Assistantships and Traineeships

Assistantships give you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge while providing financial support. There are three types of assistantships at UB.

Types of Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Teaching assistants (TA) assist instructors in with their courses.

Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Graduate assistants (GA) serve as a support-person at their university of study.

Research Assistantships (RA)

Research assistants (RA) help faculty conduct their research.

Teaching and graduate assistantship appointments are typically made by individual departments, usually on an annual basis. The minimum stipend for these assistantships is established by the GSEU. Research assistant awards are provided by departments and/or faculty members holding research grants or contracts.

Assistantship Requirements

Recipients of full assistantships generally work approximately 20 hours per week. In return for this commitment, students are paid a stipend and may also receive a full or partial tuition scholarship. Recipients are still responsible for school fees.

  • Assistants must be full-time matriculated graduate or professional students at UB who are able to devote their full attention to their graduate program.
  • Ordinarily, it is expected that assistants will not hold jobs outside the university; the department chair may grant exceptions to this policy in cases of unusual economic necessity or other extraordinary circumstances.
  • Teaching and graduate assistants on the state payroll are unionized at the University at Buffalo and receive benefits through their affiliation with the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU), including state-subsidized health insurance and a transportation fee waiver. The GSEU represents all teaching and graduate assistants at SUNY and negotiates your contract with New York State.
  • The University at Buffalo is unable to provide tax advice; each student is responsible for determining how the tax law applies to their own situation. Please consult with a tax expert or contact the appropriate tax authority for the most up-to-date guidance on your taxes. Visit the Tax Information for UB Students page for more information.

For more information about policies regarding the award and use of graduate tuition scholarships, please see the Provost’s Guidelines for Graduate Tuition Scholarships.


Traineeships are supported by federal training grants from agencies like NIH and NSF, and typically include tuition/fee remission, stipend and health insurance. They are awarded upon admission to a doctoral program. To inquire about traineeships, check with your graduate program.

PhD Excellence Initiative

Fully funded PhD students receive an assistantship upon admission. Funding packages include tuition, fee waiver and a stipend of at least $23,000 for 10-month appointments and $29,900 for 12-month appointments. In addition, the university will support the cost of broad-based fees for PhD students who are full time and fully funded. Covered fees include the comprehensive fee, academic excellence and success fee, student activity fee and the international student fee, where applicable.

Interested in assistantships?

Contact your department about available assistantship opportunities, including deadlines and criteria for assistantship awards.