Financial Support

4.1 Application for Financial Support

A fellowship provides financial support to defray the cost of tuition and/or a stipend for living expenses. A tuition scholarship (TS) covers all or part of a student's tuition charges. TS funding cannot be applied toward other charges. Most degree programs provide financial support for teaching assistants (TAs) who help with instruction, and research assistants (RAs) who work on funded research projects. Graduate assistants (GAs) receive partial support in the form of a stipend with no tuition support.

Only full-time students are eligible for assistantships. New students will be considered for fellowships, assistantships, and scholarships when they apply for admission and will be notified of any awards with their admission decision or shortly thereafter. The Office of Graduate Admission administers a number of fellowships and scholarships but does not directly administer assistantships available to students in each academic unit. Acceptance of an award or appointment after April 15 for the fall semester is considered a binding decision for some university departments. If a student’s academic work is judged to be unsatisfactory, awards may be canceled at the discretion of the university at any time during the period covered.

Although an outstanding international student may receive some award from the university, most students must provide independent finances for their first year of graduate study. International students are required to carry at least nine credit hours per semester in order to maintain their F-1 student visa status.

Please note: the total of tuition scholarships, Federal Work Study (FWS), and loan eligibility cannot exceed a student's cost of attendance for the academic year. Previously awarded loans may be adjusted after a tuition scholarship notification.

4.2 Graduate Teaching and Research Assistants

This section summarizes the regulations for graduate student assistantship appointments at Illinois Institute of Technology. Definitions of graduate student assistantships are followed by the criteria of eligibility to hold an assistantship, a brief description of each type assistantship, rules governing tuition remission, and other policy matters. For questions regarding this subject, please contact the dean of the college awarding the assistantship.

A research/teaching assistant is a matriculated graduate student at Illinois Institute of Technology who is employed to work on a research project/serve as an assistant in educational activities or as a laboratory instructor, under the supervision of a faculty member.

  • Research/teaching assistantship appointments include a monthly stipend in addition to a partial or full tuition remission.
  • Research/teaching assistantship appointments are available to students only. No staff benefits are applicable to research/teaching assistants.
  • Non-degree students and persons seeking degrees at other institutions are ineligible for research/teaching assistantship appointments.

4.2.1 Eligibility Criteria for Appointment

  1. Matriculation at Illinois Institute of Technology with good standing (active authorization to register) and active graduate degree program.
  2. All students with assistantships must be registered.
  3. According to federal regulations, all students who receive compensation must demonstrate their eligibility to work in the U.S. by filing federal form I-9 and submitting a Social Security Number. Contact the Student Employment Office ( for details. 

4.2.2 Graduate Student Assistantship Appointments

The teaching and research appointment categories are:

Teaching Assistant (TA)

A teaching assistant is a graduate student who assists a faculty member who has primary responsibility for a course. Duties vary, but may include: 

  • Assisting in the preparation of lecture materials and running laboratory sessions.
  • Conducting review sessions and grading homework.
  • Holding office hours to meet with students.


Graduate students who work as instructors have full charge and responsibility for a course, usually at the undergraduate level, although duties may also include assisting in the planning or execution of a graduate course or seminar. The duties include all those associated with planning and holding a regular class: preparation, teaching, grading, office hours, laboratories, etc.

Eligibility for becoming an instructor:

  • Normally, the student will have been admitted to candidacy by passing the Ph.D. comprehensive exam.
  • Usually, the student must have completed the residency requirement.

Research Assistant (RA)

A research assistant works on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Graduate Assistant (GA)

A graduate assistant works on a research project part-time under the supervision of a faculty member and receives partial support in the form of a stipend with no tuition support. 

Illinois Institute of Technology faculty must engage graduate assistants in a thorough and open discussion of the university policies on research including those listed in the student and faculty handbook and the bulletin. In addition, the faculty must discuss the research progress timeline and the anticipated degree completion date. The approval for additional work elsewhere on campus will be granted only where such an appointment would not interfere with the student's progress toward the degree and is permitted in writing by the research adviser and academic unit head of the student, in consultation with the Student Employment Office. The permission will normally be granted for no more than one year and is renewable based on the conditions listed previously. The doctoral student recommended for the second appointment in a given semester must have already passed the qualifying examination.

4.2.3 Appointment Processing

  • All research/teaching assistants must be registered at Illinois Institute of Technology while holding an assistantship appointment.
  • TAs, RAs and GAs may have training requirements, which will be communicated to them as appropriate. Students engaged in these positions will complete any training designated as required or else may be judged as unsatisfactory performance. Training requirements will be determined by the Office of Academic Affairs in coordination with HR and Career Services. 
  • Teaching/Research/Graduate assistantship (TA,RA,GA) appointments are to be issued for a maximum of twelve months by Illinois Institute of Technology and may be renewed subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory performance by the TA, RA, or GA.
  • Graduate students are limited to a total of 20 hours of employment per week.
  • The stipend and/or tuition amounts awarded to graduate students are entered and processed by the academic unit.

4.3 Funding for Research and Teaching Assistants

Funding for research and teaching assistants is allocated by the dean of the academic college. Questions regarding funding allocations should be discussed with the respective academic unit head.

4.4 I-9 Requirement

Any individual receiving compensation from Illinois Institute of Technology must have on file a completed I-9 form prior to commencement of work. Please see Section 4.2.1 for more details. 

4.5 Vacation/Sick Leave

Arrangements for any variations in work hours of research assistants, including time off for vacation or illness, should be made individually with the faculty sponsor. Teaching assistants must discuss related matters with the heads of their academic unit.

4.6 Cancellation of Assistantships

If the appointment is canceled prior to the first day of classes, the student is responsible for any tuition charges for the semester. If the appointment is canceled during the semester, the student is eligible for prorated tuition in accordance with Illinois Institute of Technology refund policy. All exceptions will require the approval of the dean of the academic college.