Graduate Assistantships are awarded by the Graduate Committee of the department. They are intended to accomplish three main goals: to provide experience in teaching and research, to get certain teaching and research work carried out, and to provide financial support for graduate study. Assistants are normally expected to contribute 20 hours per week during the academic year. For more information, see the Graduate School's Handbook for Graduate Assistants.
As financial resources permit and the student remains in good standing, it is departmental policy that regular Graduate Assistantships will be renewed as follows:
- For students who have not yet completed their Master's degree, the maximum is two years (4 semesters) of support.
- For Ph.D. students who already had a Master's degree before entering our program, the maximum is three years (6 semesters) of support.
- For students earning both the Master's and Ph.D. degrees at UNH, the maximum is four years of support.
"Good standing" is defined in terms of grades, timely completion of courses, progression through the program, and performance as a graduate assistant. Students who are receiving financial assistance while working toward the Master's must have a complete first draft of their thesis by the midpoint of the fourth semester in order to be assured of continued assistance (see the "Time Requirements," below).
In some cases, assistantships are assigned on a temporary basis. This is explicitly stated in the letter of appointment.
Many of these are described in the Graduate School Catalog in the section on "Assistantships, Scholarships, and Fellowships", and in the section on "Loan and Work-Study Programs." However, the following information on application procedures is also relevant:
Students who have held teaching assistantships in the previous academic year are eligible and apply directly to the Graduate School in the spring. The Graduate School deadline is announced early in the spring semester, and the department requires applications be submitted to the Chair of the Department two weeks prior to that deadline.
Full-time tuition scholarships are allocated to the Department by the College of Liberal Arts each year and awarded each semester by the Graduate Committee. For part-time tuition scholarships, students apply directly to the Graduate School around February 15 for fall awards, and mid-December for any scholarships which might become vacant in the spring.
Students apply directly to the Graduate School. See next section for procedures.
Work Study and Loans
Students apply to the Financial Aid Office. For work-study, be sure to apply early since a complicated financial needs statement must first be sent to Washington for processing and must get back here by July 1. Work study is available for the academic year and for summer.
Students are encouraged to make application to such agencies as the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Commission, the American Association of University Women, etc. The Information Officer of the Office of Sponsored Research maintains a file for graduate students. Warning: early deadlines are the rule!
Support for Thesis and Dissertation Research
Private foundations and federal granting agencies make few grants directly for purposes of thesis or dissertation work. However, much graduate student research is financed indirectly through grants to a faculty member. Individual faculty members may have grants from private foundations, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, etc., from which student research expenses can be paid if the research is part of the purpose of the grant. This can include an assistantship or internship which is understood to be for work on a thesis or dissertation, and/or funds for other research expenses.
In addition, as mentioned above, the Graduate School provides, through competitive award, a limited number of Dissertation Year Fellowships, which allow recipients to devote themselves full-time to the completion of their research projects. Criteria include originality, significance, and feasibility of completion of the research within the time-frame. The promise of the applicant is also taken into consideration, based on the record of academic and assistantship accomplishments. Letters of recommendation are required from the student's dissertation director as well as the Chair of the Graduate Committee. The deadline for application is mid-January, but applicants are well-advised to submit their proposals to their referees and the Chair of the Graduate Committee three weeks before the deadline to ensure feedback and effective use in recommendations. The Graduate Committee recommends that drafts of proposals be given to the applicant's advisor and the Graduate Committee Chair by December 15.