High Tech with a Human Touch
Graduate Assistantships are awarded to well-qualified students, however, not all qualified graduate students receive assistantships. Normally, Graduate Assistantships are awarded on an academic year (Fall-Spring) basis; however, some are available in the summer semester.
There are two types of Assistantships: Teaching and Research Assistantships.
- Teaching Assistants (TAs) serve in many roles to help faculty teach both undergraduate and graduate lecture courses and laboratories. First-time TA's must attend the Teaching Assistant Seminar prior to beginning their assignments. In addition, there are specific, additional language proficiency requirements for TAs for whom English is not their home language. TAs must be formally evaluated (in writing) by their faculty supervisor as a condition for renewal of their award (normally once per academic year). These evaluations become a part of the TA's record.
- Research Assistants (RAs) work with faculty members on scientific and engineering research projects supported by governmental and private sponsors. In many cases, these projects are directly related to the student's thesis or dissertation research. Formal evaluations are not required for RAs.
Both TAs and RAs must maintain appropriate grade point averages (GPAs) and must continue to pursue their full-time graduate studies in their disciplines in order to retain their assistantships.
Applications for a Graduate Assistantship are available from the Office of Graduate Admissions or from the department offices. Applications should be returned to the relevant department offices. Decisions on assistantships are the sole responsibility of the departments, and their decisions are final.
The priority deadline for all assistantship applications is January 15 for the subsequent Fall term. Please note that applications received after the program designated deadline will be considered, but late applicants may be at a disadvantage in terms of being admitted and/or receiving scholarships, fellowships and assistantships.
Graduate Assistantships may receive a stipend, tuition remission, or both. Amounts vary and are determined by the departments. Note: Students receiving TAs or RAs may be required to pay Federal income tax, Social Security tax, or both on tuition and/or stipend depending on the circumstances. Consult your tax advisor or the University's Controller Office for more information.
Graduate Student CONTRACTS must be received from the departments or students by the Graduate School at least 6 weeks prior to the date of the first paycheck. Contracts received late may result in a delay of payment. All students must sign their TA or RA contracts and return them to Heather Melbourne, Administrative Assistant (Building 420 Room 103, 321-674-7397) prior to starting work.
Federal law requires that all new GSAs must submit an I-9 and W-4 form with documentation. These forms are available on the Office of Human Resources website or in the department offices which can assist students with the completion of these forms. All returning GSAs must confirm with the Office of Human Resources that work authorization is still valid.
- Language & Training
Any student whose home language is not English must meet specific English language proficiency requirements to be considered for a graduate student assistantship. This is a requirement whether or not the student has previously attended or graduated from an English-speaking, post-secondary institution.
Research Assistants: iBT score of at least 79, an IELTS score of at least 6.5 or a Florida Tech TOEFL score of at least 550.
Teaching Assistants: iBT score of at least 100, IELTS score of at least 7 or a Florida Tech TOEFL score of at least 600.
Teaching Assistants must also receive a score of PASS on an assessment for English language speaking. Normally the speaking proficiency assessments are given at the beginning of each term. Contact the Office of Graduate Programs to schedule this assessment.
Teaching Assistant Seminar:
All first-time Teaching Assistants are required to attend and successfully complete a 3-day Teaching Assistant Seminar prior to the start of the Fall or Spring Semester. Attendance and successful completion of the Seminar (including a written component) are mandatory and a condition of appointment. Unexcused absences from any portion of the seminar or failure to attend is cause for revocation of the TA award.
All seminar participants must have the approval of their respective departments. Students who are interested in attending the seminar should make a request to their department to participate.
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