Procedure and Guidelines on Assigning Doctoral Associateships (DA) and Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Allocation Procedure

  • The MAE department Chair calls for two meetings asking those faculty interested in having graduate students to discuss their needs.  These meetings normally are held on the last weeks of September and January and are open to all the faculty of the MAE department. 
  • The purpose of these meetings is for the faculty to learn about the current allocations and the future openings and discuss the qualification of the candidates.  These candidates must have been admitted to the MAE graduate programs and have applied for DA’s and GA’s.
  • The Chair of the MAE department informs the MAE Executive Committee about the faculty and the department’s needs and qualification of the candidates. The department Executive Committee provides input to the Chair for the distribution of DA and GA positions.
  • The MAE department Chair is ultimately responsible for allocation of the department assistantships. Once a decision is made, the faculty will be informed about the reasons a particular candidate was chosen.

Application Procedure for Students

  • The students need to fill out an assistantship form requesting support with their applications for graduate programs. These forms normally must be submitted by the end of August for assistantships starting in spring semester and by the middle of December for assistantships starting in fall semester.  The students will normally be notified of the status of their application in February and October.       

 Allocation Guidelines

  • These assistantships are generally allocated for enhancement of the department’s research.  However, if there is a need for teaching, priority will be given to those students who can satisfy this need.
  • The next level of priority for assigning graduate assistantship is designated for the newly hired tenure track faculty to jump-start their research.
  • If graduate students keep their good academic standing and demonstrate progress toward their degrees, their support generally will continue.  The time limitation for this support is normally four years for DA’s and two years for GA’s. 
  • Graduate assistantships are normally assigned once the student has spent at least one semester on campus after evaluation of his/her performance at WMU. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better and a first graduate semester GPA of 3.5 or better are minimum requirements to qualify for assistantships. Under special circumstances where a faculty finds an exceptional student from another school, Graduate Assistantship might be granted without the residency requirement.
  • It is possible to provide half a Graduate Assistantship.
  • DA’s and GA’s assigned to teaching must attend the Graduate College Teaching Workshop.
  • All GA’s with full assistantship are required to complete their Master’s degree via the thesis option.
  • Faculty, who are not currently active in research but would like to develop research in the future, must present a document to the department Chair outlining their plan at the time that a request is made for student help.



  • Faculty supervising DA’s and GA’s will provide written feedback to the department Chair on the performance of the students at the end of each semester.  The MAE Graduate Curriculum Committee will develop two performance evaluation forms, one for teaching and one for research assistants. These evaluations and the university student evaluations that are conducted for graduate students who have full responsibility of teaching will be used as part of the decision process in continuing future support.




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