The English Department has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships to offer each year. Assistants receive a tuition waiver and a stipend. Their duties are to assist faculty members in preparing for instruction, grading papers, conducting research, performing departmental administrative tasks, or other assignments as required by the Department. Assistantships require a commitment of 20 hours per week, and GAs carry a course load of 9 hours of graduate study per semester.
Graduate Assistantships in other departments and other campus offices are available to English M.A. students. Interested students should search for such opportunities on the JMU joblink system and follow the application instructions provided.
The Graduate Assistantship for most first year English M.A. students is designed to introduce students to the teaching of literature. In the fall semester, GAs attend an English faculty member’s literature survey class and meet with the instructor once a week to discuss the course. Topics include pedagogy, classroom dynamics, grading, as well as lecture and discussion strategies for presenting literary texts to non-majors on the sophomore level. In the spring, GAs assist in a section of the course. In addition, some students are placed in the JMU Writing Center, assigned to faculty as Research Assistants, or given other duties.
GAs receive both a tuition waiver for 9 hours of graduate credit and a stipend. Because GAs are not subject to the requirement of 18 hours of completed graduate credit, Graduate Assistantships are available to first-year students. GAs must carry 9 credit hours each semester.
Criteria for Graduate Assistantships including the following:
- Candidates must have achieved unconditional or conditional acceptance into the M.A. program. Official transcripts and satisfactory GRE scores must be on file with The Graduate School. Candidates with incomplete applications will not be considered for a graduate assistantship.
- GAs must carry a course load of 9 hours during the semester of their assistantship.
- GAs must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to retain or reapply for the assistantship.
- Candidates should possess an interest in the teaching of literature, the maturity to assist faculty responsibly and work with students effectively, and the organizational skills essential to balancing academic and GA duties.
- Additional policies apply. See the Graduate Catalogue under Financial Assistance.
Students awarded a Teaching Assistantship are expected to instruct 6 credit hours of course work per year, typically GWRIT 103, or to assist professors within the English department with grading and other classroom duties. TAs carry a course load of 9 credit hours of graduate study per semester. TAs must have completed 18 graduate credits in the discipline and be directly supervised by a faculty member (SACS requirement). A Teaching Assistantship is usually awarded for the entire academic year (two regular semesters), and students teach one course each semester. In some cases, an assistantship may be awarded for one semester only. Teaching Assistants receive a stipend in compensation for teaching duties along with a tuition waiver for a maximum of 9 hours of graduate credit during the semesters of assigned teaching.
Criteria for Teaching Assistantships include the following:
- Candidates must have achieved unconditional acceptance into the M.A. program.
Official transcripts and satisfactory GRE scores must be on file with The Graduate School. Candidates with incomplete applications will not be considered for a Teaching Assistantship.
- 18 credit hours of coursework must be completed before an assistantship will be awarded.
- Students who teach GWRIT 103 are required to enroll in ENG 501: Professional Seminar in College Composition, typically taught by faculty in the WRTC Program, during the semester prior to their appointment as a TA. Students must earn a grade of B or higher in ENG 501.
- TAs assigned to teach sections of GWRIT 103 will be required to attend orientation workshops organized by the WRTC faculty. Teachers of GWRIT 103 also must participate in the mentoring program supervised by the WRTC faculty.
- TAs must carry a 9-hour course load or submit an underload form for the semester in which they teach. Underloads may be used only one semester. The minimum load is 6 credit hours in that one semester.
- TAs must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to retain or reapply for the assistantship.
- Candidates for teaching assistantships should possess the maturity, organization, knowledge, and enthusiasm needed to be responsible classroom instructors.
JMU Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
JMU Student Employment
See also "Grants' under English Graduate Research