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From my googling I found that only about 30% of the universities I looked at (in Computer Science) offer Research Assistant (RA)/Teaching Assistant (TA) positions to Master's students that cover tuition (i.e. USC, UMich). Is this normal, or did I miss something? I thought it was standard but a lot of universities like UChicago, Northwestern do not cover tuition for TA/RAs.

Side question: is the answer to this different across areas of study and departments or is tuition coverage for Masters RAs/TAs determined across the whole university?

  • In math, in the U.S., nearly all PhD students have RA/TA support including tuition, but RA/TA support (in math) for MS students varies widely. – paul garrett Nov 11 '20 at 3:25
  • This does vary quite a bit among different disciplines, even within the same university. In Computer Science there are many more reasonably qualified students than available TA/RA funding, but since some students are willing to pay for an MS degree (they'll make it back quickly by working in industry after the degree) the programs often end up with lots of students paying their own tuition. Such MS programs typically don't contain a meaningful research component but are based on coursework alone. – Brian Borchers Nov 11 '20 at 4:15
  • As far as I know, the contract between the University of Michigan and the relevant union (Graduate Employees Organization) requires appointments as teaching or research assistants (at 20 hours per week or more) to include tuition waivers. But the departments decide who gets such appointments. In general, in my department, Ph.D. students do and Masters students don't. – Andreas Blass Nov 11 '20 at 16:49
  • VtC as not focused enough. If you want to focus on CS, that's probably fine. 30% sounds right, even high. – Azor Ahai -him- Nov 11 '20 at 17:01