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Graduate Assistantships

(For information on Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Remission Scholarships for Landscape Architecture students, please visit the Master of Landscape Architecture program web pages.)

Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Remission Scholarships
Graduate Architecture Program, School of Architecture + Design

All applicants for admission to graduate programs in Architecture are considered for assistantships and tuition remission scholarships when their applications for admission are reviewed. M.Arch.3 applicants are not normally considered for an assistantship until their second year in the program.

Each semester during the academic year, continuing graduate students in the School of Architecture + Design will be notified of a general information meeting regarding assistantships and scholarships at which the application procedures, qualification guidelines, assistantship position descriptions, assignment priorities, and anticipated funding levels for graduate assistantships and tuition remission scholarships will be presented and discussed.

To qualify for an assistantship or tuition remission scholarship, a student must have and maintain a 3.0 min. grade-point average, maintain full-time graduate enrollment, and be making good progress toward their degree. In addition, graduate assistants must continue to successfully fulfill their assigned responsibilities.

To apply for an assistantship position, students must submit a completed Assistantship Application. Graduate assistantships and tuition remission scholarships typically do not automatically renew from one academic year to another. Students normally must reapply each Spring semester in order to be considered for the following academic year.

The School reserves the right to offer assistantships and tuition remission scholarships to students based on available information and in the best judgment of the faculty and administrators in the School.

Students offered an assistantship or a tuition remission scholarship will be sent a letter describing the terms, payment, and, whenever possible, the assignment for the assistantship. If the offer is not accepted in writing by the date indicated in the letter, the assistantship or scholarship offer will be reassigned to another student.

Graduate Assistantships:

Graduate assistantships are employment situations. They are not merit awards, nor are they based primarily on financial need. Graduate assistants normally work 10-20 hours per week, usually beginning approx. one week prior to the start of the semester, and ending with Commencement. Graduate assistantships normally involve providing support to faculty for teaching or research; typical duties include providing tutorial assistance in the schools various workshop’s and lab facilities, providing teaching assistance in design studios or for required courses, research project assistance, and assistance in project documentation and presentation.

Graduate Assistantship (GA) and Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) positions within the School of Architecture + Design are assigned by the Graduate Architecture Program Chair. Position Descriptions vary from year to year. A student’s requested GA/GTA assignment and the recommendation of the faculty will continue to be of primary importance in making the assignment of the assistantship. The School will make every effort to successfully match a student’s skills, interests, and initiative with the needs of the School and the faculty to support and benefit all faculty and students in the School and to insure a successful employment opportunity for the graduate student.

Students interested in applying for assistantship positions must accept the responsibility to introduce themselves to the supervisor(s) with whom they are interested in working and provide background information and/or samples of work to demonstrate their ability to carry out the duties of the position. Students are also encouraged to discuss assigned duties, work schedules, and performance expectations with the faculty supervisor before requesting a given position and prior to accepting the assistantship offer.

Generally, the School does not assign graduate assistants primary responsibility for teaching undergraduate courses. However, some GTA’s have limited teaching responsibilities. All students assigned to a GTA position will be required by the Graduate School to complete a graduate teaching assistant training program administered by the Graduate School. The workshop is usually held the week prior to the start of classes in the Fall semester.

Students awarded assistantships are normally required to begin their work and/or training approximately one week prior to the beginning of the semester or as described in the position descriptions or as required by the faculty supervisor. Students failing to report on time may forfeit payment for the period they are not in attendance or may lose their assistantship position.

Graduate assistantships are generally not offered to first-year students in the M.Arch.3 program, and architecture masters students are usually eligible for an assistantship for a total of no more than four semesters during their academic tenure at Virginia Tech. School assistantships (GA or GTA) are normally not available during the summer.

Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) positions are created by sponsored research programs and are assigned and supervised by the faculty serving as principal investigator(s) for the sponsored project. GRA positions may extend over the summer and/or may be multi-year commitments.

Tuition Remission Scholarships:

In addition to receiving a stipend for assistantship duties, graduate assistants will normally receive a partial tuition remission scholarship equal to a prorated portion of their in-state tuition; the out-of-state portion of tuition will usually also be waived for graduate assistants.

The School of Architecture + Design may award some additional tuition remission scholarships as funds allow, to a limited number of graduate architecture students to supplement the partial scholarship accompanying some assistantship positions. These funds are applied to the in-state portion of tuition. The student is responsible for the remainder of the in-state tuition not covered by the scholarship and the out-of-state portion of tuition, if applicable, as well as required comprehensive fees. Tuition remission scholarship awards are not strictly based on need, academic performance, faculty recommendation, or promise of exceptional scholarship, but are based on a combination of these factors.

A graduate assistantship and tuition remission scholarship may affect the overall amount of other forms of financial aid for which a student is eligible. Students should consult their counselor in the University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for more information. (Please see

Last Modified: October 17, 2016