An assistantship is an academic
position offered to graduate student
s as part of their in-school funding package. They can also be applied for, like any job, as it isn’t exactly free money
. It requires the student to assist
one of their department professors teaching a (usually) lower-level course. Such courses (for example, Freshman Composition
) can have hundreds of students enrolled, which necessitates several Teaching Assistant
s (TAs) to aid the lecturer. Oftentimes the professor lectures the entire class two days a week, and the TA meets with 15-20 students in a classroom once per week. This, of course, varies from institution to institution. Most universities require grading as part of the TA’s duties as well.
Recipients of an assistantship receive a full or partial tuition wavier and can earn a small stipend, which usually pays like a full-time job at McDonald’s.