Master of Urban Planning Assistantships

The Department provides approximately one-half or more of qualified MUP candidates with merit-based financial support in the form of fellowships, teaching assistantshiops, or research assistantships, often with tuition and partial fee waivers. Fellowships are awarded upon entry into the program as a part of the admissions process. Assistantship appointments are assigned one of two ways: first, as part of a financial award package offered at the time of admission; second, as research projects, engagement projects, or other activities of the Department and its faculty arise. It is very commont for students who do not receive assistantship appoinments upon admission to find a research or teaching assistantship after they arrive on campus and demonstrate their skillset. All departmental assistantship appointments are made on a competitive basis and made by the Department Head.

Typical Appointments

Most MUP assistantships are for a 25 percent appointment, which requires 10 hours of work per week. Each semester's work period covers 18 weeks  (August 16 to January 5, and January 6 to May 16), for a total of 180 hours of work. Such appointments provide a stipend plus waiver of tuition and partial fees. Enrollment in a minimum of 12 hours of graduate credit per semester, a minimum of 3.0 GPA, continuing satisfactory progress toward the MUP degree, and satisfactory performance in the assignment is required to hold a Departmental assistantship.

The MUP program is designed as a full-time, residential program with the assumption that students take a full course load and may be working up to 10 hours per week. Combined course and work commitments higher than this may compromise a student's academic performance or assistantship obligations. For these reasons, 50 percent appointments (i.e. 20 hours per week) at the MUP level are rare.

Teaching Assistantships & TA Orientation

All teaching assistants must complete the Center for Teaching Excellence (CITL) Graduate Academy for College Teaching. The orientation consists of a two-day session the week before classes begin in the Fall semester (normally the Monday and Tuesday prior to the start of classes). Before international students can be admitted to the TA orientation, however, they must successfully complete the Oral English Proficiency Testing, also administered by CITL or receive a score of 24 or higher on the speaking portion of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

Students with teaching assistantships must take TA training in the fall because it enhances student employability and the department's flexibility in making assistantship assignments over the course of the year. CITL also holds TA training in January, prior to the start of the spring semester, for TAs who are appointed later in the fall.

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