Teaching & Research Assistantships
A variety of graduate assistantships, fellowships, and funding opportunities is available to graduate students in the Rhetoric & Writing graduate program, depending on the student’s level of professional and instructional experience.
It is our goal to admit PhD students with the promise of a four-year assistantship or fellowship package. Students are usually admitted to the MA programs without an assistantship package; however, the program can help MA students locate support for their studies.
Financial support is available in a variety of forms–some to recruit new students, some to support current students. Support is available for travel and research as well as to provide emergency funding. Graduate students should get in the habit of applying regularly for funding and grants; it is an important (and necessary) professional skill. For a full list of available fellowships and funding opportunities from the Graduate School, see http://grad.msu.edu/funding/.
Assistantships and Stipends
The most typical form of support for graduate students in the Rhetoric & Writing program is a half-time graduate assistantship–either a teaching assistantship or a research assistantship–that is awarded at the time of admission to the program. The teaching load for half-time teaching assistants is 1/1–that is, one course per semester. A half-time assistantship pays a stipend and provides the student with a tuition waiver and health benefits. The exact amount of the stipend depends on the student’s level of professional experience.
Graduate assistantship stipends are subject to income taxes with few exceptions. However, stipends are not subject to Social Security (FICA) taxes. The taxability of stipends is subject to review by the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, call the Payroll Office at 517.355.5010. Please note that tax laws are subject to continuing revision and students should verify their tax liability yearly.
Types of Assistantships
Teaching and research assistantships are available in a number of areas related to the program: the First-Year Writing Program (WRAC); Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities (IAH); the Writing Center; the English department (ENG); the WIDE Research Center; the NCTE Research Series; Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction; CAITLAH; MATRIX; and others that vary from year to year.
Other assistantships are available in other departments across campus.
Fellowships & Financial Awards for Current Students
There are a number of competitive fellowships available to students already enrolled in the Rhetoric & Writing program that are provided by the Graduate School, by the College of Arts & Letters, and by other units in the university.