University of Wisconsin–Madison

Graduate Assistantships

Compensation packages

Graduate assistantships appointed at 33.3% or higher (>13 hours/week) provide multiple benefits:

  • monthly stipend;
  • remission of both resident and non-resident tuition (students will still need to pay segregated fees, roughly $550/semester); and
  • eligibility for health insurance (health insurance options for a reasonable premium are among the country’s best group health insurance plans).

Skill development

Students also gain valuable skills through assistantship roles.  This work may apply directly to their career goals or build broad, transferable skills in areas like communication, teamwork, and leadership.

“Through this position, I have developed a broad understanding of higher education issues… and continued to strengthen my applied analytical and technical skills.”
-Project Assistant

Minimum salary levels

The campus salary rates for 50% graduate assistantship appointments for 2017-18 are:

Research assistantship
Annual: $22,081 | Academic: $18,067

Teaching assistantship
Standard academic: $16,196
Senior academic: $18,067

Project assistantship
Annual: $19,795 | Academic: $16,196

PA grader/reader
Hourly rate: $17.36

Assistantship salaries by program

A new policy allows graduate programs to adjust stipend amounts above the campus minimum to remain competitive in attracting top students. Programs submit their proposed rates to the Graduate School for approval.

Finding and Applying for Graduate Assistantships

The vast majority of graduate assistantship positions are not posted publicly or available to all graduate students. Instead, they are “owned” by particular graduate programs and are reserved for students in those programs. Programs use their own internal processes to award assistantships to students. To find out how your program awards assistantships, you should contact your program.

A smaller number of graduate assistant positions are not reserved for students in particular programs, and any graduate student can apply for those positions. Those positions are usually listed as they become available on the website of the Student Job Center. Generally, the positions are posted relatively close to the time they will start, so positions that start in the fall semester will usually be posted in July or August.