UW–Madison raises TA stipend rates

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is raising the minimum stipend for teaching assistants on campus by almost 9 percent for the upcoming 2019-2020 academic year.

The increase of 8.99 percent brings minimum teaching assistant stipends up to $20,000 for a nine-month, 50 percent appointment, and places UW–Madison at or above the median stipend rate as its public peer institutions. Many departments pay stipends above the minimum rate in order to be competitive in recruiting top graduate students.

Research assistant stipend rates also received a modest increase from the past year.

William Karpus
William Karpus, dean of the Graduate School. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

“This increase allows UW–Madison to be more competitive with peer institutions and continue to attract top graduate students across multiple disciplines,” said Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus. “Continuing to invest in teaching assistants strengthens not only graduate education and research at the university but also the quality of undergraduate education on campus.”

After discussion with the Graduate School Academic Planning Council and other senior university leaders, the decision was approved by Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Laurent Heller, in consultation with Chancellor Rebecca Blank. Academic departments will receive permanent budget supplements to cover the new higher minimum stipend levels.

Teaching assistantships offer a variety of incentives to graduate students beyond stipends, including tuition remission and health insurance. Students gain skills through teaching assistantship appointments, which may apply directly to their career goals or build broad, transferable skills in areas like communication, teamwork, and leadership.

“Graduate assistants contribute greatly to the educational and research missions of the university, while also gaining valuable experience and skills that are foundational to their careers,” said Karpus. “We are happy that the Chancellor and senior university leadership continue to make investments in this important area and support students with this increase in stipend rates.”

The new minimum rates for 50 percent graduate assistantship appointments for 2019-20 will be:

Teaching assistantship
Academic: $20,000

Project assistantship
Academic: $18,350
Annual: $22,427

Research assistantship
Academic: $20,341
Annual: $24,816

PA grader/reader
Hourly rate: $21.57

New stipend rates go into effect July 1, 2019 for annual appointments and August 19, 2019 for academic-year appointments.