Frequently Asked Questions on Assistantships

What is an assistantship?

Assistantships are a form of financial assistance granted through part-time academic employment, usually to graduate students, but not excluding undergraduates. We award assistantships to promising students with outstanding potential to succeed in our graduate programs. In general, assistantship award recipients are required to achieve good progress in a graduate degree program with a full-time status, and to perform assigned duties well.

Is an assistantship need based or merit based?

Our assistantships are merit-based, not need-based. That is, an applicant's financial situation is not considered. Funding sources from your government or other international organizations may provide need-based financial aid. Additionally, part-time jobs are available on campus.

Can I get an assistantship before applying to Florida Tech?

We do not consider or make decisions on assistantships if the person has not applied to our graduate programs--we cannot award assistantships to non-students. An applicant has to be admitted to one of our graduate degree programs before he/she is considered for assistantships. All admitted students are considered for assistantships. We encourage students with strong academic credentials to apply.

I am not a current Florida Tech student; how do I apply for a teaching assistantship (TA)?

Apply to a graduate degree program. All admitted students are considered for teaching assistantships.

I am not a current Florida Tech student; how do I apply for a research assistantship (RA)?

Apply to individual faculty members who have RA opportunities. Note that the faculty usually receives many such email messages and might ignore them. Some faculty members do not award RA's until the students have performed well in classes at Florida Tech. We suggest you to:

  1. Look at the faculty research interests
  2. Apply to a degree program
  3. Contact the faculty member(s) with research interests similar to yours and he/she can look at your complete application
I am a current Florida Tech student; how do I apply for a teaching assistantship (TA)?

With the application form (pdf), please submit the following to the CS department office:

  1. A resume
  2. A current Florida Tech transcript (with a minimum GPA of 3.5 for grad students and 3.0 for undergrad students)
  3. 3 letters of recommendations from Florida Tech faculty members (preferably CS faculty members)
  4. Your GRE score report
  5. For international students: TOEFL score report with a minimum score of 600 (250 for computer-based test or 100 for internet-based test) or a minimum score of 7.0 for IELTS.

For full consideration, the complete application should be received by the deadlines for new students (February 1st for Fall and August 1st for Spring).

As a current Florida Tech student, I applied for a teaching assistantship (TA) and did not get one, can I reapply for another semester?

Yes, you can. You should submit an updated transcript and letters.

I am a current Florida Tech student; how do I apply for a research assistantship (RA)?

Apply to individual faculty members who have RA opportunities.

Are there scholarships outside of Florida Tech that I can apply?

Information on scholarships offered outside of Florida Tech can be found at

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) [or IELTS] scores?

For teaching assistantships, Florida Tech requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper), 250 (computer-based), or 100 (internet-based), or 7.0 IELTS. for international students. For research assistantships, the minimum score is 550 (paper), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based), or 6.5 IELTS. (TOEFL Score Comparison Table (pdf)) Applicants may be admitted with a lower score, but will be required to take English courses and obtain the minimum score before taking regular courses.

TSE (Test of Spoken English) scores?

To be considered for teaching assistantships, international students are requested (though not required) to submit TSE scores. Florida Tech requires a minimum score of 45. We will also conduct phone interviews. (TSE)

What are my chances of getting an assistantship?

Stronger preparation in computer science and higher test scores have a better chance. Strong recommendation letters are important. Priority is given to Ph.D. applicants first and then to M.S. applicants.

How many assistantships are awarded?

The number of new teaching assistantships depends on the number of classes offered and the number of continuing teaching assistants. The number of research assistantships depends on research funding of the faculty members. More new assistantships are available in the Fall than in the Spring because students usually start in the Fall and graduate in the Spring.

From a Ph.D. survey conducted in Spring 2003 (participated by 21 out of 24 registered students), the following table contains some statistics on how our Ph.D. students were supported.

PhD students participated in the Spring 2003 survey Teaching Assistantship Research Assistantship External (company, government...) Personal Only
21 5 10 9 3

Note that a student could be supported by more than one source.

The following table shows the number of assistantship awards in each level of degree programs in Fall 2001.

Assistantships B.S. M.S. Ph.D. Total
System Administrators 2 0 0 2
Teaching Assistants 0 13 4 17
Research Assistants 19 14 6 39
Total Number of Students 248 151 29 428
When should I apply to Florida Tech?
Starting Semester Deadline
Fall (August-December) February 1
Spring (January-May) August 1

Florida Tech uses rolling admissions, but for full consideration, complete applications should be received by February 1 for Fall/August and August 1 for Spring/January enrollment. Assistantship evaluations are conducted annually for Fall enrollment. Since most assistantships are for Fall and Spring, very few, if any, assistantships are offered for Spring enrollment.

I have been admitted; when will I hear about my eligibility for a teaching assistantship (TA)?

The graduate admission committee recommends TA awards, but the department head decides the recipients and the amount of award.

Date Event
February 1 Application deadline (with full consideration for Fall)
February Evaluation of complete applications (incomplete applications are not forwarded to the CS department for evaluation)
Early March Phone interviews of top admitted students
March 15 Recommendations for TA awards
March 15 onwards TA award offers (multiple rounds)

If you were admitted but did not receive an interview invitation by March 15th, you are not among the applicants being considered for TA awards.

I have been admitted; when will I hear about my eligibility for a research assistantship (RA)?

The graduate admission committee does not decide on RA's; the official notice will come from individual faculty members. This can happen at any time (after the student is admitted).

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