UW–Madison to increase minimum graduate assistant stipends by 10 percent for 2023-24

Minimum stipend amounts for graduate student teaching, research, and project assistants will increase by 10% for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“This increase continues our investment in graduate assistants, who are integral to the university’s teaching and research missions,” said Graduate School Dean William J. Karpus. “In addition, the increase continues to place UW–Madison’s minimum stipend levels at or above the median for our peer institutions. Providing competitive support allows our faculty to recruit the best graduate students who make incredible contributions while here and go on to stellar careers in academia, industry, and government across the world.”

These efforts have resulted in a 51% increase in the minimum stipend for teaching assistants and annual project assistants, and a 31% increase for annual research assistants over the past eight years.

UW–Madison supports more than 5,400 graduate students through graduate assistantships, 99% of whom qualify for remission of resident and non-resident tuition as part of their assistantship. This semester, 72% of enrolled doctoral students hold research, teaching, and project assistantships that qualify for tuition remission. An additional 15% of doctoral students are fully funded this semester through fellow and trainee appointments, which also qualify for tuition remission.

Along with the stipend and tuition remission, students who serve as graduate assistants are eligible for many of the same high-quality benefits, such as health insurance, as other state employees and often at a discounted rate. For example, for a Wisconsin resident, between the stipend, the value of tuition remission, and employer contributions toward an individual health insurance plan, total graduate assistant compensation is estimated at a minimum of $43,615 for the current academic year.

While the university sets minimum stipend rates, individual graduate programs can work with their school or college dean’s office to set stipend rates above the minimum to remain competitive in their discipline.

The new minimum stipend rates go into effect June 18, 2023, for annual appointments and August 21, 2023, for academic year appointments.

Minimum stipend rates for 50% appointments in 2023-24 are:

Teaching Assistantship
Academic: $23,227

Lecturer Student Assistant
Academic: $25,493

Project Assistantship
Annual: $28,388
Academic: $23,227

Research Assistantship
Annual: $28,388
Academic: $23,227

The hourly rate for project assistant grader/reader positions and the minimum stipend rate for fellowships will also increase in 2023-24:

PA grader/reader
Hourly rate: $22.66

University Fellowship, Advanced Opportunity Fellowship and Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship
Annual: $30,000
Academic: $24,545