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To be eligible to receive an assistantship upon entry into a graduate program, the following criteria must be met:

  • The student must be conditionally or unconditionally accepted into a graduate program. Students who are provisionally accepted will not be eligible until they achieve conditional or unconditional acceptance into their program.
  • The students must have an official transcript on file indicating completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • After receiving an assistantship, the student must maintain at least a 3.0 graduate GPA in order to retain or reapply for the assistantship.

These are minimum criteria. Graduate program coordinators have the right to impose additional criteria if they see fit.


The following information can be found on this page:

Types of Assistantships
Tuition Scholarships
Registration Policies
Application Process
Additional JMU Employment

Additional information can be found at the following links:

Assistantship Departments
Hiring and Contract Guidelines
GA Contract Form


Types of Assistantships

Teaching Assistant (TA)
A limited number of Teaching Assistantships are available in departments offering major programs of graduate study. Students awarded a teaching assistantship are assigned to an academic department and are expected to instruct 6 credit hours of course work or laboratory. Students may also be awarded a teaching assistantship to assist professors within the department with grading, etc; TA’s carry a course load of 9 credit hours of graduate study per semester. TA’s must have completed 18 graduate credits in the teaching discipline and be directly supervised by a faculty member (SACS requirement).

Graduate Assistant (GA)
Graduate Assistants are assigned to an academic department or administrative office to assist faculty members in preparing for instruction, grading papers, conducting research, preparing laboratories, performing departmental administrative tasks, or other assignments as required by the assistantship department. Assistantships require 20 hours per week in the assistantship department; GA’s carry a course load of 9 hours of graduate study per semester.

Doctoral Assistants
Some Doctoral Assistantships are available and may cover more than 9 hours/semester tuition. Doctoral Assistantships may be in effect through summer.

Other Types of Assistants
Some Graduate Assistants are assigned to Student Affairs, Athletics, or grants. The assistantships in Student Affairs are handled within their division, and the grant related assistantships are handled individually by departments with external funding.

  • Graduate assistantships do not pay undergraduate tuition.
  • Tuition will be covered at the on-campus rate for the hours stated on the contract. Any additional credit hours and any additional charges for web-based courses will be the responsibility of the student.



Assistants are typically paid the following stipends :
Teaching Assistant (TA and AA):  $8,837 ($4,418.50 per semester)
Graduate Assistant (GA): $7,530 ($3,765 per semester)

Doctoral Assistants and Assistants funded through grants may be paid at different rates.

Health Insurance is not included in assistantships. Graduate students may purchase health insurance; for information please call the Health Center.

Tuition Scholarships

Assistants receive the following tuition scholarship amounts, per semester, for graduate level course work only:

Teaching Assistant (TA)

9 credit hours

Graduate Assistant (GA)

9 credit hours

Service Assistant (SA)

9 credit hours

Athletic Assistants (AA)

9 credit hours

DOC tuition awards may differ. Grant-funded assistantship tuition scholarships may or may not be available. GAs are responsible for tuition for any undergraduate hours and for all additional hours for which the student is registered over and above the designated number specified in your contract.

Registration Policies

All assistants must register each semester for all courses to be paid by tuition scholarship during the regular registration period, and prior to the tuition refund date outlined in the current Schedule of Classes. Students who register for additional courses after this time will be held personally responsible for additional tuition and fees.
NOTE: 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 and the student will receive a grade of W for the course. Exceptions will be made only for documented extenuating circumstances and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
The registration period for graduate students coincides with registration for undergraduate students.

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 "search job openings"
· Select "graduate assistantship" from the position type dropdown menu
· Click on "search"
· Select the position you are interested in then complete and submit the 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 the Graduate School. 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 assistantship’s 20 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 advisor 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.


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.

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Assessment Stars Aim High
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