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Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships provide a supervised opportunity for graduate students to gain experience in teaching, research, or administration.

Graduate assistants receive $1,080 per semester ($16 per hour) for teaching, technical, and/or administrative assistantships. Most students are eligible for one to three assistantships per semester.

There are three types of Graduate Assistantships.  All Graduate Assistantships require that a  student be in good academic standing and enrollment in a full-time program.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) 

TAs are offered targeted academic training opportunities working under the supervision and mentorship of a faculty member.  In most instances, TAs are assigned to a particular course. TAs receive practical instructorship experience in higher education while also making an important contribution to the educational experience of the students they serve. Faculty select their TA's subject to academic approval by the student's Graduate Program Coordinator and budgetary approval by Graduate Programs.

Research Assistants (RAs) 

RAs are offered targeted research opportunities under the supervision of a faculty mentor.  RAs are not clerical support for the research project---they are involved in activities that help to enhance their research skills, develop professional competencies, and extend their educational experience. Faculty select their RA's subject to academic approval by the student's Graduate Program Coordinator and budgetary approval by Graduate Programs.

Administrative/Technical Assistants (GAs) 

GAs provide administrative learning opportunities in the management and operation of a department or administrative unit at the College and may report to administrators, faculty, or other College personnel.  The GA experience provides training in higher education administration and competencies consistent with the student's academic and/or professional objectives. For a list of available GA positions for which you may apply please contact Graduate Programs at gradprogram@massart.edu, 617.879.7166.   


Graduate Assistantship FAQ's

Who is eligible to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA?)

MAT, MFA and MArch students enrolled full-time (15 credits per semester) and in good academic standing are eligible for one TA assignment per semester. Priority is given to second- year students however first-year students may be assigned if they have demonstrated knowledge and experience in the subject area.

All graduate students in good academic standing are eligible for Teaching Assistantships as Studio Foundation mentors.  The Studio Foundation curriculum introduces undergraduate students to a variety of studio techniques and media and the stages of the creative process, from inception to design, construction, presentation, critique and revision. Mentors advise students on class work, assist in dialogue with instructors about the curriculum, program, facilities and equipment, assist with research, and give in-class presentations or demonstrations of a technique in an area of their expertise

How are TA's assigned?

Students should speak first with their Graduate Program Coordinator about the availability of positions.  Faculty select their own TA---they are not assigned---however the Graduate Program Coordinator can help facilitate this process. Students are expected to have demonstrated skills and knowledge in the course content area.  

How do faculty/staff request a TA? 

Faculty need to complete a TA Request Form for each course and each semester for which a TA is requested. Given budgetary constraints not all requests are funded. Priority is determined by the Graduate Program Coordinator in consultation with Graduate Programs and the Department Chair. Typically, introductory courses are granted the most support.

What is the role of a TA?

The primary role of a TA is to provide supplemental instruction that benefits the class as a whole and/or individual students. All TA sessions should be conducted in a public location and not in residence hall rooms. The faculty member is responsible for assigning the final grade on each assignment, quiz, and homework (even if the TA marks it first). The faculty member makes all ultimate decisions related to partial credit.

If a disciplinary situation arises, TAs should contact their faculty member. If a student in your class requires additional support, please refer him/her to the Writing Center or Learning Center.

TA responsibilities include:

  • Facilitation of class discussions
  • Directing peer led team learning
  • Assisting with exam preparation
  • Reviewing and commenting on drafts of work
  • Correcting objective assignments, quizzes, and homework
  • Providing studio and lab support for students
  • Assisting with co-curricular activities
  • Conducting course related research

How do Faculty Mentor TAs?

Faculty mentor TAs by including them in the teaching and learning process. Some faculty include their TAs in developing the course itself, leading class discussions, supporting special projects outside of class, and providing valuable feedback to students during the semester. 

Faculty determine how the TA will contribute to the course and establish mutually-agreeable expectations/outcomes for improved teaching and learning in the course.

How many hours do TA's work?

TAs generally work 5.7 hours per week, but no more than 67.5 hours per semester. The compensation rate is $16 per hour ($1,080 per semester). The position commences on the first day of classes and ends on the last day of classes. Any hours outside of those parameters require approval from Graduate Programs.