are not entitled to any benefits or privileges accompanying faculty or university employee status.

Doctoral Assistantships

The Graduate School offers assistantships at the doctoral level for students who are interested in an opportunity to gain professional or research experience while participating in the academic life of Montclair State University. All assistantships are diverse in nature and encompass a wide variety of responsibilities and duties while allowing students to achieve their academic goals. Doctoral Assistant compensation packages, service requirements, and enrollment requirements vary across programs and colleges, but may include tuition remission and/or a stipend commensurate with weekly service hours not to exceed 20 hours per week. Assignments may include instructional support, conducting research, and/or other activities related to the student’s program of study.

To be awarded an assistantship, the following are required:

  • An indication of interest in an assistantship through the original application for admission to the doctoral program
  • Full acceptance into a doctoral program at Montclair State University
  • A recommendation for appointment, electronically submitted to The Graduate School by the student's department
  • An offer-of-appointment letter from The Graduate School