UW–Madison increases minimum stipends for TAs, PAs, and LSAs

UW–Madison has announced another round of pay increases for graduate student project assistants (PAs), teaching assistants (TAs), and lecturer-student assistants (LSAs).

PAs will see an 11.7 percent increase in minimum stipend levels over the current year’s rate, TAs a 2.5 percent increase, and LSAs a 20.8 percent increase.

“Stipend increases over the past several years are evidence of UW–Madison’s strong commitment to graduate student assistants,” said Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus. “TA stipends, for example, have grown over 45 percent since 2013. In addition, all graduate assistants appointed at 33 percent or higher qualify for about $15,000 per year in tuition remission, State Group Health Insurance at a reduced rate, dental and vision coverage, 403(b) retirement programs, and more. Many departments/programs pay stipends above the minimum.”

The LSA title, used for graduate students providing formal classroom instruction, will receive the largest increase of any assistantship category. Stipend rates for LSAs have not kept up with those for other assistantships in recent years and campus has addressed this by increasing those levels significantly.

The announcement made today reflects minimum stipends for 50 percent appointments. The actual dollar amount that an individual student may receive can differ. Departments and graduate programs with grant, gift, or other funding sources can set higher rates for graduate assistants, giving flexibility to be competitive with peer institutions in specific fields of study. Among doctoral students currently enrolled in the fall semester, 87 percent of RAs, 83 percent of PAs, and 72 percent of TAs have total appointment levels of 50 percent or higher, with the actual median compensation for 9-month appointments being $20,368, regardless of appointment percentage.

“In addition to a stipend and eligibility for benefits, graduate assistants also gain valuable career development skills by participating actively in teaching, research, and other projects on campus,” Karpus said. “These experiences help graduate students grow as scholars and leaders in their field and make them competitive for desired career outcomes.”

Minimum stipend rates for 50 percent appointments for the 2020-21 academic year are:

Teaching assistantship
Academic: $20,500

Lecturer Student Assistant
Academic: $22,500

Project Assistantship
Academic: $20,500
Annual: $25,056

Research Assistantship
Academic: $20,304
Annual: $24,816

PA Grader/Reader
Hourly rate: $21.57

New stipend rates go into effect July 1, 2020 for annual appointments and August 17, 2020 for academic-year appointments.

Read additional announcements related to graduate assistantships here.