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Assistantships

Overview

A limited number of assistantships are available in all graduate programs and can be awarded to fully admitted, degree-seeking students. Individual offices on campus also offer assistantship or student employment opportunities.

Offices That Hire Graduate Assistants  |  Offices That Hire Graduate Student Employees

Requirements & Eligibility

A student who is awarded an assistantship is required to be a degree-seeking graduate student at the College of Charleston currently enrolled in graduate courses.  Applicants must be in good standing in their degree program.  Out-of-state students awarded an assistantship are eligible for an abatement, which are funds that cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition rates.

If you are awarded an assistantship but will not be enrolled in at least six hours of graduate credit, you must submit a request for a Category B Assistantship.

Earnings & Workload

Graduate Assistants: The minimum earnings for a student awarded a full-time graduate assistantship are $12,400 for the academic year, or $6,200 per semester.  This amount is based on 300 hours of work a semester with roughly 20 hours of work per week.  Students awarded a part-time graduate assistantship may earn at least $6,200 for the academic year, or $3,100 per semester.  This amount is based on 150 hours of work a semester with roughly 10 hours of work per week.  Graduate assistants are paid for actual hours worked and should record their time accurately on their timsheet.

Research Assistants: The minimum earnings for a student awarded a full-time research assistantship are $12,400 for the academic year, or $6,200 per semester.  This amount is based on 300 hours of work a semester with roughly 20 hours of work per week.  Students awarded a part-time research assistantship may earn at least $6,200 for the academic year, or $3,100 per semester.  This amount is based on 150 hours of work a semester with roughly 10 hours of work per week.  Research assistants are paid for actual hours worked and should record their time accurately on their timsheet.  NOTE: This pay rate only applies to graduate students hired as research assistants NOT supported by a grant.  Graduate students hired as research assistants who are supported by a grant may have a different pay structure. 

How to Enter Your Time in MyCharleston

Teaching Assistants: The minimum earnings for a student awarded a teaching assistantship are $13,300 for the academic year.  Teaching assistants tend to be in the sciences and typically assist with 2-3 lab sections for introductory courses.  Teaching assistants do not have to submit timesheets as their total earnings are divided evenly across the pay periods within their contract dates.

To Be Considered for an Assistantship

  • Contact your program director for possible opportunities
  • Check the Career Center's employment portal, CougarJobLink, to search for assistantship positions
  • Submit an assistantship application and a copy of your résumé to the Graduate School at gradstud@cofc.edu.  The Graduate School will make your application available to interested offices via an online database and will forward your application to any office you request.  Assistantship applications are kept on file in the Graduate School office for one year.

NOTE: Submitting an assistantship applicaton does not mean you have applied to a particular assistantship.

Required Orientation for New Student Employees

New student employees must attend an orientation hosted by the Career Center before they can begin work.  Once a student has signed their assistantship letter, they should schedule this orientation.  Orientation dates and information regarding the required documents are available on the Career Center's Student Employment website.

Students awarded an assistantship are required to carry at least the minimal course load required of a full-time graduate student at the College and must maintain a satisfactory grade point average of at least a 3.0 at the Graduate School. A student must be admitted as a degree-seeking student in order to be considered for an assistantship. Out-of-state students on assistantships may apply for an abatement of the out-of-state portion of tuition, enabling them to pay in-state rates.

The hiring processes for each of the four types of Assistantship are described below:

Required Orientation and Documents: 

New hires are required to attend the New Student Employee Orientation provided by the Career Center where they will need to submit the following documents.  Students should visit the Career Center's website to sign up for orientation and for detailed instructions on what documentation is acceptable for I-9 verification.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are general assistantships which provide project and other support either in the students’ program office or in other offices at the College.

In order to hire a Graduate Assistant, complete these two items and forward to the Graduate School office for processing.

Please note that the ‘Program Director’ signature line must be signed by the Director of the student’s academic program, not by the Director of the department hiring the student.

Graduate Assistants Only: Hiring departments and offices must select a Standard Occupational Code (SOC) for the GAEAF form.     

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are teaching positions that place graduate students in an undergraduate class or lab setting.  SACS criteria, which must be met, require that each TA must be under the direct supervision of a faculty member with experience in the teaching discipline, receive regular in-service training, and be evaluated regularly. In addition, graduate teaching assistants who have primary responsibility for teaching a course or lab for credit and/or for assigning final grades for such a course must have earned at least 18 graduate credit hours. TAs will normally not be the “instructor-of-record” for any course or lab. Exceptions must be approved by the appropriate school dean, who will forward written approval to the Graduate School office.

In order to hire a Teaching Assistant, complete these two items and forward to the Graduate School office for processing.

Please note that the ‘Program Director’ signature line must be signed by the Director of the student’s academic program, not by the Director of the department hiring the student.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships, usually funded under a grant, focus on supporting and engaging in the research of an established College professor or researcher affiliated with the college. Research Assistantships are paid either Hourly, as employees of the College of Charleston, or with Stipends through Expense Authorizations processed by the Controller’s Office.

The hiring process for each type of Research Assistantship is described below:

Research Assistant (Hourly)

In order to hire a Research Assistant (Hourly), complete these two items and forward to the Graduate School office for processing.

It is appropriate to use the Hourly paperwork if the student performs work primarily for the benefit of the professor or researcher.

Please note that the ‘Program Director’ signature line must be signed by the Director of the student’s academic program, not by the Director of the department hiring the student.

Research Assistant (Stipend)

In order to award a Research Assistant (Stipend), complete these three items and forward to the Graduate School office for processing.

It is appropriate to use the Stipend process if the work is done primarily for the student’s own research, and secondarily for the benefit of the professor or researcher.

Please note that the ‘Program Director’ signature line must be signed by the Director of the student’s academic program, not by the Director of the department making the award to the student. An Expense Authorization form must be included with the award paperwork.

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