Financial Support for MA Students

Financial support is available to sociology graduate students. The major source of department support is in the form of teaching assistantships, which are granted every year on a competitive basis. Teaching assistants receive tuition remission and a substantial stipend. The department also awards the Chancellor’s Award each year to promising incoming students.

Students may also apply for Graduate School fellowships. UWM offers Advanced Opportunity Program fellowships to disadvantaged minority students on a competitive basis, Graduate School Fellowships and Dissertation Fellowships. More information about the fellowships and links to other UWM resources is available at Graduate School Types of Funding.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Program for MA Students

Teaching Assistantship Interest Form (pdf)

Teaching Assistantships provide guaranteed funding for 2 years for MA students. This funding includes a cash stipend, tuition remission for both in-state and out-of-state students, and low-cost health insurance for students and their families. Teaching assistantships are for full-time study. The Graduate School Guidelines for the appointment of teaching assistants are available for review. Application for a position is done via the submission of the Teaching Assistantship Interest Form (pdf).

MA students are usually appointed at 40%of full-time work during their first year and 50% during their second year.

Purpose of Graduate Teaching Assistant Program

The graduate teaching assistantship program provides teaching assistance to the department as well as financial support and professional training to students. Teaching assistant are University employees with the responsibility to discharge the duties prescribed by the University and the Department of Sociology. In return, the Department will ensure that the teaching assistant has the opportunity to increase and utilize the knowledge of the discipline. Student’s interests and preferences may be taken into consideration in assistantship assignment. Nevertheless, the needs and financial resources of the Department will be the most important criteria in the determination and allocation of specific assistantship assignments.

Duties and Hours

MA students with teaching assistantships are employed as graders for in-person or on-line undergraduate courses or as the primary instructor for discussion sections. Year 1 TAs with a 40% appointment work approximately 610 hours over the course of the academic year. On average they are expected to devote a minimum of 16 hours per week to their instructional duties under the supervision of a sociology faculty member. Year 2 MA students and all PhD students with a 50% appointment work approximately 760 hours over the course of the academic year; average of 20 hours per week.

Often the academic workload varies so that an equivalent number of hours of work each week may not be feasible. Because of this, graduate assistant and the supervising faculty member should discuss the workload, including assignments and schedules, at the beginning of each semester so that students may plan in advance for their study time. Teaching assistants are required to register for and complete a minimum of six degree graduate credits per semester.

Renewal of Teaching Assistantships

Assistantship awards are made for one academic year only. MA students are guaranteed 2 years of funding as long as the following criteria are met:

  • availability of funds;
  • maintenance of a cumulative grade point aver of 3.0 or above;
  • satisfactory progress toward the degree;
  • recommendation from the supervising faculty members; and
  • approval by the Department’s Graduate Committee and the Sociology Department Chair.