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Paid Assistantships

In addition to traditional financial aid, James Madison University's M.A. program in political science provides students with the possibility to undertake paid assistantships.

Assistantships cover the span of the academic year; they are renewable each semester based on performance. They provide an opportunity to gain professional experience while completing the degree. By the end of the academic year, assistants can confidently include a host of skills on their resumes. They can show, for example, that they have international professional experience in the areas of communication, research, logistics, event planning, and more, depending on their specific roles.

Social Media & Website

This assistant works with program staff, primarily as a social media manager for the JMU Florence accounts on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram). They are also tasked with the dissemination of program information, and institutional relations with stakeholders. The assistant is a skilled communicator with excellent writing capabilities and ideally experience in social media and/or print communications. Applicants to this position should submit a statement explaining their interest in the position and describing past work experiences related to the role.

Communications & Recruitment

This assistant helps to maintain relationships with program partners, alumni, faculty, and undergraduates and is in charge of producing the EUPS newsletter. In addition, they are tasked with assisting the Marketing and Recruitment Coordinator in various recruitment initiatives. The assistant has strong verbal communication and organizational skills and is an experienced organizational leader. Applicants for this position should submit a statement explaining why they are interested in the position and describing past work experiences that relate to the type of work required for the role.


Research Assistant

This assistant collaborates with program faculty and staff on research and/or creative projects and take on specific projects as assigned. The assistant should have excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills. Applicants to these positions should submit a statement explaining why they are interested in position and describing past research work. They are also encouraged to submit a sample of a research paper that showcases their research skills.

How to Apply for Assistantships

Applicants may apply for one or more assistantships. For each assistantship to which they apply, they should:

  • Submit a 3-4 paragraph statement of interest and qualifications. The statement should discuss relevant experiences and skills;
  • Submit supplemental materials (e.g., project outputs, research papers) that demonstrate their suitability for the assistantship;
  • Send all assistantship application materials to Dr. John Scherpereel.
For details about how to apply to the M.A. program, please go to the general application page.

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