Working at the School

For students currently employed at the School of Social Work, the TA, GA, AI, GRA Resources page contains requirements, information, forms, and checklists about your job at the School.

See below for details about employment for BSW, MSSW, and PhD students.

BSW Students

BSW students apply for financial aid directly with the university’s Office of Financial Aid. If awarded a work-study appointment, students should contact the Assistant Dean for the BSW Program, Vicki Y. Packheiser (, who will notify School staff about eligible BSW work-study students. Students are also encouraged to contact the Office of Student Financial Services about other work-study placements on campus.

MSSW Students

A limited number of TA (Teaching Assistant), GA (Graduate Assistant) and RA (Research Assistant) positions are available for MSSW students in increments of 5 to 20 hours a week.

To be considered for financial support (Teaching Assistanships and scholarships), MSSW students must have a completed Financial Support Application on file with the School of Social Work Office of Admissions. The application is kept on file for as long as the student is in the program. Complete the Financial Support Application here.

To be considered for a Research Assistant position, MSSW students must have a current Research Assistant Form on file with the School of Social Work Office of Admissions. This form is included in the MSSW acceptance packet, to be completed and returned to the Director of Admissions. It is kept on file for as long as the student is in the program. The form is available from the Office of Admissions or can be downloaded here in Word format or in PDF format. Research Assistant position decisions are made by individual faculty members with funded research. For more information and questions about RA positions or to apply for an RA position, please contact Dr. Carol Lewis, Associate Director of the Office of the Associate Dean for Research, at

PhD Students

Research Assistantship (RA), Teaching Assistantship (TA)  and Assistant Instructor (AI) assignments are the primary source of financial support for our doctoral students.

RA assignments are decided by individual faculty. Students wanting an RA position should make direct contact with the professor or research faculty member with whom they hope to work.

The following priorities are used for awarding TA and AI assignments to Ph.D. students:

    1. Students who are in the first three years of the program have priority for TA positions.
    2. Students who have completed their course work, who have not taught previously, and who can demonstrate preparation for teaching will have priority for AI assignments (usually fourth year of the program). Students must have successfully completed Pedagogy (SW 398T) before they can be considered for an AI position.
    3. Students who are on schedule to complete their degree in four years will have priority over students who have been in the program for more than four years.

To be considered for an assistantship, Ph.D. students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Graduate Program Coordinator for the Ph.D. students will periodically send out emails advising students of TA and AI positions. Students who want to be considered for a TA or AI position should respond to the e-mails requesting interest in such positions.

Final appointments for TA positions are approved by the Financial Assistance Committee after reviewing requests from Ph.D. students and faculty. This committee is chaired by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The committee is comprised of the Assistant Deans for Doctoral Education, MSSW, and BSW programs, the Assistant Dean for Finance, the Graduate Program Coordinator for Ph.D. Students, and the Director of Admissions. Merit, financial need, student interests and skill sets, and faculty needs and interests are taken into consideration when selections are made.

Applications for AI positions are reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Doctoral Education, the Assistant Dean for the BSW program, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and rank ordered based on qualifications of the applicant and instructional needs of the school. This prioritized list is submitted to the Dean who makes the final decision regarding AI appointments.

For additional information regarding these positions, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for Ph.D. Students at 512.471.3925 or