Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are available in limited numbers for most graduate programs offered on WWU's main campus in Bellingham. Assistantships are not available for off-campus programs.

To be eligible for a TA position, you must have full admit status to the Graduate School (not provisional status). If you are a current student, you should be making satisfactory progress toward your degree.

Indicate on your application that you are interested in a Teaching Assistantship. You will receive a letter from the Graduate School if you are awarded.

Graduate students are limited to no more than the equivalent of six full-time quarters of service as graduate teaching assistants.

Appointments & Stipends

Full-time appointments require 20 hours of service per week; half-time appointments require 10 hours of service per week.

Teaching Assistants are generally expected to work during the academic quarter, and not during periods considered breaks. It is typical, however, for new teaching assistants to be asked to attend trainings or orientation prior to the start of their assignment.

Students receiving a full-time appointment may not accept other on-campus employment during the time they are in pay status as graduate teaching assistants. Students receiving a half-time appointment may accept other on-campus employment up to 9 hours per week during the time they are in pay status as graduate teaching assistants.

Graduate teaching assistants funded by the Graduate School receive a stipend and a partial tuition waiver for eligible enrollment.

Not all positions referred to as "Graduate Assistant" or "Teaching Assistant" provide the same stipend, tuition waiver, and insurance benefits. If you have questions or need clarification regarding the position or benefits, please contact the academic department.

Registration Requirements

Graduate Teaching Assistants, whether holding a full- or part-time appointment, must be registered for a minimum of 8 credits each quarter the appointment has been awarded. Graduate assistants who have registered for, and completed, all courses on their approved graduate plan of study with the exception of their thesis (690) or other research (691), are allowed to register for a minimum of 2 credits of thesis or research each quarter.

Research Assistantships

Some students may be hired as Research Assistants (RAs) by faculty with external funding (grants). Contact the department for information on faculty members who have received grant funding.

International Students

We cannot accept and process international applications without the financial guarantee documents required for the student visa. Because of our concern for student welfare, we must be sure that students admitted to the University have resources which will permit them to meet their tuition, food and lodging needs, and other expenses. We regret that we do not have the funds to offer financial aid for international students, and the availability of teaching assistantships is limited. International students are generally not eligible for the teaching assistantship during the first year in order to exhibit the requisite English language skills and adapt to the new learning environment.

We encourage international applicants to explore opportunities offered through the Fulbright Programs.