Cleveland State University provides two types of graduate assistantships: teaching and research/professional development. Each type of assistantship is designed both to serve the needs of the University and to assist in the professional development of the student. Graduate assistantships are regarded as apprenticeships during which, through formal instruction, interaction with faculty, classroom, research, and administrative experience, students become more effective as members of their chosen professional fields. Graduate assistants are regarded by the University as students first and University employees second. Students interested in applying for graduate assistantships should contact their graduate program directors.
In addition to graduate assistantships, limited financial aid is available in the form of fellowships, student loans, research grants, Federal work-study and non-work-study employment. Students seeking assistance should contact the Financial Aid Office and the academic department of the program that they plan to enter for additional information.
Note: Students who have applied for, or are receiving, federal student loans or other financial aid through the University may have their award eligibility adjusted if they receive a graduate assistantship or a graduate tuition grant.
Types of Assistantships
Teaching assistantships: Assist departments in carrying out undergraduate instructional programs. Teaching Assistants aid faculty members in assembling classroom materials, leading class discussion groups, supervising laboratory sessions, tutoring, evaluating student per-formance, and carrying out other related instructional activities.
Non-native English speaking teaching assistants may not be assigned direct instructional activities until they have been assessed and certified as proficient in spoken English.
Research/Professional Development Assistantships: Assist the CSU faculty and/or staff members in conducting research or performing activities relevant to their degree program. These are assigned to faculty or staff who are working in a variety of different areas to extend the students' research experience and professional development.
Other assistantships: To be used only with prior permission of the dean.
Terms of Assistantships
- Assistantships are awarded only to graduate degree-seeking students with superior academic records and who qualify at the time of their enrollment as regular graduate students, as defined in this Catalog. Students must have an undergraduate grade-point average of at least 3.0, a graduate grade-point average of at least 3.0 (where applicable), and a Cleveland-Marshall College of Law grade point average of at least 3.25 (where applicable) to qualify for, and to retain, an assistantship.
- Graduate assistants receive contracts with specific conditions and duties detailed, including stipend and tuition support.
- Each contract is signed by the academic officer authorized to initiate the appointment of the graduate assistant and by the academic officer authorized to expend funds for assistantships.
- Graduate assistants are provided a stipend and a tuition scholarship by the contracting unit. At the discretion of the unit, assistants who are not residents of the State of Ohio may, or may not, be responsible for the out-of-state portion of their tuition bill.
- Graduate assistantships are awarded on a full-time, two-thirds time, or half-time basis that require twenty hours, fifteen hours, or ten hours of University service per week, respectively, during the academic term. Students holding a twenty-hour assistantship may not hold any other form of employment, within either the University or off-campus, without receiving prior written approval from the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
- The term of appointment for a graduate assistantship is normally for one or more academic term(s), with the employment period adhering to the official University calendar. When assistantships do not follow the academic term schedule, the beginning and ending dates must be stated in the graduate assistantship contract.
- Graduate assistants are not required to work on University holidays when classes are not offered; nor are graduate assistants required to make up time for regularly scheduled service that falls on a University holiday when classes are not offered.
- Full-time, two-thirds-time, and half-time graduate assistants must maintain an eight credit-hour minimum registration at, or above, the 500 level during the contract period for the academic term specified. Courses taken on an audit basis do not qualify in meeting the eight credit-hour minimum registration requirement. To waive the minimum registration requirement requires the written approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Assistantship contracts are subject to cancellation if students do not maintain the minimum registration requirement. Individual graduate degree programs determine whether the minimum registration must be eight or twelve credit hours per academic term. Prior approval by the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies is required for contracts for more than sixteen credit hours per term.
- All graduate assistants are required to attend the University’s Graduate Assistant Orientation Program (GAOP) during the first academic term of employment. GAOP information is available from the College of Graduate Studies.
- Students may be retained as graduate assistants as long as they are currently registered for the appropriate number of credit hours, have earned less than a total of 173 semester hours of graduate credit, are in good academic standing (cumulative graduate grade-point average of at least 3.0, and Cleveland State University Law School grade-point average of at least 3.25, if applicable), are performing their duties to the satisfaction of the units in which they hold the appointment, and are making acceptable progress toward the completion of their graduate degree programs. The number of academic terms that a student may be retained as a graduate assistant is determined by the unit sponsoring the assistantship; however, master’s degree students normally do not receive more than four semesters of assistantship support while doctoral students normally receive a maximum of twelve semesters of assistantship support, including all assistantship support received as master’s degree students within any Cleveland State University program(s).
- Minimum stipend levels for graduate assistantships, by the degree status of students, are determined by the Provost at the beginning of the fiscal year.
Graduate Tuition Grants
The Cleveland State University College of Graduate Studies also administers a Graduate Tuition Grant Program, which provides graduate tuition support to qualified students. To be eligible to receive a Graduate Tuition Grant a student must have been admitted to a graduate degree program and have a minimum grade-point average of at least 3.0 in undergraduate work or graduate work (if applicable) and a GPA of 3.25 in course work taken in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (if applicable).
Graduate Tuition Grants are available to provide tuition support for one to sixteen graduate credit hours (500 level or above), as determined by each student’s program director. At the discretion of the department, tuition grant students may or may not be responsible for the out-of-state portion of their tuition bills. Graduate Tuition Grant recipients are required to provide service to the department. The maximum number of service hours to be provided to the department by Graduate Tuition Grant recipients cannot exceed ten per week. Work hours are prorated according to the number of credit hours of tuition support provided. Because Graduate Tuition Grants carry a service obligation for students, a portion of the Graduate Tuition Grant is subject to withholding of all applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
For additional information, contact the graduate program director or the College of Graduate Studies at (216) 687-9370.
All student employees of the University, including graduate assistants and tuition grant recipients, are limited to a maximum of twenty hours of service per week during the academic term. Graduate assistants and tuition grant recipients working ten hours per week must limit other University employment to ten hours per week for a total work commitment not to exceed twenty hours per week. Graduate assistants and tuition grant recipients working fifteen hours per week must limit their other University employment to five hours per week. Graduate assistants on a full-time (twenty hours of service per week) contract may not hold other outside employment without written approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies since a Graduate Assistantship is considered as full financial assistance.