Assistantships

What is a Graduate Assistantship?
A graduate assistantship is an award made by the Department of Mathematics and the University. The award consists of a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend. In return, the awardee will be expected to teach or perform other duties for the Department.

How and when are Graduate Assistantships Awarded?
On February 1 of each year the Graduate Committee of the Department of Mathematics will consider all completed applications and make some initial offers of assistantships. The committee will consider all information provided by the student but must have three letters of recommendation and a transcript of grades at the minimum. The Committee will continue to make awards until all openings have been filled. Typically, all assistantships are awarded and accepted by the end of April, however, we encourage you to apply even beyond this deadline, since occasionally positions become available.

What duties are expected of a Graduate Assistant?
All Graduate Assistants provide some service to the Department. In most cases, this service will take the form of teaching a course in the Department. GA's either teach their own course or assist a faculty member in a large lecture course. The classes that you will be involved with are either Precalculus with Algebra (104), Precalculus (MTH 123) or Calculus (MTH 151). You will be assigned to a class based on your preference and the needs of the Department. (On the average about 75% of the GA's teach. The remainder assist in a large lecture course.

When you teach a course you will be responsible for the entire course. You will lecture, make up quizzes and exams, and determine a grading policy. The Department will assign you a Course Supervisor (a faculty member who has taught or is currently teaching the same course) who will be a resource person for you. The Course Supervisor will ensure that your quizzes, exams, and grading policy are fair and will be available to you should any problems or questions arise.

Depending upon whether you are teaching or assisting and the number of hours of the course that you teach. GA's might also be asked to assist in the Department's Help Sessions. These Help Sessions (that cover Precalculus, Calculus, and Statistics) meet in the early evening from Monday through Thursday.

What does the Graduate School expect from a Graduate Assistant?
In order to maintain your Graduate Assistantship, the Graduate School requires that you take a minimum of 10 (and a maximum of 14) graduate hours. The Department of Mathematics requires further that you take at least one graduate class in the Department. Further, you must maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.00.

What are the benefits of being a Graduate Assistant?
Graduate Assistants are paid a stipend (for the academic year 2012-2013 the stipend was $15,224). In addition, the University waives the tuition. For each semester in the academic year that a GA maintains a 3.00 GPA, the Graduate School will award the GA a $900 fellowship for taking 3 graduate credits per summer term. Thus, with two terms during the summer, a GA in the preceding academic year may earn up to $1800 for taking at least 6 graduate credits in the summer. You will be paid when you complete the course. The Graduate School will also waive the tuition for up to 16 hours of classes taken in the summer. These hours can either be taken the summer preceding or following your assistantship.

What costs will a Graduate Assistant need to pay?
A Graduate Assistantship only covers the stipend and tuition waiver. The student will need to pay a portion of the General Fee as well as miscellaneous fees, totaling roughly $500 per semester. The payroll office will allow a Graduate Assistant to pay these fees in installments and the installments can be taken from the GA's paycheck.

Note that room and board, text books, and living expenses are not paid by the assistantship. These expenses are the responsibility of the student. 

What do you need to submit to the Department to be considered for an assistantship?
The Department will need three letters of recommendation and transcript (or the "white sheet" indicating the mathematics and statistics courses you have taken as well as the grades). The letters of recommendation can be from anyone, however, we are most interested in your academic performance to date, especially in advanced mathematics and statistics courses.

Should you submit your GRE scores?
The Department does not require that you take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). However, if you have taken the GRE's, you can submit the scores to the Department and we will certainly use this information in our decision.

When should you get your application materials to the Department?
The sooner the better. The Graduate Committee will consider applications in early February and make an initial round of offers at that time. Further offers will be made until the Department has filled all open positions.

Do you need to be admitted or to apply to the Graduate School to be considered for a Graduate Assistantship?
No. However, if you have applied and have been admitted, your Graduate Assistantship award can be processed much more quickly. Since the Graduate School requires much of the same information as the Department, it is wisest to send your application in to the Graduate School at the same time as you apply for a Graduate Assistantship from the Department.

Miscellaneous:
If you are awarded an assistantship, the Department will require that you be on campus the week before school starts. Miami usually starts the Fall semester in the last week of August. You will be required to attend a "teaching seminar" course for which you will receive credit.

You will also have an office in Bachelor Hall. The Department of Mathematics is located in Bachelor and most of our classes are taught in this building.

Finally, as a Graduate Assistant, the Coop book store (in Downtown Oxford) will give you a 10% discount on all items that you purchase, including text books and supplies.