Assistantships recognize promising students and are awarded based on academic merit and potential. A full assistantship carries tuition remission and a stipend for living expenses. Students awarded with assistantships are required to perform duties: teaching classes, supervising labs, or grading. In addition, research assistantships are available through individual Computer Science faculty. Research assistantships are not described in this document and students should contact faculty members directly to learn of the availability of research assistantships.
The Computer Sciences and Cybersecurity Department awards assistantships to full-time undergraduates and graduates in our program. Undergraduates are awarded assistantships as lab facilitators or graders. Graduate students are awarded assistantships in the above categories, but may also be assigned responsibility to teach classes.
Award decisions for each new academic year (Fall term) are made in May of each year. Some assistantships may still be available after May due to unforeseen changes in the plans of students. Some assistantships become open in January (Spring term) of each year. Only a few students are supported by assistantships during the Summer term.
Policies for Awards
All Assistants must have at completed a data structures and algorithms class (comparable to CSE 2010 at the undergraduate level or CSE 5100 at the graduate level). Graduates students who have taken graduate courses must have at least a 3.5 GPA. Undergraduates must have at least a 3.0 GPA. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires that graduate students who have primary responsibility for teaching a course have at least 18 hours of graduate level courses in computer science. Specific requirements for assistantships are given in assistantship descriptions below.
Students whose first language is not English must score 600 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and 45 or higher on the Test of Spoken English (TSE). Official test scores must be submitted to the University's office of Graduate Admissions.
The GSA Seminar
The Dean of the Graduate School requires that all students who teach attend series of seminars held during the week two weeks prior to the start of school in the Fall. Students who do not attend this seminar can not be assigned to teach classes or laboratories. The seminar is required for students who hope to become Teaching Assistants, but it does not guarantee that a a student will be offered an assistantship.
Level of Commitment
A full-time student assistant is assigned twenty (20) hours of duties per week, for nineteen (19) weeks each semester. These 19 weeks include 2 weeks prior to the start of classes. Student assistants must be available these preliminary weeks to prepare for the classes they will teach or to maintain and improve computer systems and laboratories.
The normal load for a full-time student assistant is 2 classes or laboratories. Student who are assigned classes to teach must prepare a class syllabus, homework and programming projects, quizzes and examinations.
Continuation of the award depends on successful academic performance and progress toward the student's degree. Graduate assistants are expected to maintain a 3.5 GPA and undergraduate assistants are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Assistants are expected to only earn grades of B or better.
Computer Science Help Desk and Office Hours
Teaching assistants are required to staff the Computer Science Help Desk at least 2 hours per week. Those that have full responsibility for one or more classes or one or more computer laboratories are required to have at least 2 office hours per week for every class/lab they teach.
University Policy on Graduate Assistantships
Graduate applicants should read the Graduate Assistantships section of the University catalog for additional policies on student assistants.
Computer Sciences awards assistantships to students to help the department in various ways. Brief descriptions of these duties and minimal requirements are given below.
Lab facilitators are upper-class undergraduates who have proven themselves as good students in freshman/sophomore computer science courses, in particular, as programmers. Lab facilitators assist the instructor of the course and the lab teaching assistant by helping students in computer laboratories with problems they may encounter. Lab facilitators receive a stipend. They are not required to attend the GSA Seminar, submit TOEFL or TSE scores, maintain office hours, or staff the Computer Science Help Desk (although they are encourage to perform this last service).
Graders help instructors by grading homework, programs, quizzes and exams. Graders must have passed, with high marks, the course (or a comparable course) for which they will grade. Graders receive a stipend. They are not required to attend the GSA Seminar, submit TOEFL or TSE scores, maintain office hours, or staff the Computer Science Help Desk (although they are encourage to perform this last service).
Lab Teaching Assistant
Lab teaching assistants help an instructor to prepare, deliver, and grade programming assignments. Most lab teaching assistants are graduate students, but rising undergraduates who plan to attend graduate school may also be awarded lab teaching assistantships. Lab teaching assistants never have primary responsibility for teaching a course. Lab teaching assistants are required to attend the GSA Seminar, submit TOEFL and TSE scores, maintain office hours, and staff the Computer Science Help Desk. Knowledge of the programming language being used by the class is normally assumed. Computer Sciences teaches laboratory classes in Ada, C/C++, Java, FORTRAN and other programming languages. Depending on enrollment and lab duration, full-time lab teaching assistants are assigned to 2 or 3 laboratories. Classes with lab teaching assistants include:
- Fundamentals of Software Development 1 (Java)
- Fundamentals of Software Development 2 (Java)
- Algorithms and Data Structures (Java)
- Introduction to Software Development with C++
- Advanced to Software Development with C++
Teaching assistants have primary responsibility for teaching and grading courses. They are required to attend the GSA Seminar, submit TOEFL and TSE scores, maintain office hours, staff the Computer Science Help Desk, and have at least 18 graduate-level credits in computer science. Full-time teaching assistants are assigned 2 classes. Classes assigned to teaching assistants include.
- Introduction to Computer Applications
- Introduction to Software Development with FORTRAN
- Introduction to Programming (restricted to Ph.D. level assistants)
- Assembly Language and Computer Organization (restricted to Ph.D. level assistants)
To apply for an assistantship, students must supply the department with information to support their application.
An application form (pdf) must be completed and returned to the Department of Computer Sciences and Cybersecurity before students will be considered for an assistantship. All assistantship application information should be delivered to the department at address:
Department of Computer Sciences and Cybersecurity
Florida Institute of Technology
150 W. University Boulevard
Melbourne, Florida 32901-6975
All applicants to Florida Tech must provide official transcripts from all universities they have attended to the Graduate Admission Office.
All assistantship applicants must provide the department with a resume that describes their experience and goals.
At least two (2) recommendation letters must be submitted to the department. These letters must be from persons familiar with the applicants academic or computer skills.
All application information needed by the department to review applicants for an assistantship must be submitted by February 15 for students seeking awards for the Fall term, or by September 15 for students seeking an award for the Spring term.