The most common source of support is a teaching assistantship. Historically, stipend rates for teaching and project assistants are governed by the Teaching Assistant Association (TAA) bargaining unit.
To receive a teaching assistantship, candidates for admission must meet the following requirements:
- evidence (usually from the undergraduate transcript) of an appropriate background in the relevant subject matter of the course(s) to which appointment is being considered;
- evidence (usually from letters of recommendation or verbal communication) of the candidate’s potential as a teaching assistant;
- an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale); and
- for students whose native language is not English, evidence of competence in spoken English through the SPEAK test that is administered by the UW. International applicants should note that a TA appointment is not normally possible during the first year of graduate study.
Current students, who apply for their first teaching assistantship, are also subject to the above criteria, as well as their performance as a graduate student. Reappointment as a teaching assistant depends upon satisfactory progress as a graduate student, satisfactory performance as a teaching assistant, and completing the Equity/Diversity TA Training.
Teaching assistants may be eligible for University teaching awards, including the UW-Madison Early Excellence in Teaching Award, UW-Madison Exceptional Service Award, UW-Madison Innovation in Teaching Award, UW-Madison Capstone Ph.D. Teaching Award, and the College of Letters & Science Teaching Fellow.
Research or Project Assistantships
Research and Project Assistantships are made possible by grants awarded to individual professors for particular research programs. Recipients are selected by the individual professor concerned. Availability of research and project assistantships varies.