Each year Wichita State University awards a number of assistantships for advanced study. Grants are made in most departments offering advanced degrees. Assistantships are awarded primarily on the basis of a student’s academic record and demonstrated teaching, research and 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.
A graduate teaching assistantship may qualify the recipient for up to a 100 percent waiver of tuition. 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 courses numbered 500 and above are eligible for full or partial waiver of tuition 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 $24,000. 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 hours must be at the graduate level. 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.