Graduate Funding

Financial assistance can be an important factor as you consider your decision to pursue an advanced degree. The Greenlee School offers several funding opportunities to its graduate students, including teaching and research assistantships.

Teaching Assistantships

Greenlee School teaching assistantships are awarded for either a semester or an academic year (nine months from August through the end of the semester in May). Very few summer assistantships are available. Stipend rates for teaching assistantships are set annually by the Graduate College. The point of contact is the supervising professor. In cases of teaching a course as the instructor of record, TAs work closely with the associate director.

As a teaching assistant, you’ll likely assist a professor in handling duties associated with teaching large classes. Your duties may include lecturing, grading assignments, recording grades, preparing class materials, administering examinations and more.

You’ll work directly for the professor (or professors) directing the class and will be evaluated by that professor. In cases of teaching a course as the instructor of record (an opportunity reserved for graduate students with significant professional experience), you’ll work closely with Greenlee’s associate director.

In some cases, teaching assistants may engage in work for more than one professor. For example, you might be assigned to work 10 hours per week in each of two media law classes taught by two different professors. Or you might be assigned 10 hours per week assisting a professor teaching a large lecture class and 10 hours a week working with a second professor on research.

If you’re contemplating a career in teaching, you will find a teaching assistantship will give you valuable experience that will enable you to develop your teaching style and classroom materials.

Research Assistantships

Research assistantships are often obtained by faculty members who write competitive grants that are funded through the university from internal or external sources. Students receiving these assistantships are selected by the professor receiving the grant and report directly to that professor, who assigns their duties and supervises their work. A typical research assistant might help the professor assemble a literature review of research in a particular area, or assist in designing, mailing, coding and analyzing data from surveys.

If you’re interested in research, you will find that being involved in an ongoing research project is extremely valuable in understanding the research process from funding through paper presentations and research publications.

Eligibility and Application Process for Assistantships

To be considered for a Greenlee School assistantship, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a GPA of 3.0 or better and be on full admission status.
  • You must be registered as a full-time student (taking nine credits of graduate courses during the fall or spring semester or one course during the summer) while employed as a graduate assistant. Note: If you have completed all course requirements and are working on a thesis or creative component, you will be considered full time if you register for at least two thesis (JL MC 699) or creative component (JL MC 599) credits.
  • You need to be on campus if you are employed as a graduate assistant. Any extended absences must be approved by the Director of Graduate Education (DOGE).

If you’re interested in receiving a graduate assistantship from the Greenlee School, contact Jan Lauren Boyles, the school’s Director of Graduate Education, or Katie Siders, the college’s graduate program assistant.

For more information on the selection process, timing and awarding of Greenlee graduate assistantships, refer to Greenlee’s Graduate Handbook.

Tuition, Fee Reduction and Other Benefits for Graduate Assistants

Complete details about tuition, fee reduction and health insurance can be found on the Graduate College’s Graduate Assistantships page.

Additional Assistantship Opportunities

It is possible for you to receive assistantship support from other units on campus as a graduate student in the Greenlee School. Graduate students at the Greenlee School are eligible to apply for a number of these opportunities.

In these cases, the salary level is determined by the hiring unit. In cases where the student receives an appointment from another unit, an individual in that unit will supervise the assistantship and make all decisions concerning its extension or termination.


Greenlee Scholarships and Grants

The following opportunities are available to graduate students in the Greenlee School.

Peter Meehan Memorial Scholarship Award – Greenlee graduate students can be nominated for this award for contribution to theory and demonstrated humanitarian concern. The Graduate Steering Committee asks faculty to suggest students based on student work and contributions. This award is typically given annually, based on available funds after a successful proposal defense.

Jake Hvistendahl Graduate Student Scholarship Fund – This fund provides scholarships that support Greenlee School graduate students majoring in journalism towards the completion of their thesis or creative component. The award is in the amount of $200 and can be awarded once per student after successful completion of their proposal meeting. The Director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication shall be responsible for administering the distributions from the scholarship account.

Graduate Student Travel Grant – These grants are awarded to graduate students by the Graduate Steering Committee (GSC) at the Greenlee School to help defray expenses related to academic or professional meeting and conference travel. The maximum amount of a GSTG award per fiscal year shall be $500 per student. Learn how to apply.

Other scholarships and grants are awarded as funding becomes available. Admission to the Greenlee School’s graduate program places you under consideration for scholarships and other funding opportunities. There is no separate application for scholarships.


Find more information on financing a graduate degree, including expenses you may expect to encounter and ways in which Iowa State provides assistance for educational expenses, from Iowa State University’s Graduate College.