Graduate Assistantships

The department offers a variety of assistantship opportunities where students can develop their teaching skills under the supervision of a professorial faculty member. Many assistants teach one or two sections of COMS 100: Fundamentals of Oral Communication.

Graduate assistants also provide support for the department's instructional laboratories, such as the Wilderman Learning Laboratory, the Communication Skills Laboratory, the Watson media editing laboratory and Telematics. Other assistants work with the department's highly successful forensics program.

A full-time graduate assistantship requires up to 20 hours of service per week. For teaching assistants, this 20 hours includes both in-class duties (normally 6-8 hours) and out-of-class preparation and meetings. A graduate assistant is required to take 9 hours (3 courses) each semester. Most full-time graduate assistants complete their degree within two years.

Other Types of Duties

  • Assist with debate or individual events in an active forensics program
  • Teach lab sections for media production courses
  • Assist with Reality Bytes Independent Student Film Festival

Monetary Conditions

  • Salary of approximately $15,000 (20 hours per week)
  • Waiver of in-state or out-of-state tuition for twelve months

Conditions of Appointment

To hold an assistantship, students must be admitted to the M.A. program in Communication Studies and complete the NIU Application for a Graduate Assistantship. Although applications are accepted throughout the year, applicants hoping to begin the following fall semester should complete their files by Feb. 1 for full consideration. Assistantships are only offered to students whose application files are complete.

Graduate Advising

Bill Cassidy, Ph.D.
Graduate Director
Reavis Hall 108