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Graduate Research Assistantships

2017-2018 Graduate Assistantship announcement

The Office of Graduate Studies offers a limited number of graduate assistantships for new or continuing graduate students showing outstanding merit. These are research assistantships – awardees will work directly with faculty on a project relevant to the professional area of study. A research assistantship offers an opportunity to gain an academic experience that directly complements the student’s degree program curriculum. All assistantships are diverse in nature and encompass a wide variety of responsibilities and duties while allowing students to also achieve their academic goals. The graduate assistant’s responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, support of teaching, research, administration, and other professional activities. The purpose of these awards is to attract and retain meritorious graduate students who will contribute to the academic life of the College.

Research Assistant (RA) Awards

In exchange for a tuition scholarship of six (6) graduate credits in both the Fall and Spring semesters, a research assistant (RA) will be expected to work up to a maximum of 10 hours per week on a faculty-designed project. Graduate research assistants receive 12 graduate credits of tuition remission per academic year. Fees that are specific to courses or to individual students are not included in the remission (e.g. Art studio fees, supplies, parking and/or Health Insurance, etc.).

The specifics of an RA’s hours, duties, or other matters such as the availability of extra stipends will vary from department to department and year to year. (Note that tuition scholarships are not considered taxable income, whereas stipends are.)

RAs will be available each Fall; Spring-only RAs may occasionally become available. Faculty in relevant academic departments (Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Business, Education, and Counseling) will be invited to propose RA projects, and awards will be made based upon merit and “fit” with available projects. If no suitable project is available for a chosen applicant, the student will have the option of a placement in the Office of Graduate Studies.


Graduate Research Assistantships are open to new or continuing doctoral or master’s degree students who are fully admitted and in good academic standing, enrolling as matriculated students in the semesters of the Assistantship. In the event of multiple applicants, preference may be given to continuing students who have established a strong academic record.

RAs are awarded for a time period specified in the offering letter, usually the Fall-Spring academic year, and awardees should not expect routine renewal or extension of appointments, though they may re-apply for a subsequent award.

Application Process

Prospective applicants should submit:

  • A completed application filed with the Office of Graduate Studies
  • Resume
  • Two letters of reference, one of which could be from a Caldwell University faculty member familiar with the applicant’s work on campus
  • A personal statement of approximately 1000 words discussing the student’s academic and professional goals and a brief explanation of how (s)he anticipates being an asset to a faculty, program, or Department

Assistantships are NOT available to students:

  • Seeking any type of certificate or certification only
  • Maintaining a non-degree status
  • With a conditional admission/matriculation
  • Who are on Academic Probation

Term of the Assistantship

Graduate Research Assistantships are made on a semester-by-semester basis. A student may hold an Assistantship for one full academic year, beginning September 1 and ending May 30. Reappointment, at the end of the first semester depends on the student maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA, successful performance of the duties assigned during the semester and approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Graduate Research Assistantships may be terminated at any time if there is evidence of non-compliance with assistantship requirements.

Graduate assistants must:

  • Be fully matriculated in a minimum of 6 (six) credits of a Master’s or Doctoral program
  • Maintain at least a 3.00 GPA during each semester of the assistantship
  • Fulfill ten hours per week. If ten hours cannot be fulfilled through the department where the assistantship is held, the duration of hours are to be completed in the Office of Graduate Studies assisting with general office work.

Tuition Obligation When Students Leave Assistantship

RAs shall terminate if the student fails to maintain the prescribed level of enrollment, fails to maintain good academic standing, is dismissed from a program, or otherwise gives cause as determined by the Director of Graduate Studies. If an RA is terminated during an academic term, the student should expect some liability for tuition for that term.

This table is based upon the college refund policy and will be used in calculating tuition obligations for students who leave the assistantship appointment before the end of the semester.

DAY ONE THROUGH TWENTY 80% – tuition only
TWENTY ONE THROUGH SIXTY 40% – tuition only
SIXTY ONE THROUGH NINETY 25% – tuition only

Performance Criteria and Assessment of Graduate Assistant may include:

  • Be involved in data-based research concepts, methodologies and materials to be utilized in instructional planning presentations, lessons and scholarly publications with professor.
  • Collaborative lesson preparation and team teaching with professor, if applicable.
  • Ongoing diversified interaction with graduate students in courses the professor teaches.
  • Periodically attend Division/Department Faculty Meetings and sub-committee meetings relevant to curriculum and graduate program.
  • Participate with Graduate Program Coordinator in general office administration.
  • Complete a reflection log and portfolio to be turned in at end of assistantship
  • Other selected assignments and responsibilities agreed to by professor and department.

Application Deadline:

Application deadline is April 15th.

Download the Graduate Assistantship Application

For more information contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 973-618-3922 or e-mail gradstudies@caldwell.edu.