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Summer Funding and Employment

Doctoral students can work as regular graduate assistants or casual hourly employees, or any combination therein, for Summer Quarter. For example, a student could work as a 50% teaching assistant (TA) only. Or, they could work as a 50% TA plus work 16 hours per week as a casual hourly employee on a project. Various rules apply for enrollment and maximum hour requirements. Please see the sections below for more information.

As of the 2020-21 Academic Year, students in the GSE are guaranteed summer funding for years 1-5.  Summer funding will be equivalent to the minimum 50% level (i.e. the pre-candidacy RA-ship rate) and 1-unit/TGR tuition. If a student does not have an assistantship, fellowship, or stipend that covers them at this level, the University provides gap funding in the form of a stipend that will ensure the student meets this minimum guarantee. For more information, please review the Summer Funding FAQ page.

Assistantships in Summer Quarter

Assistantships are full quarter appointments with a fixed salary based upon a student's percentage of employment (e.g., 25% TA). Assistantships require enrollment in at least three units for Summer Quarter, even when students work as a casual hourly employee in addition to the assistantship.

The maximum percentage for summer assistantships is the 90% level (i.e., 36 hours per week). Students can combine different assistantships to reach the 90% level, or they can blend assistantships with hourly employment. Regardless, students cannot exceed 36 hours of employment per week when enrolled in any courses for the summer.

The amount of tuition allowance depends upon the percentage of the assistantship. For example, a 25% assistantship pays for 5 units and a 50% assistantship pays for 10 units. However, students are only required to enroll in a minimum of three units for Summer Quarter, so any unapplied tuition allowance will be refunded to the GSE. For example, if a 25% assistant enrolls in three units, two units worth of tuition credit will be refunded to the school; it will not be applied to the student account for other non-tuition or future charges.

The Cardinal Care health insurance subsidy rules are the same in the summer as during the regular academic year. See the Health Insurance Subsidy section.

Casual Hourly Employment in Summer Quarter

Students who work on an hourly basis are hired as casual employees by GSE Human Resources, not the Doctoral Programs Officer.

Enrollment is not required for summer casual employment if the student is not also employed as a graduate assistant. In other words, students who are working solely as hourly employees are not required to enroll in summer.

Casual hourly employees with no graduate assistantships do not receive any tuition allowance. Students in this category who enroll in courses are fully responsible for any tuition and related costs incurred. Students who need to take courses and work in the summer are strongly encouraged to pursue graduate assistantships to cover the related tuition costs.

Students who do not enroll in Summer Quarter and are employed as casual hourly employees can work up to 40 hours per week (i.e., the 100% level).

Pre-Term (STEP)

If students will be working with STEP pre-fall term, this may be considered a summer casual hourly position. However, students working pre-fall term for STEP will receive the tuition portion of the pre-fall commitment in the fall quarter (equivalent to 25% TA tuition). By default, half of fall tuition will be covered by pre-fall tuition, so students will only need a 25% assistantship fall quarter to cover the rest of the tuition. If students choose to work 50% in the fall, the pre-fall tuition will be cancelled.

Note: If students are signed on for a year's commitment STEP supervisor role, they will receive an additional stipend in early October.

Contact us

PhD students, please contact

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Jeremy Edwards
Associate Director of Degree Programs

MA POLS and MA/PP students, please contact

Wesley Horng
Wesley Horng
Associate Director of Admissions & Academic Affairs

EDS, ICE/IEPA, Individually Designed, LDT, MA/JD, MA/MBA students, please contact

Photo of Caroline Stasulat
Caroline Stasulat
Associate Director of Degree Programs
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