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Graduate assistantships are awarded competitively to incoming students based on their academic credentials and experience and their anticipated ability to provide needed services in teaching or research.

Teaching responsibilities for incoming students typically involve aiding a faculty member with an undergraduate course while more experienced assistants may be assigned to teach lower level undergraduate courses on their own.


These assistantships in the program generally

  • are half-time, requiring twenty hours of work per week
  • carry a stipend as well as a tuition remission
  • carry between 9 and 12 credits per semester

Interested students are strongly advised to apply to the program and indicate their desire for financial aid as early as possible in order to receive full consideration.

Graduate Fellowships icon-olus-circle

Penn State offers a very limited number of graduate fellowships to outstanding incoming doctoral students. The RPTM Program nominates one or two individuals each year for this program and our students have achieved exceptional success in acquiring Graduate Fellowships. Award winners typically have undergraduate and master's level GPAs of 3.9 or higher and GRE scores (total verbal and quantitative) of 1500. Nominees must also submit a detailed career goal statement.

Minority Graduate Scholars Awards icon-olus-circle

Outstanding students from underrepresented groups may apply for several assistantships, fellowships, and fellowship supplements that are awarded through Penn State's Office of Graduate Educational Equity. For additional information on these programs, contact the office at

Graduate Work-Study Programs icon-olus-circle

A limited number of hourly paid positions are available on campus for qualified graduate students to assist faculty in teaching and research. To qualify for this program, students must demonstrate financial need and meet specific job qualifications that are established by a faculty supervisor.

To apply for this program, contact:

Office of Student Aid
314 Shields Building,
University Park PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-6301

The RPTM Program also employs a small number of advanced graduate students on an hourly wage basis to teach lower level undergraduate courses or to assist faculty members with research.

Additional information regarding financial assistance for graduate education is available at the Graduate School website