Graduate Assistants

Graduate School Assistantships, Fellowships, and Awards

A limited number of graduate assistantships, fellowships and awards are directly available through the NMSU Graduate School. 

Klipsch School Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships are available for both incoming and current graduate students. Teaching assistantships (20 hours/week during the semester) provide a two-semester stipend of approximately $16,200 and eligibility for in-state (reduced) tuition. A student awarded a teaching assistantship, a.k.a. Teaching Assistant (TA), generally teaches two to three laboratory courses. Teaching assistantships are generally awarded to Ph.D. students although depending on staffing needs, teaching assistantships may also be awarded to MS students. Download the Graduate Assistant Salary Table to learn more.

Incoming Students

For outstanding students (with a BSEE or MSEE) applying to or entering the Ph.D. program, the department will award at its discretion, a two-year teaching assistantship. The student must meet one of the following:

* BSEE with a minimum 3.75 GPA (no MSEE)
* MSEE (thesis) with a minimum 3.5 GPA

After the second year, the Klipsch School (at its option) may continue a student’s teaching assistantship or the student can arrange a research assistantship with a faculty member (see below). Continuation of a teaching assistantship will depend on the student’s teaching evaluations, GPA, and progress toward the degree.

Current Students

Teaching assistantships may also be awarded to students currently enrolled in the Klipsch School Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate program based upon a professor’s nomination to the Department Head.  If a student wishes to be nominated for a teaching assistantship, they should discuss this with the faculty advisor; students are encouraged to begin the nomination process as early as possible.

Teaching Assistantship Support Limits

In addition to maintaining a minimum of 3.25 GPA, a TA is expected to make progress towards their degree

1. For Ph.D. students with a MSEE degree, TAs are expected to

a. have passed the Ph.D. qualifying examination by the 3rd semester
b. have passed the Ph.D. comprehensive examination by the 6th semester
c. have passed the dissertation defense by the 8th semester

2. For Ph.D. students without a MSEE degree, TAs are expected to

a. have passed the Ph.D. qualifying examination by the 6th semester
b. have passed the Ph.D. comprehensive examination by the 8th semester
c. have passed the dissertation defense by the 10th semester

In no case shall any Ph.D. student be supported on a TA for more than 8 semesters total unless an exception has been made by the Department Head. For the MS student, teaching assistantships are limited to 2 semesters and a thesis must be completed; if the student continues into the Ph.D. program, their time limit is reset.

International Students

All international students receiving a teaching assistantship must demonstrate proficiency in English and competency in pedagogy.  Prior to the first semester in which the teaching assistantship is received, international students must undergo the NMSU International Teaching Assistant (ITA) screening administered by the Communications Studies Department on behalf of the Graduate School. The Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering will arrange the request and scheduling of ITA screening exam. International students with a degree from a U.S. institution are exempt from the ITA screening exam.

Responsibilities of Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants are a vital part of the Klipsch School team.  As such, TAs have important responsibilities in order to carry out both the teaching and research missions of the University.

  • TAs are  expected to be present on-campus when instruction begins each semester  (please see the academic NMSU calendar for these dates).  It is suggested that TAs arrive earlier to meet with the course supervisor so that the TA will be able to prepare for the first lab.  Failure to be on campus at the semester start may result in loss of the teaching assistantship.  If a TA is traveling before instruction begins (especially overseas), please allow additional time before instruction begins to ensure arrival and adjustment.  Please discuss with the course supervisor any additional duties  during finals week that require on-campus TA presence.
  • Teaching Assistants should schedule a meeting with the course instructor before instruction begins and identify yourself as the TA for the course.
  • All new TAs must complete the online graduate assistant orientation. Please see this website for more information
  • There will be an orientation meeting of all Electrical and Computer Engineering TAs on the day instruction begins at 4:00pm in T&B 204 to review department TA policies, expectations, evaluations, responsibilities, what TAs should expect from the instructor, etc….  Attendance is required.
  • TAs must register for at least 9 credit hours and have a minimum 3.0 GPA in order to be hired.
  • The maximum amount of paid hours a student can work on campus as a student is 20 hours/week.  Therefore if you are awarded a full-time TA (20 hours/week) you may not work anywhere else on campus and must resign from any on-campus paid jobs (including research assistantships) before you can be hired as a TA.  If you are awarded a half-time TA (10 hours/week), you may work no more than 10 additional hours elsewhere on campus therefore please reduce your hours if necessary at your other on-campus job if you have one. Problems arising from not being able to hire you will result in a delay of paycheck.
  • If your advisor has notified you that you are on TA probation because of a low teaching evaluation score, you will have to improve your performance this semester to be considered for a TA next semester. There are several graduate TA workshops that you can attend to improve your teaching and we encourage you to attend.
  • Please see the Graduate School website and their Employment Guidelines for Graduate Assistants. 

Research Assistants

A limited number of research assistantships (RA) are available for highly-qualified students. Generally, a RA is awarded by a faculty member who has external research funding and requires a student with specific skills or subject knowledge. Before working on a project, the faculty member informs the GA about the availability of funding, its duration and likelihood of renewal from the funding agency. The faculty member and the GA agree to (and sign) an annual performance plan that lays out the objectives for the GA for that year.  Thus, if the objectives laid out in the performance plan are not met and/or the funding runs out, the faculty member, at his or her discretion, can let the GA go. A student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and make adequate progress towards the graduate Electrical and Computer Engineering degree.

For information on RA positions available please contact your advisor.