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Graduate Student Funding Opportunities

The English Department has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships to offer each year, though we work hard to fund as many accepted students as possible. Assistants receive a full tuition waiver and a modest living stipend. Students receiving graduate assistantships through the English program will complete two years of a multifaceted assistantship experience.

Teaching Year

(This may be year one or year two, depending on the number of assistantships and the number of opportunities):

  • In the fall of the “teaching year,” students will serve as teaching assistants in an undergraduate course for English majors, usually in a section of ENG 299, Writing About Literature. This will offer students the opportunity to lead some discussions, do minimal grading, and work closely with the instructor, all while reviewing the important building blocks of the discipline. Instructors will submit a short assessment of each teaching assistant’s performance at the conclusion of the semester.

  • In the spring of the “teaching year,” students will serve as discussion section leaders in a larger course. Each student will lead an independent discussion section once a week and grade assignments for the section, while norming grades and working closely with the instructor of the course. At the same time, students will register for ENG 605 (Professional Seminar in Literature Pedagogy), a 3-credit course designed to inform and supplement their experience as discussion section leaders.
Non-teaching Year

(This may be year one or year two, depending on the number of assistantships and the number of opportunities):

  • In the non-teaching year, students will be assigned to work a non-teaching role designed to build a broader experience in the discipline and in allied professional contexts. The placement of these positions (15-20 hours/week) can vary from year-to-year, but in the past students have served as editorial assistants for an academic journal housed in our department, graduate assistants in the library’s Special Collections, and senior tutors in the University Writing Center. Every effort will be made to match student interests and experience with the appropriate non-teaching experience.

  • Students who do not initially receive an offer of a Graduate Assistantship should take advantage of the assistantship opportunities advertised by other campus offices. Interested students should search for such opportunities (advertised under “Graduate Assistants”) on the JMU joblink system  and follow the application instructions provided.        

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