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Graduate Assistantship

SIS Assistantships

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) has graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) available to be awarded on a competitive bases to qualified students (campus and distance) who are fully admitted as potential degree candidates. Incoming students can designate interest in assistantships during the application process.

What’s an Assistantship?

An assistantship is a form of work study for graduate students that typically awards a tuition waiver and stipend in exchange for part-time work. While departments and offices at the University of Tennessee offer a number of different types of graduate assistantships and associateships, SIS positions are Graduate Teaching Assistantships. Most SIS GTA positions are one-quarter or one-half time, meaning they require either 10- or 20-hours of work per week.

What’s the “Award”?

GTAs offer a tuition waiver and stipend. Quarter-time stipends are monthly with payments occurring on the last working day of each month for the duration of the appointment. Half-time GTAs’ stipend is roughly double the quarter-time stipend.

In addition to the stipend, the graduate teaching assistantship provides a waiver of in-state or out-of-state maintenance/tuition fees for appointment term and, for on-campus students, health insurance benefits. (DE students are not eligible for student health insurance.) The assistantship does not cover the in-state or out-of-state charges for the programs/services fee, the health fee, the library fee, the facilities fee, the technology fee, or the transportation fee, the cost of books and materials needed for courses, housing, or graduation fees. The student is responsible for these costs.

How Can I Get an Assistantship?

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) awards a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs), typically to begin in the fall semester, to on-campus and distance education students. These opportunities are highly competitive. Applicants may indicate interest in a GTA position as part of the application process, and continuing students are invited to apply at the beginning of the spring semester for positions that will begin in the following August.

Where Can I Do An Assistantship?

Most SIS GTA positions are attached to either individual faculty members or administrative tasks. SIS partners with various organizations for a small number of additional opportunities, such as the Oak Ridge National Lab Graduate Assistantship and Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) Assistantship

How Long do Assistantships Last?

Assistantship positions are awarded for one academic year, though continuing students are encouraged to apply for the second year of study. SIS awards some 9-month and 12-month positions; GTA’s with 9-month appointments serve from August 1-July 31st and work in the fall and spring semesters of an academic year, although their tuition is waived and they continue to receive the stipend for the summer term. 12-month appointments also serve from August 1-July 31st, but have work responsibilities in the summer as well.

While most positions will begin in August and continue through July, SIS occasionally fills openings at other points during the academic year. In these cases, GTA recipients’ award also concludes on July 31st.

What Else Does the GTA Require?

Applicants who begin the program prior to the appointment must have a minimum of 18 semester hours remaining to complete the degree at the effective date of the appointment.

  • 10-hour GTA’s are required to maintain full-time enrollment (minimum of 9 hours) and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 during the appointment.
  • 20-hour GTA’s are required to enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 during the appointment.

What are GTA’s Typical Duties?

SIS GTA’s primarily perform various duties associated with faculty preparation for instruction or assist with research or service tasks. Some 12-month GTA’s are assigned to complete more administrative tasks. Other duties may be assigned upon approval/direction of the Director and/or Director of Graduate Studies.

How and When Do I Apply?

Application Instructions for New Students

Indicate your interest in an assistantship on the admissions application. No additional form is needed.
Please note: students who begin the program in the spring semester should submit an application but will have the option to indicate if they would like to use their MSIS admission application materials they submitted for the GTA application.

Application Instructions for Continuing Students

The application for continuing students will be available early in the spring semester and publicized on the UTKSIS ListServ. All continuing students who wish to be considered for a GTA must complete the application, even if they have previously been awarded a GTA. Applications and all supporting materials, including reference letters, are due February 8, 2022.

When Will I Find Out if I’ve Received a GTA?

While we try to make the application and award process as short as possible, the admissions committee considers a number of factors when making the GTA and scholarship awards. Consequently, students are sometimes offered GTA positions as late as July. We try to make our first round of GTA offers in March; subsequent offers are made as positions come available.