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3.0 Employment, Research and Teaching Assistantships, Tuition Benefit, and Vacation or Leave

Graduate students in most cases do not receive financial support unless working on a research project.

3.1 Research Assistantships

Research assistants include all graduate students assigned directly to funded research projects. Research assistants are normally selected by the Principal Investigator of the project. See your faculty advisor for what may be available.

3.2 Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships involve teaching responsibilities such as serving as instructors or laboratory supervisors, grading papers, or leading discussions. Teaching assistantships are available in the Department for selected students. The Supervisory Committee Chair should be consulted for availability. An award is given annually for best teaching assistant.

3.3 Tuition Benefit Support

3.3.1 Qualifying for the Tuition Benefit

Teaching assistants, research assistants, and graduate fellows who meet minimum financial support requirements through the university for the academic year receive tuition benefit support from the university. Please see the department office for the current amounts and for the availability of tuition benefit support for Summer term.

Students receiving a full tuition benefit may be required to work up to twenty hours per week in order to receive the benefit. Three-quarter and half tuition benefits are available for students working fewer hours.

The tuition benefit is not provided to students compensated for their work through organizations other than the University, such as internships paid directly through another institution or agency.

All students receiving the tuition benefit from the university must be full-time matriculated graduate students. Full-time status for this purpose is defined as registration for at least nine credit hours per semester during the regular academic year. Benefits are valid for a minimum of nine and a maximum as specified by the tuition benefit guidelines. Students whose necessary coursework is less than nine hours should make up the nine hours by registering for Thesis Research (MET E 6970 or 7970). Students who drop and/or add courses after the published university deadline are responsible for paying any fees incurred, including the tuition charges for the dropped classes. Students are responsible for paying late fees.

3.3.2 Revocation of the Tuition Benefit

If a student withdraws from courses and falls below the required nine hours, receives less than the reported compensation, fails to provide evidence of acceptable SPEAK test scores as applicable, or in any way fails to meet the requirements and restrictions associated with any of the supported graduate student roles or Graduate School policy, the tuition benefit will be revoked and the student billed at the end of a semester for the full tuition for that semester at the applicable resident or nonresident rate. A petition for an exception for a personal emergency such as illness may be made to the Dean of the Graduate School with a letter of support from the student's Department Chair.

3.3.3 Tuition Benefit Limits

Students receiving the tuition benefit have the nonresident portion of tuition waived until they have reached 84 credit hours. The Graduate School benefit then covers the remaining full, three-quarter, or half tuition costs at the in-state (resident) rate. After eighty-four credit hours, students are responsible for the nonresident portion of tuition. Domestic out-of-state graduate students who receive the tuition benefit must apply for state residency at the end of their first year of study.

Students who enter their graduate programs with a baccalaureate degree are limited to two years (or four semesters) of tuition benefit support for the completion of the master's degree, to five years (or ten semesters) for the completion of the doctorate if bypassing the master's, and to five years (or ten semesters) if continuing in the doctoral program after receiving a masters from the University of Utah (two years for a master's degree plus three additional years for a doctorate).

Students who enter a doctoral program holding a master's degree may receive up to four years (or eight semesters) of tuition benefit support.

These restrictions do not limit the number of years or semesters a program, department, or college may choose to support a student in addition to this tuition benefit program. Since this benefit is provided by the university rather than the department, semesters used in a previous major count against the total. A student who receives more semesters of tuition benefit than s/he is eligible for will be billed for that semester's tuition retroactively.

3.4 Outside Employment

Students on research/teaching assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships are not permitted to engage in regular outside employment without special permission from their Principal Investigator or Supervisory Committee Chair. Permission is granted only in hardship cases.

International students on a student visa are not permitted to work off-campus.

3.5 Vacations and Leave (within a Semester)

While the department does not specify the number of vacation days permitted, it is understood that students demonstrating quality performance may arrange with their faculty advisor for time off. It is the responsibility of the student to plan all leaves and vacations with his/her faculty advisor. Leave necessary for presentation of research work, a job interview, etc., should also be planned in advance. Any absences not planned in advance may not be compensated for if the student is funded through departmental projects. If on the Tuition Benefit program, check with the payroll secretary that unpaid leave does not drop earnings below the amount necessary to qualify.

See 2.4 Leave of Absence or Vacation Semester for information on taking a leave of absence or a vacation semester.

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Last Updated: 9/13/17