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Research and Assistantships in the USA

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

The US is considered one of the best countries to pursue higher studies. It also happens to be one of the most expensive. Therefore, students constantly seek ways to reduce the financial burden using scholarships, grants, etc. Obtaining a graduate assistantship in the USA is one such way of supporting students financially.

Research and Assistantships in the USA
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What are Assistantships in the USA

The Assistantship is a kind of grant which is a little bit difficult to live with as it requires your time of the day on physical work while you apply your brain to your studies. However, assistantships help you save on expenses abroad and gain relevant experience.

A graduate assistantship in the USA is a salaried employment opportunity for graduate students. Graduate assistants in the USA work a set number of hours per week and, in return, receive a tuition waiver and, often, a monthly living stipend.

Different Types of Assistantships Available in the USA

There are different kinds of assistantships available at most of the universities in the USA, and three such types are below:

  • Teaching Assistantships (TA)

  • Research Assistantships (RA)

  • Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Before we discuss each of them, it is crucial to understand that assistantships differ from scholarships.

Teaching Assistantship in the USA

Teaching Assistantship in US universities means being an assistant to a professor. Usually, every professor has some work to do apart from conducting classes. Most of them pick an assistant to teach the classes when absent.

What are the Responsibilities of a Teaching Assistant in the USA?

The duties of the teaching assistantship in US universities generally include the following:

  • Preparing and conducting lectures

  • Leading discussion groups

  • Preparing & checking assignments

  • Assisting students

  • Helping professors with daily activities

Research Assistantship in the USA

When a student is assigned a Graduate Research Assistantship in the USA, they are required to help the professor with their research work and are assigned to work in their lab or office. The assistant gets first-hand experience in research, while the professors benefit as it reduces their workload.

How to Get Research Assistantship in the USA?

You can apply for this post when you apply for your university, but you will only get the job once you finish your first semester.

The basic eligibility for research assistantship in most universities is as follows:

  • Be admitted to one of the graduate programs at the university

  • Proficiency in English Language (both written and spoken)

  • Research experience & knowledge of the field is desirable

  • Good Overall score or GPA

Graduate Assistantship in the USA

Graduate research assistantship opportunities in the USA for international students are one of the other significant ways to finance education in the USA. A graduate assistant helps the professor or faculty member in several fields, including teaching, class preparation, research, etc. GA requires 15 to 20 hours a week for the base stipend established by the university.

How to Get a Graduate Assistantship in the USA?

GA is the same as RA, and so is the application process in most universities.

The basic eligibility for research assistantship in most universities is as follows:

  • Admitted to one of the graduate programs at the university

  • Good Overall score or GPA

  • Proficiency in English Language (both written and spoken)

  • Fulfill any university-specific enrollment requirements

List of Universities Offering Assistantship in the USA for International Students:

The list of 10 universities offering graduate assistantships in the USA:

  • University of South Florida

  • State University of New York

  • West Virginia University

  • University of Houston

  • Cornell University

  • University of Nevada

  • Cleveland State University

  • Penn State University

How to get Assistantships in US Universities?

The process of obtaining an assistantship may vary between departments and universities. The method may include an application, a face-to-face interview, or an essay submission.

The step-by-step guidelines for obtaining an Assistantship are as follows:

  • Contact the Department to enquire about any present or future assistantship openings.

  • Study the profiles of the professors at the University Department very carefully. Shortlist the professors who are currently working in your Department.

  • Study the professor and the research area they are working on in detail.

  • Prepare an Assistantship cover letter.

  • Schedule an appointment with the professor to discuss possible opportunities to work as a teaching or research assistant.

  • Explain in detail your teaching and research experience, if any, and all relevant work you have performed.

  • The professor will make the final decision whether to employ you or not, and he is the one who will decide your pay.


Finally, it is essential to understand that assistantships are not easy to get, but if you get them, they can be beneficial. It would help if you considered the Assistantship option apart from scholarships and financial aid, as this will help you learn while you make some money for living in an unknown space.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming, so we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From preparing for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

Feel free to reach us at Hello Study Global.

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