Four types of competitive assistantships are available to graduate students in Sociology at the University of Georgia: Graduate School Assistantships, Departmental Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Teaching Assistantships, and Research Assistantships through individual faculty members with external funding. Students with assistantships receive a tuition waiver, but must pay nominal matriculation, health insurance, and activities fee each semester. Graduate School and Departmental assistantships are paid in ten monthly checks, with the first check issued by the beginning of September.
Students with assistantships must enroll for a minimum of 15 credit hours each semester the assistantship is in effect (and 9 hours for Summer Semester, if enrolled). Ordinarily, they may not take more than 9 hours of course work per semester (making up the remaining hours by registering for SOCI 7000, 7300, 9000, or 9300). [Unfunded students are allowed to take up to 15 hours of course work per semester]. Under special circumstances the University allows funded students to take an “overload”. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for further information on course loads.
Graduate School Assistantships and Presidential Fellowships
These assistantships are awarded to individuals nominated by the Department and selected on the basis of a university-wide competition. The criteria used in nomination include undergraduate grade point average, graduate grade point average, G.R.E. scores, letters of recommendation, and evidence of professional participation. The Department's Graduate Program Committee nominates students for consideration. Final selection is made by Graduate Coordinators from all departments and schools within the University.
Students holding these assistantships have the discretion to select the professor or professors with whom they wish to work. They may alter their faculty supervisor on semester-to-semester basis. Recipients of Graduate School Assistantships/Presidential Fellowships and the professor of their choice mutually agree upon the tasks to be performed by the student, which may involve collaborative research projects or instructional activities. The assignment shall not be treated as necessarily meeting the instructional needs of the professor with whom the graduate assistant has chosen to work. The professor supervising the graduate assistant shall evaluate, in writing, the graduate student’s performance.
Departmental Graduate Assistantships
These assistantships are awarded to new and continuing students by the Graduate Program Committee. Students who hold Departmental assistantships are required to work 17 hours per week for the nine-month academic year. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the salary for M.A. level students is $18,300.90 and $19,445.55 for Ph.D. level students. Students awarded Departmental assistantships will be assigned to one or more faculty members on a semester basis, to assist them with instructional activities. Typical tasks include leading discussion groups, proctoring and grading exams, giving lectures, or operating audio-visual equipment.
Several important rules apply to Departmental Assistantships:
- Typically, only students taking courses that lead to a Sociology degree objective are eligible for Departmental funding.
- Assistantships are awarded on a yearly basis by the Graduate Program Committee, but may be withdrawn during the year for failure to carry out assigned tasks in a competent, timely and professional manner.
- Students who receive a Departmental assistantship can normally expect to receive funding through the Department as long as departmental funds are available and the student is making satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D. degree. Students with advanced training should also be more competitive for Research Assistantships funded by external grants.
- Assistantships are awarded annually on the basis of a competitive screening of all applicants. Screening is based on course and assistantship performance and progress towards the degree objective. Departmental Annual Reviews are important in ranking advanced students for access to Departmental funding.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Graduate students in their third year of study are eligible to serve as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), provided that they have also completed the Sociology M.A. Students who hold Graduate Teaching assistantships are required to work 17 hours per week for the nine-month academic year. The salary is based on Franklin College annual base-salaries. A GTA assumes full responsibility for individual sections of an undergraduate course, with any expected load of two courses per semester. Students often find such experiences helpful in preparing for the transition to college level teaching. Prior to assuming any teaching responsibilities, students are required to enroll in GRSC 7770: Graduate Internship. This 3-credit hour course is designed to provide graduate teaching assistants with knowledge of pedagogical approaches and available support systems.
There are typically a number of research assistantships associated with externally funded research projects. Such research assistantships, which are allocated to students by the faculty member(s) holding the grant, may provide up to 12 months support, at up to a half-time rate. The availability of such positions and their substantive foci will vary from year to year. Students should contact individual faculty members regarding these positions.
Graduate School Travel Funds
Students who wish to present a paper at a professional meeting within the United States may submit a travel request to the Graduate School. Details regarding eligibility for these funds are available from the Graduate School website: http://grad.uga.edu/index.php/current-students/financial-information/travel-funding/.
All travel requests must be approved prior to the date of travel. The Graduate Program Assistant sends applications to the Graduate School as a group, in accordance with the Graduate School deadlines. These deadlines are available from the Graduate School web site (students should confirm deadlines with the Graduate School).
Departmental Travel Funds
The department provides for graduate students to present papers at professional conferences or attend the conference in some official capacity contingent upon availability of funds.
Priority for funding is as follows:
- on the program and presenting a research paper on which you are the first or sole author; or on the job market and registered for the job market class SOCI 9100 with one academic year;
- presenting a paper on which you are a co-author but not first author;
- being on the program in a different capacity such as presiding over a session or receiving an award, etc.
For each fiscal year (July 1-June 30) the department will pay up to a maximum of $500 for one out-of-state national conference and $200 for one out-of-state regional conference such as the Southern Sociological Society Meetings. If the conference is in state (GA) the department will pay up to $200 for one national conference and $100 for one regional conference.
Students are eligible to receive departmental funds as specified above if the student:
- Is in good standing and enrolled in the program.
- Applied for Graduate School funding if eligible.
If a student receives Graduate School funding the department will pay the student’s conference registration but will not provide any other travel funds for that conference.
If the student is denied Graduate School funding the student is eligible for departmental funding as stated above.
The department will pay for the conference registration for students who receive funding from other sources (e.g., faculty grants), but will not provide any additional travel funds for that conference.
In all cases graduate students must correctly complete, and have approved, a Travel Authority form prior to attending conferences. All travel authorities must be filled out regardless of eligibility or allocations of departmental funds. Travel authorities must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of travel.
For those allocated funding, expense statement must be submitted to the department at least one week after returning from travel.
The Department of Sociology is housed in Baldwin Hall. Faculty and student offices, most seminar rooms, many classrooms, LaSSI, and the Computer Laboratory are all located in Baldwin Hall. The Main Library is across the street.
Graduate teaching assistants are given office space in Baldwin Hall. Students have access to computers and word processing equipment in their offices, as well as in the departments’ computer laboratory.