Students wishing to be considered for assistantships, fellowships, scholarships or other forms of financial awards should indicate their interest to their graduate coordinator or program chair as soon as possible after notification of admission.
Students must be fully admitted to a degree program in either full-standing, conditional or probationary status to be considered for graduate assistantship positions, fellowship awards or federally-funded financial aid. Students who are admitted on probation or placed on academic probation following admission may be eligible for assistantship positions under certain circumstances. If a student is admitted under conditional or probationary status, they must continue to meet the conditions of their admissions to continue receiving federally-funded financial aid. Please consult the appropriate offices for details on eligibility.
Each year Wichita State University awards a number of assistantships for advanced study. Such positions are available in most departments offering advanced degrees. Assistantships are awarded primarily on the basis of a student’s academic record and demonstrated teaching, research and/or leadership abilities, together with any other available supporting evidence.
Students must be admitted to a degree program in either full-standing or conditional status. Students admitted on probation or placed on academic probation following admission may be eligible for assistantship awards under certain circumstances. Undergraduate students admitted under the senior rule option, or in accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs are not normally considered for assistantship awards.
Recipients of a full-time graduate assistantship may not hold appointments totaling more than 20 hours per week and may not hold other WSU remunerative employment without the written approval of the department chairperson and dean of the Graduate School through an approved exception form.
A graduate teaching assistantship may qualify the recipient for a full or partial waiver of in-state tuition for up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level coursework numbered 500 and above. Graduate students must provide service from the 20th day of the semester through the remainder of the semester to be eligible for the nonresident to resident tuition waiver. Only graduate courses numbered 500 and above are eligible for full or partial waiver of tuition for graduate teaching assistants. 500 level coursework taken for undergraduate credit (such as prerequisite coursework) is not eligible for the full or partial tuition waiver for graduate teaching assistants. Potential applicants for graduate teaching assistantships who are non-native speakers of English must first attain a score of 23 or above on the speaking portion of the internet based TOEFL (IBT), or a score of 50 or above on the SPEAK, or a score of 7.0 or higher on the speaking portion of the IELTS exam. All students who are offered a graduate teaching assistantship, whether native or non-native speakers of English, must have their spoken English evaluated by a departmental assessment committee. The committee is appointed by the department chair or director, and is composed of at least three members: two faculty members and one student. The committee judges the graduate assistant’s spoken English according to the Spoken English Screening Form (SESF) scale of 1–4. A rating of 1 or 2 indicates competency in spoken English and is required for appointing the candidate. For non-native speakers of English, this is required in addition to the TOEFL/IELTS/SPEAK mentioned previously.
The department chairperson or graduate coordinator should be contacted for further information. The actual dollar amount of an assistantship varies according to the length of the appointment, the number of hours worked per week and the funding base within each department. At Wichita State University, assistantships for 20 hours of work per week for a nine-month period range from $5,800 to $25,000. This average is provided for information purposes. Assistantship appointments are made on a semester basis.
Graduate students holding assistantships during a fall or spring semester are expected to enroll in at least 9 credit hours of coursework, of which 6 credit hours must be at the graduate level and taken for graduate credit. Exceptions to allow graduate assistants who hold a 20-hour appointment to be enrolled in 6–8 credit hours may be approved by the program where the student holds admission. Special consideration for thesis and research enrollments may be obtained by petitioning the Graduate School through the exceptions process.
As a part of the hiring process at WSU, all graduate assistants are required to submit to a criminal background check before employment commences.
Graduate School Awards
The Graduate School oversees and distributes general awards and certain fellowship activities as described below. Additional information can be found on the Graduate School awards webpage1.
Dora Wallace Hodgson Outstanding Graduate Student Awards
Funding for the Graduate School Outstanding Graduate Student awards is made possible through generous donations to the WSU Foundation from the Dora Wallace Hodgson estate. Awards are given for the following categories: Dora Wallace Hodgson Outstanding Doctoral Student and Dora Wallace Hodgson Outstanding Master’s Student.
Delano Maggard, Jr. Graduate Research Grant
The Maggard research grant supports graduate students in their pursuit of independent research and investigation in their field of major interest. Funds are provided through the WSU Foundation, Delano Maggard, Jr. endowed account. Applicants must be in full-standing status in a degree program. Applicants must be enrolled in the semester prior to the semester of award and show satisfactory academic progress in coursework related to the proposed course of study.
Michael P. Tilford Graduate Fellowship
The Michael P. Tilford Graduate Fellowship, established in memory of former WSU Graduate School Dean Michael P. Tilford, is awarded to a currently enrolled full-time graduate student in good academic standing in any graduate degree program. Preference is for a minority student who is a U.S. citizen. Financial need is also considered.
Educational Opportunity Fund (Part-Time Students)
Funds are provided by the Student Government Association from student fees for continuing part-time students with financial need. Tuition awards are made contingent on annual funding to full-standing degree-bound students who are enrolled in at least 3 credit hours but not more than 6 credit hours, and who qualify for financial assistance. Students enrolled in thesis or dissertation hours will not be eligible. A financial statement form is part of the application. Please contact the Graduate School or visit the Graduate School website for application deadlines and details.
Student Travel — Special Research Fellowships
Special research fellowships encourage research among graduate students and recognize their superior achievement by providing financial support to students who present the results of their scholarly research at professional meetings and conferences.
In addition to the above awards, the Graduate School distributes the following awards based on financial need and other considerations:
- Dr. Laiten L and Verna Nye Camien Fellowship
- E.L. Cord Foundation Graduate Fellowship
- Ollie A. and J.O. Heskett Graduate Fellowship
- Jayne and Glenn Milburn Fellowship
- Donald D. Sbarra Endowed Fellowship
- Lawrence and Pauline Stettheimer Endowed Fellowship
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Federal Financial Assistance
WSU’s Office of Financial Aid assists graduate students secure federal financial aid based on each individual student's eligibility for aid, which generally consists of Direct unsubsidized loans, Direct PLUS loans for graduate students, or Federal Work Study.
The first step in applying for federal aid is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)1 and to request the results be sent to Wichita State University (school code 001950). If financial aid is required, the Graduate School strongly recommends that the completed application for admission to Graduate School is received in the Graduate School by February 1 for the following fall semester. Graduate students who successfully complete the FAFSA and are fully admitted into eligible programs are eligible for federal financial aid. Students who are not fully admitted into an eligible degree or certificate program are not eligible for federal student aid. Students fully admitted, but under conditional or probationary status, must continue to meet the conditions of their admissions to continue receiving federally-funded financial aid.
Students must be enrolled in at least half-time status to qualify for federal aid. Half-time status for graduate students is defined as 5 credit hours for the fall or spring semesters, and 3 credit hours for the summer session. For additional information, visit the financial aid website1.
Additional information about financial aid policies is available at the Financial Aid Terms and Conditions1 webpage.
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Many graduate students participate in the university’s Cooperative Education and Work-Based Learning Program. In this program, students work at the local, state or national level in well-paying jobs that complement their academic fields of study. Students earn academic credit while learning degree-related skills and earning money to support their graduate studies. Students must have departmental permission to participate.