Financial Aid

Teaching & Research Assistants

Teaching Assistantships:

  • A limited number of teaching assistantships are available for qualified full-time students
  • These positions are assigned by the student's department and are subject to the agreement between UMass Lowell and UAW/Graduate Employees Organization
  • All requests for teaching assistantships should be directed to the graduate coordinator or chairperson in a particular program
  • A student who signs a teaching assistantship contract after April 15 is legally bound to honor this agreement and may not accept an offer from another institution, in accordance with the 1988 Council of Graduate Schools resolution governing this matter
  • Students interested in receiving an assistantship should file their applications for admission to a degree program as early as possible, checking the appropriate box on the application form
  • A student who is to receive an assistantship will be notified and sent a contract directly by the department
  • Reappointments in succeeding years are contingent upon satisfactory performance of duties as well as academic achievement

To ensure that teaching assistantships are awarded to the most qualified individuals, the Graduate School has established the following requirements:

  • No teaching/research assistantship may be awarded to a graduate student with incompletes, F's, or U's on his or her transcript
  • No teaching/research assistantship may be awarded to a graduate student with a cumulative grade point average under 3.0 on the official transcript
  • No university-funded teaching/research assistantship may be awarded to a master's degree candidate if he or she has completed the total number of credits required for his or her program
  • Level 3 teaching/research assistantships may only be awarded to graduate students who have reached doctoral candidacy (i.e. completed all course work, oral/written and language examinations) and are enrolled in dissertation research

Research Assistantships Funded by Principal Investigators:

Research assistantships are available through special arrangements with individual research advisors. Individuals interested in research assistantships should contact departmental faculty members concerning the availability of this form of financial aid.  Students who receive teaching or research assistantships must be matriculated and full-time (minimum of 9 credits per semester).

TA/RA Amounts:   

The amount of the teaching or research assistantship (TA or RA) for each semester or academic year is set according to agreement between UMass Lowell and the UAW/Graduate Employees Organization. 

For in-state students, a full-time assistantship carries a taxable stipend plus a tuition and operating fees waiver for nine credits each semester. A half-time assistantship for in-state students carries a taxable stipend plus a half tuition and operating fees waiver for nine credits each semester.

For out-of-state students, a fulltime assistantship carries the same taxable stipend as the in-state students, plus an out-of-state tuition and operating fees waiver for nine credits.  A half-time assistantship for an out-of-state student carries the same taxable stipend as the in-state students, plus a half out-of-state tuition and operating fees waiver for nine credits.

Waiver and stipend amounts are governed by the Union Agreement between the University and UAW/Graduate Employees Organization.

The TA and RA contract packages do not include summer support, which may be available in the department from individual researchers. Stipend information for the current year may be found on the Human Resources website. Master's and doctoral students in their first year qualify for "stipend level 1." Doctoral students who have passed their qualifying exam may qualify for "stipend level 2," and "stipend level 3" is awarded to doctoral students who have passed all area and language examinations (oral and written), who have completed all course work, who have successfully defended their research proposal(s), and who are registered for full-time dissertation research.

Graduate Student Assistantships:

A limited number of student assistantships are available in the departments. Students in this category are paid an hourly rate and are obligated to pay their own tuition and fees. All queries concerning assistantships should be directed to the graduate coordinator in the student's department.