The department allocates a minimum support of 11 months each year for a M.S. candidate. This will normally be extended by one semester if the student is making satisfactory progress towards completion of the Masters of Science Degree. For students in this situation and supported by state funds, some form of services will be required such as grading papers or working in the Unit Operations Lab.
The department also allocates a minimum support of 11 months each year for a Ph.D. candidate during the entire course of study. These allocations are dependent on a student's demonstration of satisfactory progress towards completion of his/her research project.
A student appointed as a Research Assistant (RA) receives 11 months of support at rates established by the university (half-time appointments). A RA is expected to make normal progress on his/her research project. Averaged over the course of a semester, a half-time RA should spend 20 hours per week on research. In addition, typical support is for 11 months out of the calendar year. THis means that a maximum of one month vacation time is allowable, including semester break and summers. In all cases, students should inform their major professor as to when they wish to take vacation time.
Teaching Assistant (TA) appointments are normally assigned to Ph.D. candidates and only apply during the 9-month period between August and May. Consequently, these appoinments are usually supplemented by two months RA support in the summer. A TA is also expected to complete 20 hours per week of service for a half-time appointment.