Assistantships are graduate financial support (aid) in the form of student employment, earning compensation for the performance of research, teaching, or course support services to the University while students continue their academic and professional development. A salary is paid twice per month (i.e., bimonthly) through University Payroll. In addition, a tuition allowance is awarded that covers partial to full tuition depending upon the student’s level of employment (i.e., the total number of weekly hours worked).
The types of assistantship appointments available to graduate students are as a Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and Teaching Affiliate.
The assistantship level or percentage is determined by the amount of weekly hours worked. For example, a student who works 20 hours per week is a 50% assistant (i.e., half of 40 hours or 100% employment). Likewise, a student who works 10 hours per week is a 25% assistant. The most common assistantships are offered at the 25% and 50% levels, though there are variations. While enrolled in 8 to 10 units, Stanford students cannot exceed the 50% assistantship level during the regular academic year (Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters). This is a University-wide policy applicable to all graduate students. In summers, however, students can work up to the 90% assistantship level, which translates to 36 hours per week with a minimum course enrollment of 3 units. See the Summer Funding section for more details.
A University committee determines the policies, salary structure, and terms of graduate student assistantships. In addition, GSE reserves the right to clarify and augment these regulations.
In relation to the GSE guaranteed funding policy, a student’s work performance in assistantships will be part of the student’s yearly academic progress review. The review determines whether the student’s funding may continue, conditional upon satisfactory performance in research work, for another year.