Each year a limited number of graduate assistantships are available for qualified students. To be eligible, students must have regular admission status certified by NMSU's Graduate School. The graduate stipend for 2013-2014 is $16,261 for the academic year for master's students. MA students can expect two years of graduate assistant support (4 semesters), pending acceptable performance. MA students typically teach courses in first-year writing and writing in the humanities and social sciences. Graduate students occasionally are offered appointments in other colleges and become involved with research and development projects, especially in Business, Engineering, Education, the Honors College, and the Graduate School.
An assistantship requires twenty hours of work per week; normally this includes teaching one course and performing additional duties such as working in the writing center, working on the department's publications, or other instructional assignments. For the first year, Graduate Assistants pay tuition at the in-state tuition rate. After the first year, Graduate Assistants will be responsible for establishing New Mexican residency so that they can continue to pay tuition at the in-state rate.
All new Graduate Assistants are required to attend a weeklong teaching orientation that begins the week before classes start. In addition, all new Graduate Assistants are required to enroll in English 571: Composition Pedagogy and Practicum during their first semester as assistants and to participate in ongoing professional development activities.