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Graduate Assistantships and Funding

The Department of Child and Family Studies offers financial support to graduate students in a variety of ways. All assistantships include tuition waivers for each semester, as long as the student is enrolled in at least 6 credit hours of coursework, and health insurance for US students. Please note that some fees will incur, averaging $600 – 1,000 per semester (https://bursar.utk.edu/deptinfo/tuition-fees/).

Most assistantships are half time, requiring 20 hours of work per week, and provide a yearly stipend that currently varies between $12,300 – $17,500. Departmental assistantships are competitive and may last for a period of two (MS students) to four years (PhD students). In conjunction with assistantships, many of our graduate students have successfully competed for prestigious university fellowships each year, these additional awards may range from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000.

The Graduate Committee is responsible for recommending students for assistantship positions and other awards. The Department Head makes the final decision to award an assistantship, based on the student’s professional goals, annual performance evaluation, and faculty needs. Most students who are supported by a departmental assistantship are assigned to faculty who are conducting research and teaching courses. We aim to place students with faculty whose research and teaching activities are related to a student’s professional goals. Once an assignment is made, individual faculty members decide with student assistants how to allocate their time and evaluate their performance.

Assistantships can be applied for during the graduate application process. Students enrolled in assistantships will be asked to evaluate their experience on an annual basis.

Additional funding opportunities are available, please check the following websites:

 


Types of Assistantships

Research

Our department has a vibrant research culture and offers numerous multidisciplinary opportunities for students to be involved in research, for a few examples see https://cfs.utk.edu/research/. Annual research assignment decisions are based on the alignment of a student’s goals and interests with faculty members’ portfolios and ongoing studies.


Teaching

Generally, teaching assignments are offered to PhD students who have a firm grounding in human development and family theory, usually later in their studies. Students may also receive teaching assistantships in order to assist faculty members with undergraduate classes (e.g., help prepare materials for class, grade papers).


Early Learning Center

A few departmental assistantships are located in the Early Learning Center (ELC). Students who receive these assistantships are usually interested in learning about early childhood education programs. Students who receive an ELC assistantship are assigned to one of the three ELC early education facilities and are directly responsible to the facility’s Assistant Director (AD). Final decisions about assignments are based on creating a good match between a student’s professional goals and ELC program needs.


Please note that departmental assistantships are not limited to the above listings. For more information regarding assistantships, please contact the graduate specialist, Ms.Sonja Spell.