Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are employed on a half-time basis (20 hrs/week) to assist with the teaching of undergraduate courses in the Mechanical Engineering Department. GTAs are expected to report to the ME Department starting approximately one week before classes begin and continue through final exams.  All applicants are considered for GTA positions, but they are highly competitive.  Current students can be nominated by their advisor for a GTA position.  There is currently no application process for GTAs.


Doctoral candidates, in addition to being eligible for fellowships, may on occasion be employed as full- or part-time instructors teaching undergraduate courses.

GTA Assignments

Top priority is given for continuing PhD students who have been promised support.  The next priority is MS students who have indicated their interest and ability in the PhD program, by passing the PhD qualifier.  In addition:

  • No departmental GTA support will normally be given to MS students beyond their 3rd semester of study (excluding summers) unless they have passed the PhD qualifier and they have been accepted for study in the PhD program.
  • No departmental GTA support will normally be given to any MS students beyond their 4th semester of study (excluding summers), regardless of PhD intentions


Graduate teaching and research assistantship average stipends range from approximately $1869 – $1970 per month for half-time appointments during the 13-14 academic year.  Stipends might include supplemental scholarships, which depend upon the student’s academic record.  The salary of instructors depends on their qualifications.  The ME Department assumes the responsibility of paying the in-state tuition, engineering and technology fees, and 90% of health insurance (if it is purchased through the university) of all students supported on GTAs and GRAs.  Students MUST enroll in a minimum of 12-18 hours of courses and/or research.  The Graduate School waives the out-of-state portion for students, with assistantships, who earn $4,000 or more during the academic year.

Offer Letters

Your responsibilities, in connection with your assistantship and the details of the financial support which you will receive, are outlined in your offer letter from the department.  GTAs will receive subsequent acknowledgement and assignment letters from the Graduate Program Chair and Assoc. Dept. Head for Undergraduate Studies.  To maintain the assistantship during the specified period, students must complete their assigned duties in a satisfactory manner and make satisfactory progress toward their degrees.

Continued Support

If continued support beyond your current offer is desired, you should contact your Advisor at least two months before the end of the support period indicated in your offer letter.  Details of your financial support should be discussed before this selection is finalized.  Contracts cannot be continued without documentation by your advisor.  US citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each spring as some available funding & fellowships are need based.