Teaching, Research & Graduate Assistantships in USA


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 13 September 2022 & Read Time 6 minutes



The US is indeed the best destination to study abroad, but it is one of the costliest places to study. Studying without financial aid or any part-time job in the USA is difficult. There are a lot of assistantships offered by US universities that help students in working while they study. International students who participate in research and/or teaching in support of the institution's academic goal and their graduate study are granted assistantships, which provide financial support from the university.

The institution provides a salary, full tuition assistance, and private student health insurance to students with full assistantships. The university may grant assistantships to students pursuing full-time PhD and research master's degrees in any of the four categories: Teaching Assistant (TA), Research Assistant (RA), Graduate Research Assistant (GRA), and Academic Assistant, also known as Graduate Assistant (GA). Fields and departments are in charge of managing these assistantships.

Importance of Assistantships

Undoubtedly, the United States offers the best education, but one has to pay a heavy amount for this education. If you want to study in USA without any financial burden, then assistantships are the best rescue. One can work while they study in top universities of USA. These assistantships help students work with professionals in their chosen field and grant them a full tuition fee waiver.


The assistantships help students from multiple points of view that include:

  • All assistants get a set stipend from the university. This stipend amount may vary depending upon the field you want to work in. Stipends are usually paid on the last business day of the month. This stipend can help students in funding themselves while they study in USA.

  • Assistantships help students in gaining valuable work experience during their graduation. Assistants can put it in their CVs. During recruitment, it creates a good impression on the employer.

  • Assistantships mandate students to work with teachers and professionals in their chosen field. This helps widen the student or assistant network. This networking eventually helps in acquiring future guidance from experts in the field.

  • Numerous graduate assistantships help students reduce their tuition fees or give them a waiver on tuition fees. This can save international students from taking up student loans.

  • Graduate assistantships frequently give students the chance to put their knowledge into practice while receiving one-on-one instruction from academic or staff advisers. After receiving their degrees, students can advance in their careers by developing their abilities while working in their roles. Graduate assistants might be better equipped to position themselves as professionals from this point forward.

Types of Assistantships in USA for International Students


1. Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantship in US universities implies being a colleague to a teacher. Generally, every teacher has a lot of work to do apart from leading classes. Many of them pick a right hand to show the classes when they are absent. TAs also help in leading class discussions and assisting the teachers during conferences.

How to Get Teaching Assistantship

Basic requirements to get a teaching assistantship are:

  • Participated in one of the alumni programs at the university
  • English proficiency
  • Participation in a university-sponsored teaching assistant program is needed
  • One should have a strong academic background (GPA requirements of every university are different)

After finishing their semester, students need to go through the profile of the professors from their courses and choose the professor they want to work with. The stipend TAs get is not from the professor's pocket; it comes from the university, which the public authority or other trustees give.


2. Research Assistantships

A research assistant (RA) is a student who works 15 to 20 hours per week—on average, no more than 15—on research that is not directly linked to their thesis. An RA job, for instance, can involve data analysis for a faculty research project unrelated to the student's dissertation subject. There is no separate application, as there is for other assistantships. Departments, disciplines, or particular faculty members can designate students.

When we talk about Teaching assistantship versus Research assistantship, the principal distinction between the two is that while TAs are mostly worried about assisting the teacher with education, RA plays a much more extensive part in research projects.

The Most Effective Method to get Research Assistantship

You can apply for this post when you apply to your college. However, one gets shortlisted for the position after the first semester.

Requirements for Research Assistantships are:

  • Enrolled in one of the university's graduate programmes.
  • Good GPA or overall score.
  • Language proficiency in English (both written and spoken)
  • Satisfy all enrolment requirements set forth by the university.


3. Graduate Assistantships

GA is equivalent to RA, as is their course of utilization in many colleges.

The fundamental qualification of exploration assistantship in many colleges is:

  • Take part in a graduate programme
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in all subjects.
  • Possess prior experience serving in leadership roles, including on the student council
  • Knowledge of fundamental computer skills
  • Should know arranging events for college students
  • Should know performing research experiments and data analysis

The primary difference between a teaching assistantship, a research assistantship, and a graduate assistantship is that GAs are paid more than RAs and TAs because they have better knowledge of the topic.

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How to Get Assistantships in US Universities?

The method involved with getting an assistantship might fluctuate among universities. There is still no set procedure for getting assistantships. It all depends upon your academic performance and your relationship with your professors. If a professor sees potential in you, they can accept your application for an assistantship.

The Guidelines for getting an Assistantship are:


Consider your options before enrolling: Before beginning a master's or doctoral programme, it may be beneficial for you to look into your options for employment as a graduate assistant. To assess your chances of getting an assistantship, you can enquire about the availability of such opportunities and how competitive they are.


Talk to your adviser: While enrolled, you can discuss your aspirations for obtaining an assistantship with your graduate school adviser. Your advisor might be able to provide you with details on the specific options that are accessible to you.


Research: By searching online, you might be able to locate job postings for graduate assistantships. Colleges and universities frequently publish job openings for these positions on their websites for student employment.


Network: Talking to and developing relationships with other students, staff, and faculty members may help you acquire a graduate assistantship. For instance, a professor who respects your abilities and needs help with a research project or teaching responsibilities can offer you a chance.

Top US Universities

There are plenty of US universities that offer assistantships to deserving students. Here are some universities you can apply to if you want assistantships:

  1. Kent State University
  2. University of Idaho
  3. The University of Alabama
  4. University of Findlay
  5. University of South Alabama


Are you looking for opportunities to study in USA on a total tuition fee waiver? You can get in touch with experienced counsellors of Meridean overseas at 1800-1230-00011 or mail us your queries at application02@meridean.org .


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