Teaching and Research Assistantships

Assistantships are available on a limited basis in most graduate programs. These positions provide funds for many master’s and doctoral students. Each department or program has its own requirements and expectations for their assistants and fellows. Most require 20 hours of work per week and many assistantship positions include health insurance eligibility.

To inquire about or to apply for departmental support, contact your department or your academic graduate advisor.

Types of Assistantships

  • Teaching Fellow (TF): Teaching fellows have direct student contact in a formal instructional setting and are charged with primary responsibility for teaching a course for credit under the direct supervision of a faculty member or chair, receiving regular in-service training and planned and periodic evaluations. Teaching fellows are listed as the instructor of record.
  • Teaching Assistant (TA): Teaching assistants are graduate students who do not have primary responsibility for teaching a course for credit; they perform under the instructor’s direct supervision and provide general assistance to the instructional process, such as grading, tutoring, etc. Teaching assistants may not be listed as instructor of record.
    • To help prepare students for their teaching roles, we have developed a page of teaching resources.
  • Research Assistant (RA): Research assistants are graduate students who are engaged in research activities under the direction and supervision of a principal investigator or faculty working on research.
  • Graduate Services Assistant (GSA): Graduate assistants are graduate students whose responsibilities may be administrative in nature or consist of other activities that do not generally fit within the TF, TA or RA job responsibilities.


The University recognizes the essential need to provide adequate benefits to sustain the graduate student and his/her family while the student pursues his/her studies.  Benefit plans will be offered for assistantships for domestic and international students who meet the eligibility requirements of the benefit plans.

Tuition Benefit Program

The Tuition Benefit Program (TBP) is one of several programs UNT has developed to provide support for graduate students as they pursue their studies. The TBP provides a tuition supplement for eligible recipients.  Because this award is tied to employment as a Graduate Assistant, hiring departments—not the Toulouse Graduate School—determine  which graduate assistants receive the tuition benefit and the award amount.  Please contact your hiring department for more details. Click here for more information about the program.

Non-Resident Tuition Waivers

Many students who receive an assistantship and are classified as non-resident/out-of-state are eligible to have non-resident/out-of-state tuition waived and will pay tuition at the resident/in-state rate through an employment waiver. This waiver is submitted each semester by your awarding department to the Toulouse Graduate School.

After residing in the state for 12 consecutive months, a student may apply for reclassification as a resident for tuition purposes provided unequivocal proof of establishment of domicile in Texas. For more information on reclassification, as well as documentation required, please visit the Registrar's Office website.

Health Benefits

The two available health insurance plans are the State’s Uniform Group Insurance Plan administered by the Employee’s Retirement System (ERS) and the University’s Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan administered by Aetna. More information on health benefits can be found on the insurance site page.

Uniform Group Insurance Program (ERS)

Graduate students, whether domestic or international, who are employed in a salaried capacity that requires graduate student status for at least .5 FTE are eligible to participate in this plan.  Details regarding the program can be found at the UNT System Human Resources site. Premiums for the current academic year can be found through the Employees Retirement System of Texas site.

Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan (Aetna)

The University has contracted with Aetna to offer a Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan to domestic and international students.  All students are eligible to enroll in this plan. Additional details can be found at UNT’s Health & Wellness Center.

International Students

All international students and scholars holding non-immigrant visas must carry UNT-approved health insurance coverage during the entire period of their UNT residence.  Residence is defined as that continuous period from initial orientation and enrollment or employment, including holidays, through graduation or final separation from the university.  International students are automatically charged for the UNT-offered policy each semester at registration, and must provide proof of comparable insurance by the established deadline at International Advising to avoid purchasing the UNT-offered policy.  The University has contracted with Aetna to offer a Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan to international students.  Details regarding the plan can be found at UNT’s Health & Wellness Center.