Graduate Assistantships

General Assistantship Information for Master's Degree Students

The Graduate School offers approximately 200 graduate 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
  • 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

Graduate 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

Graduate assistants receive a 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. Art studio fees, supplies, parking and/or Health Insurance, etc.). Graduate assistants also receive a stipend for the full 10 month appointment. The value of the stipend payment is taxable.

Teaching Assistantship Information for Master's Degree Students

Teaching Assistantships have one or more of the following responsibilities in courses for which he/she does 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.

Students receive a $7,000 stipend and are expected to establish the details of these duties with the faculty member of record for the course being taught. Generally, a TA assignment is for no more than 20-hours per week on average throughout the term of appointment. The actual number of hours required to complete assignments in any given week may vary. Teaching assistants do not receive a tuition scholarship.

Students receiving a Teaching Assistantship do not hold faculty status and are not entitled to any benefits or privileges accompanying faculty or university employee status. There is no contractual employment relationship with TAs.

How Students Apply for a Graduate Assistantship / Teaching Assistantship

A separate application for a graduate assistantship does not exist. Students should be sure to mark the appropriate area on the graduate admission application if interested in a graduate assistantship / teaching assistantship.

Graduate assistantships / teaching assitantships will be considered as part of the admission process to a graduate master's 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.

GA/TA Appointment Process Overview

Recommendation for Graduate Assistantship / Teaching Assistantship Appointment
Academic departments send their recommendation of a student for graduate assistantship / teaching assistantship appointment to The Graduate School. The Graduate School verifies a student’s eligibility to be appointed to an assistantship. The official offer of appointment will be sent via regular mail to the student from The Graduate School. No appointment is official or finalized unless it is approved by The Graduate School.  A verbal offer of an assistantship from a department other than 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 and W-4 tax forms) must be completed at The Graduate School before beginning the graduate assistantship position. 

General Assistantship Information for Doctoral Students

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. Assistants receive a waiver of tuition and college-wide fees, plus a ten-month stipend in return for working an average of 20 hours per week (i.e. handling classes, conducting research, and/or other appropriate activities during the appointment).

Assistantships are awarded for one full academic year, beginning September 1 and ending June 30. The duties and responsibilities vary with each appointment. Only students fully accepted (matriculated) into a doctoral degree program at Montclair State University are eligible for an assistantship. Applications will be considered during the admission review. Assistantship recipients typically will be notified at the time of admission into the doctoral program.

Assistants are considered full-time students, fulfilling twenty hours per week. Tuition and fee remissions cover tuition and University-wide fees for the specific semester during which the student is in the assistantship position. The remission covers only those courses listed on a student's work program. Fees that are specific to courses are not included in the remission (e.g. supplies for courses in Art, Music, etc.). Each year there are many more qualified students than assistantship positions available at the doctoral level.


To be awarded an assistantship, the following are required:

  • A current assistantship application, filed with The Graduate School,
  • An acceptance into a doctoral program at Montclair State University,
  • A recommendation for appointment, signed by the appointing supervisor; and
  • An offer-of-appointment letter from the The Graduate School.

How to Apply

A seperate application for doctoral Assistantship does not exist. Doctoral students should be sure to makr the appropriate area on the graduate admission application if interested in a doctoral assistantship.

Any student who has been fully accepted into a doctoral program leading to a doctoral degree is eligible to compete for an Assistantship. A student who wishes to apply for an Assistantship should allow sufficient time for admissions credentials to be assembled and processed.

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 Assistantship program coordinator, interview and recommendation for a position by an Assistantship supervisor, review and approval by the Dean or Division Head in which the position is housed and final approval by The Graduate School. An offer of an Assistantship position is only official when it is sent to the student from The Graduate School.

Applications will remain on file for one year. The University cannot guarantee consideration of applications received after the February 1 deadline.

Completed Assistantship applications should be included with your application for doctoral study and mailed to The Graduate School, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07043