Department of English at Illinois State University


We aspire to offer an assistantship to many individuals admitted to the Ph.D. or Master's Program. While a large majority of these assistantships are for teaching, we also offer assistantships in publishing. Applying for a graduate assistantship is a separate process from applying for admission to the graduate program. Students who wish to apply for a graduate assistantship must complete both the online Admissions Application and the online Graduate Assistantship Application.

NOTE: Normally, assistantships are only available in the fall and spring; students should plan accordingly to cover summer financial needs.

You must have a University Identification number to apply for an assistantship. The admissions office sends you this number 1-2 weeks after you have applied for admission. Alternatively, you can check your admission status and find your University Identification number by logging on to Welcome2ISU and clicking "check application status."

To apply for an assistantship for the 2014/2015 academic year see the following websites:

Master's: here
Doctoral  here


To be considered for an assistantship, a graduate student must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) for the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or a Graduate Record Examination score of 1000 of the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the examination.

Students on assistantships must achieve a 3.0 GPA each semester and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA to continue in the assistantship. A graduate assistant enrolled in less than nine hours will need an approved course load waiver on file in the Graduate School.

NOTE: Illinois State University allows graduate students to work 20 hours/week; thus, Ph.D. students are working the maximum amount of hours they are allowed to work for the University. However, it is possible for Master's students to find other employment at the University for an additional 10 hours/week. Master's students should check the ISU Jobs System for those opportunities.

Ph.D. Assistantships

Assistantships for Ph.D. students are 20 hours/week assignments, generally teaching two classes in the Writing Program, with a few assistantships offered in the English Language Institute. Doctoral students teach composition and occasionally teach Literary and Cultural Studies, Creative Writing, Technical Writing, or Linguistics, especially as an internship. All writing courses are taught in computer equipped classrooms.

All teaching assistants have an office equipped with a computer and have network access. Doctoral students teach two courses each semester. Assistantships for doctoral students currently carry a stipend of $1,602 per month for 9 months and a full tuition waiver. Summer teaching is sometimes available. Many doctoral students who want a teaching assistantship are granted one upon admission.

Master's Assistantships

Assistantships offered to Master's students are 10 hours/week assignments, generally teaching one class in the Writing Program, with some assistantships available in the English Language Institute. Master's students spend their first semester assisting a teacher. After their first semester, they teach one course each semester.

Assistantships for Master's students currently carry a stipend of $792 per month for 9 months and a full tuition waiver. Summer teaching and summer research are occasionally available. All students with a teaching assistantship have an office equipped with a computer and network access.

Sutherland Fellowships in Creative Writing

Sutherland Fellowships are awarded to a small number of Creative Writing students. Sutherland Fellows work a year in the Department's Publications Unit and spend a second year teaching creative writing.