The department has both state-supported teaching assistantships and federally-supported research assistantships. It is unusual for an incoming student to be supported on a federal research grant, most first-year graduate students are teaching assistants. If you have a background that automatically qualifies you for particular kinds of aid (e.g., minority fellowships), the department will automatically apply for these on your behalf.
Assistantships currently pay $2,111 a month, plus tuition. Assistantships can be for either the nine-month academic year, or for twelve months. Living expenses and other fees (books, etc.) are your responsibility.
All teaching assistants are expected to work about 20 hours per week. Duties fall into one or more of the following types:
- Helping maintain our Unix/Linux network. These students add new user accounts, install new workstations, install new software, etc. A strong background in C and Unix/Linux is expected.
- Teaching laboratory sections for both our introductory course for non-majors and the beginning programming course. In addition to a knowledge of the subject matter, good "people skills" are important.
- Grading various undergraduate courses.
None of these duties are assigned until the day before classes start and may vary from one semester to another. Some students, after they have been here at least a semester, may be hired onto a research grant.