Graduate Student Appointments

Types of Appointments

Types of assistanships:
  • Teaching Assistant (TA): Nominated by CDSE Faculty
  • Research Assistant (RA): Chosen by CDSE Faculty
A limited number of assistantships are available for students to aid the Department with teaching (TAs) or research duties (RAs).
The CDSE department expects students who are supported through the Department to perform their duties diligently and effectively and to maintain a grade average of B or higher. Renewal of assistantships is not automatic and an assistantship may be terminated during the semester if a student does not satisfactorily meet expected criteria.
The department will make renewal awards on the basis of academic and past performance. Continuation of a Research Assistantship is at the discretion of the faculty member who provides the funding for a particular position.

Note: TA's will have a mandatory orientation in the beginning of the semester. The department will contact you via email with more information.

Appointment Information

New students will be notified with their acceptance letter if they have been offered an RA or TA position. Returning students will be contacted by the department regarding the renewal of their appointment. 

To make sure that your paperwork is on file and get a status of your appointment being processed, please contact Please include your supervisors name and UB person number in the email.

Appointment Paperwork
Upon initial appointment, students will need to submit paperwork for processing with HR. The paperwork may vary depending on the type of appointment (research or teaching assistant), but all students will be required to submit:

  • Copy of I-20, Passport, and I-94 form
  • Form I-9 (page 1 and top of page 2)
  • State Tax form IT 2104
  • Federal Tax Form W-4

Students may contact the graduate coordinator at or visit 118 Bell Hall for questions regarding paperwork or a status of processing. 

When you are ready to submit your paperwork, please upload completed forms here.

Health Insurance

Students on an RA and/or TA appointment are elgible for health insurance with their benefits. Enrollment in the Student Employee Health Insurance plan is not automatic. To enroll in these benefits and for more information please click this link or contact HR at the University at Buffalo.

Note: summer only appointmnents do not have any benefits. Students should work with the benefits office and payroll in March prior to the summer term to ensure they can extend their coverage, if needed, to prevent any lapse in healthcare coverage needs.

Assistantship Requirements
The State of New York expects all students holding a normal full-time appointment to devote twenty (20) hours per week to their assistantship duties. Work assignments are variable and may consist of teaching laboratory sections or assisting in lectures (e.g., preparing and grading exams, preparing materials, and other duties assigned by the instructor or his/her representative). Departmental work assignments may include drafting, map room, or curatorial duties, etc. Some assistants may be assigned to a particular professor to aid him/her in various phases of his/her course preparation, etc. Any one or a combination of such duties may be assigned.

It is essential that a TA or RA position be treated by you, the employee, as a regular job, which normally requires keeping track of time and tasks, and reporting your work to a supervisor. Any absences (e.g., for field work or conference attendances), except personal illness or family emergencies, must be coordinated ahead of time with the appropriate supervisor. The positions are not equivalent to fellowships or scholarships, which simply fund you to conduct your education and research; rather, there are real expectations for your time and effort.

Paychecks are distributed in the department office. University regulations require that unclaimed checks be returned to University Payroll. TA's receive checks every other Wednesday, RA's receive checks every other Friday, and Student Assistants are paid every other Thursday. Direct deposit is an option. If you have questions about your paycheck, contact UB Human Resources (645-7777).

Tuition Scholarships

Tuition scholarships are granted separately from stipends. Students with stipend support (e.g. teaching assistants, research assistants) are eligible for tuition waivers as outlined in their tuition scholarship offer letter. The following guidelines apply to all tuition scholarships:

  1. Tuition scholarship funds may be applied only to academic year tuition costs; any graduate fees or summer tuition costs are not covered by this scholarship.
  2. Students receiving a graduate/teaching assistantship are required to register for at least 9 credit hours per semester in order to maintain full-time student status. Advanced graduate students at the candidacy stage may be able to reduce this requirement by filing the Certification for Full-Time Status form to be considered full time at less than 9 credit hours.
  3. The tuition scholarship may be renewed for a maximum of eight (8) semesters or the minimum credit hours required for the Ph.D. degree, whichever is less. Transfer credits are counted in the minimum credit hours toward the degree. Tuition scholarships awarded at the Master’s level are included in the Ph.D. scholarship totals. Students may petition the Dean of the Graduate School for extensions to these time limits, but they should be aware that, if approved, the tuition scholarship extension is only for up to one (1) credit hour of tuition.
  4. Students are required to pay all college fees. Nonpayment of these fees at the required time will result in the assessment of late fees.
  5. Domestic students must apply for New York State Residency. This process should begin immediately when moving to Buffalo. If you do not comply with this requirement to establish New York State residency, you are personally responsible for the difference between the in-state and the out-of-state tuition charges. For the most accurate information on the process of establishing residency in this state, contact the Office of Student Accounts.
  6.  Although students receiving teaching or research stipends are customarily granted a tuition waiver, they are not guaranteed.

If a student believes they should be receiving tuition remission but it is not reflected on their bill, please contact the Graduate Coordinator by emailing