Assistantships and Fellowships

Graduate Assistants

The assistantship program is predicated on the idea that graduate students, given an oppor­tunity to assist the faculty, provide a service to the institution and also gain valuable experience through this work in association with the faculty. Appointments to assistantships are made by the dean of The College of Graduate Studies only upon recommendation by the student’s academic department. In those instances, in which the student indicates acceptance of an assistantship award after April 15, the student may not accept another appointment without first obtaining formal release for this purpose.

Applications for assistantships must be accompanied or preceded by application for admis­sion to the College of Graduate Studies. All applicants and current students with superior credentials including first-year international graduate students may apply for gradu­ate assistantships.

Graduate assistants may be assigned to instructional, research, and/or other academic duties as determined by the department in which the assistant is appointed and as approved by the dean of The College of Graduate Studies.

Graduate Assistant (GA) A GA is normally assigned duties primarily focused on the conduct of research/scholarly activity.  A GA may be assigned teaching duties, but should not be the instructor of record.  Appointment is typically for the Fall and Spring semesters of an academic year.

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) A GRA is only assigned duties focused on the conduct of research/scholarly activity and will typically receive a twelve-month appointment.

Graduate Assistant/Intern (GA/I) A GA/I is a special category of graduate assistant designated to provide opportunities for university offices or departments, community companies or agencies, or other appropriate external sponsors to involve graduate students as academic assistants/interns in real life experiences related to their fields of study. 

Teaching Assistant (TA) A TA will only be assigned duties focused on instruction and may be the instructor of record for a regularly scheduled lower division undergraduate class.

Note: Additional academic services to the academic program in which the student is enrolled may be appropriate for all assistantship appointments.

A student appointed as a graduate assistant or doctoral fellow during the fall or spring terms (GA, GRA, TA, and GA/I) will be paid a stipend and receive remission of instructional fees (up to 18 semester hours each fall and spring), remission of the non-resident surcharge, remission of the music performance fee (if applicable), and remission of the parking permit fee for each term of appointment as a fringe benefit. This fringe benefit does not cover any courses taken on an audit basis, any undergraduate courses (even if needed as a prerequisite), or graduate coursework not required for degree completion. Students are responsible for the general fee and other possible fees they may incur. A portion of the fringe benefit may be taxable.

Students on appointments through the summer such as doctoral fellows or Graduate Research Assistants (GRA’s) will receive a stipend and fringe benefits as described previously.

Those students who held an assistantship appointment for either the fall or spring terms will receive remission of the instructional fee (for up to 12sh), remission of the non-resident surcharge and music performance fees during the next summer terms.

Assistantships require 20 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semester, including exam week, for duties to be assigned by the department chair. Graduate assistants assigned to class¬room or laboratory duties are under the direct supervision of a full-service faculty member who will retain full responsibility for the maintenance of high academic and pedagogical standards.

The Chair of the department will be responsible for assessing the oral proficiency in English. Students who do not achieve a satisfactory rating will not be permitted to teach, and will be assigned non-teaching duties (research, grading, etc.) International graduate students, who have been appointed as teaching assistants, including graduate assistants who are assisting with teaching duties, are required to demonstrate oral proficiency in English. The speaking subsection of a standardized test will be utilized in the assessment process. For a TA, a minimum of 23 on the TOEFL is considered satisfactory; a score of 7 is considered satisfactory on the IBT.

Graduate students who are in provisional status because of undergraduate coursework defi¬ciencies cannot be appointed as teaching assistants until the required coursework is completed. Such students can be considered for research appointments. Exceptions to this policy may be considered and must be reviewed and approved by the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

To remain eligible for the assistantship, an appointee must discharge his or her duties satisfactorily and maintain good academic standing. An appointee must maintain full-time enrollment – a minimum of 6 semester hours of degree-credit coursework per term for the academic year - 9 semester hours per is encouraged. In addition, students appointed as Graduate Research Assistants must also enroll in at least 6 semester hours during the summer term. With the advisor’s approval, graduate coursework not part of the graduate assistant’s degree program may be counted toward the minimum enrollment requirement. Approval to carry more than 18 semester hours or fewer than six semester hours in any semester may be granted by the dean of The College of Graduate Studies upon clear justification from the student’s academic program department

Graduate assistants shall not hold other full-time employment but may accept occasional or temporary employment outside the University during the term of the assistantship, subject to the approval of the department chair or the program director of the department. Other employment on the YSU campus requires the approval of the dean of The College of Graduate Studies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Graduate Assistantship*

For Students Applying for a Graduate Assistantship

Complete the Online Graduate Assistantship application. Letter of Recommendation requests are made from the same online system where the application is submitted.

For Students Receiving a Graduate Assistantship

Employment Paperwork Appointments — All students previously not employed on campus must complete required employment forms, and present Employment Eligibility Verification documents. See the link below for the Form I-9 Acceptable Documents. All documents from the Employment Forms Package must be completed, signed, and submitted together.  Failure to complete all required documents by the deadline may result in a delayed payroll payment.

International students (Not-Citizen) – All admitted International Students should follow procedures regarding mandatory check-in and orientation for important information regarding health policies, arrival dates, etc. The International Programs Office contact information is:

Jones Hall 1042
1 University Plaza,
Youngstown, OH 44555

All students (Citizen and Legal Permanent Resident and Non-Citizen) - You need to make an appointment with Linda Hulburt-Blosser to complete the required E-Verify I-9 Form and the YSU Employment Forms Package. Please email with a first and second preference for date and time based on the schedule that follows. Put “Employment Paperwork Appointment” in the Subject Line and all correspondence must include the student’s name and Banner ID number.

All appointments are scheduled in the College of Graduate Studies Conference Room, lower level, Coffelt Hall. Please be sure to bring all required documents.

Important Links - Please download and print all forms prior to attending the employment paperwork appointment.

Employment Forms* — Please download and complete all forms prior to attending the employment paperwork appointment.

Form I-9 Acceptable Documents — Please see the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services list of acceptable documents to present at your appointment to complete the Form-I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Guidelines for YSU Graduate Assistant Leave*

Stipend And Pay Information

Graduate Assistants are paid a semi-monthly stipend for the duration of the appointment period indicated on the contract.  The table below shows the scheduled pay dates associated with each term that might be part of the appointment period.  Please note:  If the appointment period crosses terms, there will likely be a break in pay between those terms so please budget accordingly.

Stipend and Pay Information
Term Term Dates Pay Dates
Summer 2023 (14 Weeks) 5/15/23 – 8/19/23 6/15/23, 6/30/23, 7/14/23, 7/31/23, 8/15/23, & 8/31/23
AOP/First Summer 1 (7 Weeks) 5/15/23 – 7/02/23 6/15/23, 6/30/23, & 7/14/23
AOP/Second Summer 2 (7 Weeks) 7/3/23 – 8/19/23 7/31/23, 8/15/23, & 8/31/23
Fall 2023 08/28/23 – 12/16/23 9/15/23, 9/29/23, 10/13/23, 10/31/23, 11/15/23, 11/30/23, 12/15/23 & 12/29/23
Spring 2024 01/08/24 – 05/04/24  1/31/24, 2/15/24, 2/29/24, 3/15/24, 3/29/24, 4/15/24, 4/30/24, & 5/15/24


Log into the Online Application System console found on your Penguin Portal to evaluate and make a recommendation on Graduate Assistantship applications.

Cushwa/Commercial Shearing Graduate Fellowship:

The Cushwa Fellowship is available to STEM students only. The Cushwa family, in conjunction with the YSU Foundation, established the Charles B. Cushwa, Jr./Commercial Shearing Inc. Graduate Student Scholarship/Fellowship Fund in 2003 to provide students the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees, acquire career experience, and offset some of the financial challenges of continuing their education. In addition, the community benefits from these scholars’ interactions with local businesses that bring the resources of the University into the local economy.

For more information on the Cushwa/Commercial Shearing Graduate Fellowship go to the following link: Cushwa/Commercial Shearing Graduate Fellowships

Please be sure to contact your graduate program director if you are interested in the Cushwa Fellowship. Application deadline is February 15th. If interested, please complete the application.

For PhD in Materials Science & Engineering Students:

Appointments to doctoral fellowships are made by the Dean of Graduate Studies upon recommendation of the program. No award may be committed to or made until the student has been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD fellowship, fill and submit Doctoral Fellowship Application form.

Please return your application to the College of Graduate Studies, located in Coffelt Hall. If at any time you have questions or concerns with regard to the graduate assistantship or fellowship programs, please call us  at 330-941-3091, or visit us in Coffelt Hall.

For Graduate Assistant Intern (GAI)

The areas of Student Experience, Student Success and Enrollment Management award several graduate assistant internships (GAI) each academic year to eligible graduate students. Contact these departments to inquire about openings.