The Doctoral Degree in Geography

Full-Time Academic Status & Assistantships

A full-time student load per semester is nine credit hours. Students receiving financial support from the University are expected to enroll in a minimum of six semester hours in a graduate degree program. Students must have been admitted to the University unconditionally and have maintained a B (3.0) average. Service hours may not exceed 20 hours per week in total. Full-time graduate students may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week inclusive of assistantship hours. Normally a student who has a fellowship or service appointment will not work outside the University. Only under extraordinary circumstances, with the recommendation of the department and approval of the Vice Provost of Graduate Education, a student who has a fellowship or service appointment may be granted special permission to work outside the University.

To receive either a full or partial tuition waiver the student must also have been granted an assistantship.

Full-time assistantships in Geography are classified as GA (graduate assistant) or TA (teaching assistantship). Master’s candidates are automatically classified as GA; doctoral students are classified as TA. Normally, a 20-hours assistantship will consist of one of the following:

  • complete responsibility for one or two sections of a course (Ex. GEO 103)
  • teaching two or three lab sections of a course (Ex. GEO 106L)
  • serving as a technical assistant in a course (Ex. GEO 121)
  • serving as a lab assistant in the research lab
  • some combination of technical assistance and lab assistance

Please note that assignments are made based on a balance of Departmental needs, student skills, and schedules. Students holding assistantships are evaluated yearly. Students holding assistantships are evaluated yearly. Master’s students making adequate progress towards their degree and meeting their work requirements consistently and with positive evaluations can expect to receive a total of two years of funding. Doctoral students in similar circumstances can expect to receive a total of four years of funding.  Specific details regarding criteria for receiving continued funding are described in the checklist in the Appendix X