Why be a Graduate Assistant?

Application Information

Submit all of the materials below to the following address:

Matthew Kirkpatrick, Graduate Coordinator
English Language and Literature
612 Pray-Harrold
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

A graduate assistantship is an exceptional way for bright, exceptional scholars to enhance their graduate school experience. Not only do you get paid, you also expand your theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills while building your professional network. Plus, you work on campus so you save valuable time commuting to your job!

If you're applying as a new student, make sure your master's application materials have all been received by Graduate Admissions by the beginning of the Winter semester. You may ask the persons writing your recommendation letters to address both your qualifications for admission into the master's program and for a graduate assistantship. They should submit one copy of the letter to Admissions and attach a second copy to the GA reference form you've given them to be sent to the address above.

The online application (to the right) will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Once you complete the form, you can return to edit your information if needed. But we recommend having all information ready to submit before beginning to fill out the form, including: undergraduate GPA and courses taken, graduate GPA and courses taken (if relevant), contact information from two references, and completed personal statement.

You must also submit a personal statement (1-2 pages double-spaced) that describes your qualifications for being a graduate assistant (generally) and for the assistantships for which you are applying (specifically). Your statement may also describe your academic and professional goals and how these relate to the positions for which you are applying. Please note that the personal statement for this Graduate Assistantship application is different from the personal statement you will have submitted in order to apply to your graduate program.

Graduate Assistantship: Tuition, Compensation and Benefits

  • Terms

    For a full-time, academic-year GA appointment, the University provides a tuition scholarship for up to 18 credit hours in each academic year (September 1 to August 31) of the assistantship. For graduate assistants who are appointed to part-time positions and for GAs who begin employment after the start of the semester, the number of credit hours covered by the award will be prorated. The graduate assistantship program also covers any tuition differential associated with certain courses. This award does not pay mandatory fees (general fee, student center fee and technology fee), new student record initiation fee, registration fee, late registration fee, drop fees or late fees applied when bills are not paid. To figure out how your mandatory fee costs per semester, consult the tuition calculator.
  • Remuneration

    The English Department currently pays its graduate assistants the following sums per academic year. Paychecks are distributed twice monthly during the Fall and Winter semesters. Note: University Writing Center Consultants are hired through and paid by the UWC.
    • Full time (20 hrs/week): $9,000
    • Part time (10 hrs/week): $4,500
  • Additional Privileges

    Graduate assistants receive additional library privileges and a 10 percent discount on items purchased at the bookstore in the Student Center. They also receive priority registration, provided they register online by the date specified by the Office of Records and Registration on its website.

Descriptions of Graduate Assistantships

  • University Writing Center Assistantships

    Graduate writing consultants consult one-to-one with undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines on all stages of the writing process (brainstorming, planning, drafting, revising, polishing). Consultants work, as well, with non-native English speakers. All graduate writing consultants are required to attend bi-weekly professional development meetings along with a three-session training at the start of the fall semester. Consultants may also facilitate workshops in various classes across campus, and they may consult in one of the University Writing Center’s satellite locations (e.g., Pray-Harrold or the Academic Projects Center). For more information, consult the University Writing Center.
  • First Year Writing Program Graduate Assistantship (Graduate Instructor)

    First Year Writing GAs teach WRTG 120 Composition I: Writing the College Experience, and WRTG 121 Composition II: Researching the Public Experience, in EMU's First Year Writing Program. They work closely with the program's faculty director and associate director, as well as with other FYWP instructors, to develop a syllabus, course schedule, major project descriptions, lesson plans, and in-class activities for WRTG 120 and WRTG 121. All new First Year Writing graduate assistants are required to participate in a two-week workshop in August before teaching in the fall semester. Throughout the first fall of the appointment, graduate instructors must take WRTG 596 Teaching Composition at the College Level (i.e., while teaching WRTG 120 Composition I). The Department currently appoints sixteen GAs for teaching in the First Year Writing Program. Graduate instructors are required to hold two office hours weekly and to attend one professional development meeting monthly throughout the academic year. For more information, see the First Year Writing Program section of the website.
  • BathHouse Editor Assistantship (exclusive to students in the Creative Writing MA program)

    This half-time graduate assistantship requires the student to act as editor-in-chief of the EMU Creative Writing Program's online journal of hybrid arts, BathHouse. Duties involve full responsibility for on-time production and editing of the journal in consultation with the faculty advisor, organization of the graduate student staff roster and meeting schedule, and the design and editing of the journal. Candidates for this position will have some experience or knowledge of graphic design and Web design. Editing experience and an interest in new media writing and hybrid arts are also a plus.
  • BathHouse Reading Series Research Assistant (open to Creative Writing MA applicants)

    The BathHouse Series research assistant is responsible for researching the oeuvre of visiting writers and artists and participating in the production of our reading and interdisciplinary arts BathHouse Series, which typically attracts 200 to 300 audience members to each event. The BathHouse research assistant composes copy for fliers and press releases related to visiting writers and text-based artists’ presentations; promotes the series on campus, in off-campus writing communities, and the media; cultivates series audiences; corresponds with invited readers and artists; writes for and oversees the creative writing blog; and serves as the public relations representative for the series. The research assistant also coordinates with the faculty for room and event scheduling, arranging for event details, and offering hospitality to and socializing with artists.
  • Journal of Narrative Theory Research Assistant

    The JNT research assistant is actively engaged in every step of the production and dissemination of JNT: Journal of Narrative Theory, a scholarly journal produced in the Department of English. The JNT RA generally handles all correspondences (i.e. inquiries, submissions, subscriptions, etc.); maintains and develops the JNT website; oversees production, corresponding with typesetters and printers; and schedules regular JNT editorial meetings. Finally, the RA plays a central role in organizing the annual JNT Dialogue which brings together two speakers for a conversation on pertinent topics in Literature and Culture. The JNT RA designs and disseminates the promotional material, and co-organizes the event, working with EMU Events Planning as well as scheduling forums or meetings at which Graduate Students have a chance to interact with the invited speakers. Depending on RA interest, he or she might also publicize the journal at local and national conferences like the MMLA or MLA conferences.
  • Jewish Life and Language in Southeast Michigan (JLLSM) Research Assistant (open to Linguistics MA)

    Research assistants in the Jewish Life and Language in Southeast Michigan (JLLSM) project play a crucial role in the project’s research. The goal of the project is to investigate patterns of language and social life in Southeast Michigan’s Jewish community through extensive, audio-recorded interviews of community members and analysis of those interviews. The principal role of RAs on the project is to analyze the data collected in the interviews, as well as to perform quantitative analysis of the speech data. RAs will also play a crucial role in crafting materials for and participating in presentations of research to the broader community. All JLLSM RAs working on this project must successfully complete CITI training before they are able to participate in the project.
  • Teaching Assistantships in Children's Literature and Literature Large Lectures

    Graduate assistants assigned to work with a professor who is teaching a large-lecture version of an introductory course in Children's Literature and Literature have a variety of responsibilities and opportunities. The courses themselves typically include the 100-level series of survey courses in poetry, fiction and/or drama, 200-level courses in Native American and African American literatures, as well as combined sections ENGL 300W. Graduate student teaching assistants in such positions attend lectures, take notes, and (in office hours) help students develop their own note-taking skills. Depending on the professor to whom a GA is assigned, additional duties may include some or all of the following:
    • conducting study sessions prior to and/or following exams
    • drafting and distributing study guides
    • proctoring exams
    • posting and recording grades (and/or other general book-keeping)
    • helping students assess their own performance on exams and/or writing assignments
    All GAs also hold office hours for 3–5 hours per week.
  • Linguistics Teaching Assistantship (exclusive to students in the Linguistics MA program)

    Graduate assistants assigned to work with a professor who is teaching an introductory course in Linguistics have a variety of responsibilities and opportunities. LING 201 is a 200-level survey of the field of linguistics, and is required of students who are linguistics majors or minors, English language majors and minors, and language, literature and writing majors and minors. Graduate student teaching assistants in such positions attend lectures, take notes and/or hold office hours. Depending on the professor to whom a GA is assigned, additional duties may include some or all of the following:
    • writing and proctoring exams
    • conducting study sessions prior to exams
    • uploading study materials to Canvas
    • posting and recording grades
  • English Department Research Assistants:

    Public Relations

    This assistant researches and disseminates institutional data on alumni placement for all graduate programs in the department. The RA further creates and publishes and distributes alumni newsletters for each program to enhance the network relationship between current and recent graduates of the programs. The RA will help coordinate efforts to include alumni participation in English Department events, advisory boards, and community outreach for all graduate programs in the department.
  • English Department Research Assistants:

    Technical Writing

    The assistant works closely with all undergraduate and graduate program coordinators to maintain and curate the online presence and outreach of each program, promoting faculty and student achievements, updating program information and events, and creating outreach publications to connect majors to a range of professional fields. The RA creates digital and print content for the website and programs.

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