Assistantships and Stipends

Assistantships and Stipends

A limited number of funding opportunities are available for qualified CDM graduate students. Assistantships are tuition and/or monetary awards based on academic merit, experience in the field, and recommendations. An assistantship typically requires the recipient to perform some service for CDM such as tutoring, grading or lab support. CDM awards two kinds of assistantships.

Graduate Assistantships:
Intended for any degree-seeking (PhD, MS, MA and MFA) graduate student in CDM. A graduate assistantship may include tuition awards for one or more courses per quarter and a small stipend (not sufficient to satisfy the financial requirement for a student visa). Full graduate assistant awards require that the student works 20 hours per week and include two course tuition waivers. Partial awards require that the student works 10 hours per week and include one course tuition waiver.

Ph.D. Stipends:
Intended for full-time students pursuing a PhD at CDM. All PhD stipends include tuition awards for two courses per quarter plus a living stipend (sufficient to satisfy the financial requirement needed to obtain a student visa). This award requires that the student works 20 hours per week (typically, tutoring or lab support). PhD stipends are primarily intended for new PhD students starting in the fall quarter, and the award decisions are made at the same time that fall quarter admissions decisions are made. However, current PhD students without funding may also apply.

Types Of Duties

Masters' students are typically assigned tutoring, grading or lab support. Doctoral students may be involved in tutoring, technical support, lab management, or research. Students must re-apply every year.

Graduate Assistantship Application Process

You may apply only if you are a degree-seeking student. Your status is considered "degree-seeking" if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You have been admitted as a PhD student at CDM
  • You are pursuing an MS, MA or MFA and you have completed all introductory courses, if required, in your declared program.

Newly admitted students should contact an advisor in the CDM Academic Success Center to discuss the introductory course requirements for their program of study, if applicable, prior to submitting an application for graduate assistantship.

Part 1: Online Application

The application is now closed and will re-open in winter quarter.

Part 2: Recommendations

All applicants must request two recommendations, preferably from CDM faculty. CDM faculty MUST submit their recommendations online. Students should request recommendations verbally or through e-mail and should give the faculty member appropriate lead-time to submit the recommendation before the deadline. If a faculty member has not confirmed that he or she will submit a recommendation, the student is urged to seek another faculty recommendation.

Part 3: Interview

After you have submitted your application, you may be contacted and invited for a short interview with a faculty committee. The goal of this interview will be to assess your technical expertise and communication skills. The interview process is typically utilized when selecting students for tutor positions.

Application period and deadlines

The application period for graduate assistantships typically opens at the end of winter quarter and remains open through only a few weeks in spring quarter. Emails are sent to graduate students who meet minimum GPA requirements to notify them that applications are being accepted. To be considered for assistantship, the online application AND all letters of recommendation must be submitted by the time the application closes.

The application is now closed and will re-open in winter quarter.

PhD Stipend Application Process

If you are applying to the PhD program, you should submit a separate application form requesting financial aid. The stipend application form must be submitted by the January deadline for fall admission. Notice that only applicants for fall admission will be considered for financial aid.

Current PhD students without a PhD stipend can apply for financial aid by submitting the stipend application form before the January deadline for fall quarter admission. In addition to the stipend application form, the continuing PhD students should also submit:

  • A resume summarizing the research activities and experience to date
  • 3 recommendation letters , including one from the PhD thesis advisor
  • A personal statement describing accomplishments during the years the student has been in the program and the student's research plans for the following years
  • And a list of publications and conference presentations .

Students awarded a PhD stipend will receive funds for a maximum period of five years, including periods funded by other grants.

Application Review and Notification

The graduate assistantships are extremely competitive. The review committee rejects many students who have high (or even perfect) grade point averages simply due to high volume and quality. Most graduate assistants will perform tutoring, grading or lab support duties. Therefore, the selection process tends to focus on the student's technical expertise and potential as a tutor. Weight is given to excellent letters of recommendation that explicitly discuss the student's technical expertise and potential as a tutor. Prior to the start of the upcoming quarter, students will be notified via email of the result of their application.

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