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Assistantship Fact Sheet

General Information

    To determine which departments on campus use assistants, you may view a list of assistantship departments.

    Assistantships funded through grants may be paid at differing rates and tuition scholarships may or may not be available. Assistantships do not pay tuition for courses dropped after the university's tuition refund deadline.

    Tuition for dropped courses will be the responsibility of the student. Graduate assistantships do not pay undergraduate tuition.

    Distance learning tuition rates will not be paid in situations that require additional expenditures from the assistantship budget. GAs are responsible for tuition for all additional hours or tuition costs above the designated number covered by the contract.

    All GAs assist their assistantship department 20 hours per week and earn a stipend, which is paid in semi-monthly installments. Stipends for GAs are $7382 ($3,691 per semester).

    Stipends for TAs are $8,664 ($4,332 per semester). Assistantships pay 9 credits of graduate coursework each semester. Health Insurance is not included in assistantships.

    Graduate students may purchase health insurance, for information call: 800-296-1301 or 540-434-1301.

Types of Assistantships

There are 3 types of assistantships available at James Madison University: Graduate, Teaching, Doctoral.

    Graduate Assistantships
    Graduate Assistants are assigned to an academic department to assist faculty members in preparing for instruction, grading papers, conducting research, preparing laboratories, performing departmental administrative tasks, etc. or GAs may be assigned to an administrative office. Specific duties will vary.

    Teaching Assistantships
    Teaching Assistants are assigned to an academic department and are expected to instruct six credit hours of course work or an equivalent of six credit hours of laboratory. Students may also be awarded a teaching assistantship to assist other professors, within the department, with grading, etc. Teaching assistants must have completed a minimum of 18 hours of appropriate graduate coursework. Teaching Assistants are directly supervised by a graduate faculty member.

    Doctoral Assistantships
    Some Doctoral Assistantships may cover more than 9 hours/semester tuition. Some Doctoral Assistantships may pay higher stipend. Some Doctoral Assistantships may be in effect through summer.

Assistantship Criteria

    To be considered for an assistantship a student must: Be conditionally or unconditionally accepted into a graduate degree program, Have an official transcript on file indicating completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution within the first semester if the degree is completed the summer prior to fall enrollment. To retain or reapply for an assistantship, a student must maintain an overall GPA of a 3.0 or higher.

The Application Process
Your graduate program may have assistantship positions that you may be eligible to fill. Your first step to acquire an assistantship should be to contact your own graduate program to inform them of your interest in an assistantship.

To apply for an assistantship

  • go to http://joblink.jmu.edu click on "login as applicant" click on "search job openings"
  •  under position type drop down menu, click on "graduate assistantship" click on "search"
  •  select position you are interested in and complete and submit application. Assistantship departments contact applicants directly to set up interviews.
  •  If you are selected for an assistantship, the department draws up contract materials and forwards them to TGS.
  • After you sign the contract and complete the tax forms, return them immediately to the assistantship department so information can be entered into the payroll system.

Questions concerning your assistantship should be made directly to the assistantship department.

Regarding Additional JMU Employment:
Graduate students receiving stipends from VA state funds are occasionally permitted to accept JMU employment in addition to the 20 assistantship hours. Permission for such employment must come from The Graduate School, in response to a request by the student's graduate coordinator or advisor. The student and the coordinator or advisor should carefully consider the overall effect of additional employment on the student's academic performance. If the coordinator or adviser endorses the additional employment, he or she sends an e-mail requesting approval to the Director of Student Support. If approved, TGS will notify payroll.

For Departments

GA Contract


MBA Graduate Students win big in the Google online challenge!

Important Dates and Deadlines 

Fall 2013

September 27  - last day to submit an application to graduate in December

November 22 - comprehensive assessment results and thesis/research project/dissertation due to The Graduate School

December 13   - Course completion deadline for December graduation


Representatives of the JMU Alpha Sigma Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota (the international honor society for the counseling profession) received the Outstanding Chapter Individual Program Award at the American Counseling Association Annual Convention March 22, 2013. Read the details of this prestigious honor!


With a decade of military service and a freshly minted graduate degree from James Madison University, Andrew Marsh is ready to join the faculty ranks at the U.S. Military Academy.... http://www.jmu.edu/news/2013/04/29-graduate-andrew-marsh.shtml


The GSA now has an informative and entertaining blog about personal and professional development as well as fun things to do in Harrisonburg! Check it out here. http://jmugsa.blogspot.com


Jason Kopp, will complete a third-year internship at The College Board when he moves to New York City to work in the College Board’s Manhattan office. Jason’s internship will take place from August 2013 to May 2014. Jason is the 5th Assessment & Measurement doctoral student to be awarded The College Board academic year internship; others have included Pamela Kaliski, Carol Barry, Megan France, Chris Coleman and Becca Marsh. Congratulations Jason!

 Ross Markle (Ph.D., 2010), Associate Research Scientist at the Educational Testing Service's Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness and Success, will return to the JMU campus to give a talk on his work with ETS. He will be speaking on February 15 at the Center for Assessment and Research Studies on Noncognitive Factors and Student Success: A Journey of Theory, Measurement, and Applied Research. Over the past several years, the Center for Academic and Workforce Readiness at ETS has been researching and developing noncognitive assessments to improve student success in higher education. This talk will briefly review the large scope of this project, which includes assessment development, implementing a national field trial, advanced measurement and psychometric research applications, and initial results. For new and developing researchers, this talk will explore many potential applications of assessment and measurement skills in a high-profile, applied project. For faculty and staff, this talk will introduce a new and innovative assessment that is designed to impact student success. Lastly, the conversation will move to future plans for this work, including potential collaborations and expansions. Dr. Markle is one of, now, 35 graduates who have earned their Ph.D. through JMU's doctoral program in assessment and measurement.   


Assessment & Measurement PhD and Psychological Sciences MA Students and Faculty Present at NERA Conference: http://www.psyc.jmu.edu/assessment/features/nera2012.html



Dr. Anne Stewart is elected to receive the 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award by the  State Council of Higher Education for Virginia!  Read more...


Justine Schembri, a May 2011 graduate of the ISAT-Malta program is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS (Conference of Southern Graduate Schools*) Master's Thesis Award in Life Sciences.

Jason Kopp, a doctoral student in the Assessment and Measurement Ph.D. program, and graduate of the Psychological Sciences master's program, is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS Master's Thesis Award in Social Sciences, Business and Education.  Read more...

Dr. Sarah Finney, with the Center for Assessment and Research Studes and the Ph.D. progra in Assessment and Measurement is selected to receive the 2012 CSGS Outstanding Mentor Award for her work with master's and doctoral students at JMU.

*The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (of which JMU is a member) is an organization of over 200 gradaute schools in the following 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland. Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.


Dr. Brenda Ryals, faculty in the Communication Sciences and Disorders progam,  is the recipient of the 2012 Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology. Read more...


JMU Graduate Student, Sarah DiDimenco,  is Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (VOTA) scholarship award winner ....  more.

"Like" the JMU Graduate Student Association (GSA) on Facebook. Click the link below.

JMU Graduate Student Association  

If you would like to receive email notifications of GSA activities and information, please send an email to JMUGSA@gmail.com and indicate your interest.   Visit the JMU GSA webpage: www.jmu.edu/grad/gsa

Assessment Stars Aim High
(JMU's Assessment and Measurement Program):

Click here to read more.