ECE Graduate Handbook
Packages range from graduate research and teaching assistantships to prestigious fellowships. Details are given below. Applicants for admission are automatically considered for these packages provided they mark “yes” for financial assistance on the application form and submit their materials by the deadline.
Clark School Distinguished Graduate Fellowships
Applicants with exceptionally strong academic records may be offered prestigious fellowship packages. Clark School Distinguished Graduate Fellowships include full tuition remission, subsidized health benefits, and a generous stipend.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
GTA duties typically involve conducting lab or recitations for lecture courses, providing one-on-one assistance to students (office hours), and grading of homework assignments or examinations. A full GTA is a nine-month appointment and requires an average time commitment of 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. The assistantship includes a salary, tuition remission for 10 credit hours per semester, and subsidized health benefits. Graduate teaching assistantships are awarded competitively either upon recruitment or after a student has enrolled for at least one semester. International students must demonstrate proficiency in English by passing the Maryland English Institute’s International Teaching Assistant (ITA) evaluation in order to serve as a GTA.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)
Students supported on GRAs participate in research projects funded by grants. They perform their duties under the supervision of a faculty member. Graduate research assistants often work on material that is directly related to their theses or dissertations. A full GRA is a 12-month appointment, and the typical work load is 20 hours per week during the academic year and 40 hours per week during the summer. The assistantship includes a salary, subsidized health benefits, and tuition remission for 10 credit hours per semester, as well as eight credit hours for summer.
GRAs are awarded through the department by individual faculty members. Subject to satisfactory performance and the availability of funds, GRAs are renewable each semester.
Students supported by graduate assistantships (full or half) and/or fellowships may enroll in the state employee health plans. The State pays 80%-85% of the health insurance premiums, and students are covered for the entire year when on a 12-month appointment. Students on nine-month appointments may have health coverage over the summer provided that their assistantships will be renewed in the following fall. Medical, dental, and prescription coverage are among the benefits available.
Tax Status of Graduate Assistants and Fellows
Salaries and stipends are taxable; tuition remission and other benefits are not. Foreign students who are citizens of a country that has a tax treaty with the United States may see their tax liability reduced. For additional information, please contact a payroll coordinator.
Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grants
The Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grants are intended to help defray the expenses incurred by graduate students who are traveling to scholarly, scientific, and professional conferences to present papers, posters, or other scholarly material. For details and application, please visit http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/index.php/current_students/travel_grants
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