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Graduate student stipends (both RA and TA) are tied to progress toward graduation as an incentive to complete your degree. Once you have completed the Doctoral Written Exam I, your stipend will increase by 4.6%. After completing your thesis proposal presentation, you will receive a further 4.4% raise. You are expected to complete your degree within 12 semesters (6 years).

 

TA support for fall and spring semesters:

  • 1st – 6th-year graduate students: Every effort will be made to provide full TA support.
  • 7th – 8th-year graduate students: Students who have not completed their degree requirements, but are making good progress will be supported to the extent possible, but shortages in the instructional budget may result in reduced TA support. Whenever possible, graduate student stipends will be above the threshold to qualify for health insurance and tuition coverage; this is currently $7850/semester (as of 2017), or approximately 90% of the base stipend. Funding decisions will be made by the Department Chair based on recommendations by the Directors of Undergraduate Laboratories and Graduate Studies, on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the student’s teaching and research performance. For evaluation criteria, see below.
  • 9th-year graduate students and above: Students who have not completed their degree requirements within eight years are generally not eligible for TA and tuition support, or benefits.

 

TA support for summer sessions I and II:

  • Rising 2nd-year graduate students: Every effort will be made to provide two summer sessions ($4,000) of TA support.
  • Rising 3rd – 8th-year graduate students: Students will be supported to the extent possible, but shortages in the instructional budget may result in reduced TA support. Funding decisions will be made by the Department Chair based on recommendations by the Directors of Undergraduate Laboratories and Graduate Studies, on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the student’s teaching and research performance. For evaluation criteria, see below.
  • Rising 9th-year graduate students and above: Students who have not completed their degree requirements within eight years are not eligible for TA and tuition support, or benefits.

 

Evaluation criteria:

TA performance will be based on a rubric system following the CARE metric (competence, attitude, reliability, engagement). Whenever student feedback is used to evaluate TA performance, special care will be taken to account for possible biases.  TA performance should never be based solely on student feedback, so faculty evaluation based on personal observations should be included.  TAs whose support is in question will be evaluated by at least two faculty members.

 

2

Excellent

1

Good

0

Average

-1

Below Avg.

-2

Unsatisfactory

Competence Demonstrates mastery of subject and recognized as leader by peers and students Solid understanding of subject and makes few mistakes Knows subject well enough to teach or grade effectively Weak understanding of subject and makes occasional mistakes Poor understanding of subject and makes frequent mistakes
Attitude Positive and encouraging, good feedback from students Positive and encouraging attitude Acceptable attitude, positive and negative comments from students Poor attitude, some complaints from students Negative attitude, frequent complaints from students
Reliability Consistently on time to class and meetings, follows instructions, and offers helpful suggestions Consistently on time to class and meetings, follows instructions, offers advice On time to class and meetings, responds to emails and follows instructions Occasionally late to class or meetings, fails to respond to emails or follow up as expected Misses class or meetings without excuse, does not grade in timely fashion, does not follow instructions
Engagement Excellent interaction with students, provides helpful feedback when grading Interacts well with students, provides good feedback when grading Acceptable interaction with students and adequate feedback when grading Poor interaction with students and inadequate feedback when grading Unacceptable interaction with students and inappropriate feedback when grading

 

RA performance will be based on the ranking of the yearly progress reports (or, in years of exams, on the exam performance). The yearly progress reports, the DWE II, and the thesis proposal presentation (TPP) will receive a grade on the graduate grade scale (H,P,L,F). For explanations of the scale, see Graduate School Handbook. The table below gives some examples. “Deliverables” mentioned below could be publications, conference presentations, substantial contributions to collaboration, instrumentation, etc.  Other measures are just examples.

 

Grade Graduate Handbook Examples
H Clear Excellence More and/or more substantial deliverables than average, or ground-breaking contributions.

Independent work. Student develops questions. Strong career promise. Student owns project.

P Entirely Satisfactory Average deliverables (in amount and quality). Solid work, effective problem solver. Perfectly acceptable quality of work, but not ground-breaking.
L Inadequate A few deliverables. Results require checking. Student does not fully own project. Student shows only little initiative.
F Fail No, or only a few deliverables of inadequate quality.