Student Resources

Financial Aid 

A graduate student can face financial challenges when budgeting for tuition and fees. The cost of attendance depends on three things: the location of study (on the main campus in Boone or at a remote site), your North Carolina residency status, and how many hours you will enroll in. Consult the Graduate School’s page to learn more about Residency for Tuition Purposes. The tuition and fees rates for each academic year are available on the Student Accounts website. Regularly admitted, full-time, on-campus degree seeking students are eligible for assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships. Because of the source of this funding, certificate students, off-campus or part-time students are not eligible. If a student was admitted provisionally, he or she is not eligible in their first semester of enrollment.

  • NC Tuition Scholarships for Out-of-State Students: This competitive scholarship is open to international and out-of-state students and covers the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition (approximately $6,000 a semester!). Contact your department to request consideration. Nominations are made by the program director or department chair.
  • Graduate Assistantships: Each department has funds to hire graduate students as teaching, research, or general graduate assistants. You should be sure to let the program director know you are interested in a position. In addition, assistantships are available in many other offices on campus. Student Development in particular hires many graduate students. See the Assistantship Page for more information.
  • Chancellor's and Provost's Fellowships: New students should check "yes" on the admission application form to be added to the pool of applicants; returning students can fill out a scholarship application available from the Scholarship Page.
  • Diversity Fellowships: This competitive scholarship is intended to provide greater access to graduate school for students from under-represented groups. Contact your department to request consideration. Nominations are made by the program director or department chair. 

For more information visit:

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are awarded on a merit basis, taking into consideration student GPA and scores on the Graduate Record Examination admission test. A priority is normally given to students who submit their applications by the early application deadline of March 15.  A graduate assistantship involves assisting a professor with their teaching and/or research needs. Graduate assistants may be assigned to work either 10 or 20 hours per week. Salaries vary, but the minimum for a full-time 20-hours/week assistantship during a semester is $4,000; and $2,000 for a part-time  10-hours/week assistantship. Other factors, such as resource availability, faculty research projects, or student performance may also affect how awards are allocated.  Students may not receive an assistantship for more than four Fall/Spring semesters.

We offer both research and teaching assistantships. Teaching assistantships require considerable responsibility. A teaching assistant is usually assigned to teach a lab section of an undergraduate course or assist faculty with course content, delivery, and grading. Graduate teaching assistants must completea special training program conducted by the Graduate School prior to beginning their teaching duties. If you are interested in obtaining a teaching assistantship, be sure to let the program director and/or department chairperson know. 

 Enrollment requirements for Graduate Assistants

  • Summer assistantships funded through the Graduate School require 2-6 s.h. of enrollment and good standing in the employment term; students who are probationary or provisional for that term cannot hold assistantships.
  • Fall/Spring assistantships require 9-12 s.h. enrollment and good standing in the employment term; students who are probationary or provisional for that term cannot hold assistantships.

Mandatory Training for Graduate Assistants

All graduate students who have graduate assistantships must complete theLegal Issues Training once each academic year in order to continue payment beyond the first pay check. This training is not onerous, and it takes typically 30 to 60 minutes. The training is online, and there is a quiz at the end, verifying completion of the training. For details and how to complete the training, go to:

Each graduate assistant must sign a contract and keep regular hours with the Department or assigned faculty member. See the Department Secretary, Katy Marsh, for questions concerning your contract.

More information about Graduate Assistantships


All MA Political Science students must complete an internship (PS 5900) before being eligible to graduate. Students completing an internship must be registered for 3-6 credit hours. Students can replace an internship with a thesis, if approved by the MA director, and must register for PS 5998 and PS 5999 in two consecutive semesters. Students who replace an internship with the thesis preparation courses must write and defend their thesis successfully in order to graduate.

Internships provide an organized and supervised professional experience with an approved agency for academic credit.  Credit is earned by virtue of the integration of theory and practice, which is demonstrated by students through academic assignments. Through the submission of weekly reports, various evaluations, and a final paper and/or poster presentation, students are expected to make comparisons and analyses from their classroom education to their field experiences.  Students will also demonstrate a proficiency in writing and verbal communication. The internship serves as a mechanism for expanding students’ understanding of theory-versus-practice and education-versus-training. 

Students planning on completing an internship must begin the process at least a semester ahead of time in order to successfully secure, register, and complete the internship by the deadlines provided on the GJS Internship page. MA students must contact potential agencies and secure their internship well before the semester of completion. Once the internship position is obtained, the student must complete the GJS internship application and attend a GJS internship information session. These sessions are held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester and will be announced by the internship coordinator, Dr. Christina May, through email and on AsUlearn. Summer internships are typically supervised by one of the PS Graduate Faculty. Once the application is submitted, the internship coordinator will provide an internship contract. Students must obtain the internship site supervisor’s signature and sign the contract themselves, before returning it to the internship coordinator. 

Once registered for an internship, you will be assigned to a faculty supervisor, who will administer your internship through an AsULearn course page (either Dr. May or one of the PS Graduate Faculty).  Each faculty supervisor will manage the course at their discretion.  However, you can expect to submit weekly reports, a comprehensive final paper, and a poster presentation – as per the internship course syllabus for that semester.  As the internship is the capstone course for our program, the student will be required to demonstrate proficiency in academic writing and research to successfully complete the course. You will be required to attend the poster presentation on campus, which is usually held on the last day of classes for that semester. 

Professional  Development Resources