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Assistantships, Fellowships and Funding


Teaching and research assistantships contribute important experiences to doctoral students’ development as mathematics educators. Some assistantships are campus-based, while others provide opportunities to work in local schools. It is expected that mathematics education doctoral students will obtain experiences in both teaching and research positions while a graduate student at MSU.

Students can teach in the College of Education and in the Mathematics Department, working with preservice elementary and secondary teachers in MSU’s five-year, field-based teacher preparation program, with undergraduates in lower division mathematics courses and programs such as Emerging Scholars, and with practicing teachers in Master’s courses.

Courses that typically have assistants:

  • Methods/field instruction for elementary or secondary mathematics. Contact  Sandra Crespo. See more information on the College of Education assistantship webpage, which includes a link to their assistantship application page.
  • MTH 201/202, math content courses for elementary teachers. Contact Lisa Keller
  • MTHE 430 History of Mathematics. Contact Lisa Keller. Instructor is expected to have taught MTH 201/202 at MSU or the equivalent at another institution.

Research assistantships enable students to work closely with faculty on a variety of research and development projects as well. Many of the current mathematics education research projects are listed on our website. Please contact the Principal Investigators directly to see if they are hiring any new research assistants for the coming year.

Research and teaching assistantships include a salary and tuition credit (up to 9 credits in the fall or spring semester, up to 5 credits if employed in summer), and enrollment in the university’s graduate student medical plan.

The assistantship salary, or stipend, depends on the level of the assistantship, which is based on prior academic background, advancement in the program, and semesters of experience in a related assistantship. For each 25% appointment, the assistantship holder is required to provide an average of 10 hours per week over the course of the 18-week pay period. Continuation of assistantships depends on a student’s record of fulfilling assistantship obligations (indicated by faculty review) and on satisfactory academic progress.

International teaching assistants must satisfy an English proficiency requirement, described on the Teaching Assistants Program website.

The GEU Contract for Teaching Assistants can be found on the Graduate Employees Union website.

See the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) webpage for more information about assistantships, fellowships, and financial matters.


The MSU Graduate School and the Colleges of Education and Natural Science offer a variety of fellowships to help support student work and accelerate completion of the dissertation.

Continuation Fellowship Awards

The MSU Graduate School, the College of Education, the College of Natural Science, and external agencies all offer various forms of support for graduate students. Announcements will be sent throughout the academic year regarding deadlines and requirements for submission. Continuing fellowship awards range from $2,000 – $7,500.

Dissertation Completion Fellowships

The Graduate School provides a $7,000 – $10,000 fellowship that allows students to devote considerable time to completing their dissertations. Announcements will be sent for Fall, Spring and Summer Dissertation Completion Fellowships throughout the year.

Travel/Professional Development Fellowships

Doctoral students may request support for travel to national or international conferences in which they present the results of scholarly research. Such funds are available mostly from the Mathematics Education Graduate Program (see the Math Ed Travel Request Form on the Current Student site, under Forms) but there also is funding available for one-time travel support from the Graduate School and one-time support from the Council of Graduate Students (COGS).

The Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award is presented to an outstanding graduate student in support of their professional development. Nominees must be pursuing a degree in the College of Natural Science. The award includes a one-time stipend of $1,000 funded by the NatSci AA Endowed Scholarship Fund.

There is also an international study abroad fellowship for doctoral students, to help future researchers develop global perspective on educational policies and practices. It is called the Fellowship to Enhance Global Understanding. Several of our students have received the fellowship to visit abroad for 3 weeks, typically in May. Recent trips taken include China, Cyprus, Indonesia, and Cuba.

Please also visit the Graduate School site for professional development around teaching.

Research Enhancement Fellowships

These small fellowships are designed to support auxiliary expenses directly related to students’ research activities. Provided by the Graduate School, Colleges and unit, such fellowships help fund, for example, students’ travel to a remote research location and/or purchase research-related materials. Applications for these fellowships can be submitted any time.

Emergency Fellowship funds

These funds are available from the Graduate School for unusual or unforeseen emergency expenses. Funds are provided on a one-time only basis and are contingent upon eligibility and available funds. Emergency funds may also be obtained under similar criteria from the Department of Teacher Education.

Further information of funding options and fellowships available to doctoral students can be found in the Graduate School's Funding section.

FAST Fellowship Program

The primary goals of the FAST (Future Academic Scholars in Teaching) Fellowship Program are to provide opportunities for a diverse group of doctoral graduate students to have mentored teaching experiences and to gain familiarity with materials on teaching and assessment techniques.

The FAST program is for doctoral students with interests in teaching, learning, and assessment in higher education who are enrolled in programs  associated with the Colleges of Natural Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine and whose college or department has an approved Certification in College Teaching Program. Applications are typically due to the Graduate School in the mid-spring semester for the following year.

Bailey Scholars Graduate Fellowship Program

Yearly $2,000 fellowships are offered to graduate students to further their development in the scholarship of teaching and learning, with the opportunity for renewal of the fellowship. The Bailey Scholars fellowship exposes graduate students to a learning community focused on innovative teaching and learning practices. Graduate students spend a semester paired with a seasoned faculty member of the program in the classroom where they learn about the pedagogy of a learning-centered organization. The other semester is working with the Senior Director and other Graduate Fellows in your cohort on a scholarship of teaching and learning project. Students work closely with others to ensure they meet their personal goals for the experience, and they are expected to engage in the program community to ensure they fully immerse themselves in the experience.  Although the program lies in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, familiarity with that subject matter is not necessary as the focus of the fellowship is on the process(es) of learning rather than content. Applications are typically due in early April for the following year. Please visit Baily Scholars Program for more information.

Please see the Graduate School Cohort Fellowships site for additional fellowship opportunities.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)

The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States.  The program recognizes and supports outstanding new graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission. Each Fellowship consists of three years of support usable over a five-year period. For each year of support, NSF provides a stipend of $30,000 to the Fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $10,500 to the degree-granting institution. For 2012, it is anticipated that the cost-of-education allowance will increase to $12,000, as indicated in the FY2012 Budget Request. Students who are early in their graduate studies (first year) are encouraged to apply. The due date for the STEM Education and Learning application is typically in mid-November.

Other Financial Matters

Tuition and Fees

MSU Controller’s Office maintains an up-to-date website that outlines all tuition and fee schedules for the university.

Financial Aid