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Western Kentucky University

Funding for MA Sociology Students

The Department of Sociology has several funding opportunities available to prospective and current graduate students. The funding opportunities are primarily in the form of Graduate Assistantships, which are awarded based on a competitive process.

Applications:

Any student who wishes to be considered for one of the department's very limited graduate assistantship positions should submit an application form along with two letters of recommendation to the Sociology Department before April 1 (for fall semester admission) or November 1 (for spring semester admission).

The Sociology Department Graduate Committee reviews the application materials beginning in early April (for fall admissions) and early November (for spring admissions). To ensure that you receive maximum consideration, ensure that all materials are submitted to the department by the dates indicated above.

Funding decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and may be available for one semester, one-year, or two-year basis.

Minority Assistantship Program:

The State of Kentucky has also implemented a Minority Assistantship Program for African-American graduate students who are residents of Kentucky. Applicants should contact the Office of Graduate Studies or the Sociology Department Graduate Advisor for more information.

Graduate Assistantships Course Load Requirements:

Full-time graduate students must be enrolled in at least 9 credit hours per semester. If you hold a graduate assistantship (for example, you are receiving funding from the University as a graduate assistant), you must be enrolled in at least 9 hours each semester.

A graduate student risks losing his/her assistantship if he/she is not registered for at least 9 credit hours six weeks before the start of the semester.

This may require the submission of a Course Contract so that you can register for Socl 599: Thesis Hours or for Socl 595: Independent Study. It is the student's responsibility to complete these course contracts and obtain the appropriate signatures as soon as possible so that his/her ability to register will not be delayed. Students can pick up course contract forms in the main office of the Sociology Department.

Two Exceptions to the 9 Credit Hour Rule:

The only exceptions to this 9 credit hour requirement are for (1) Graduate Assistants who are selected to be Graduate Teaching Associates, who should not register for more than 6 credit hours of course work while teaching courses in the Sociology Department; and (2) Graduate Assistants (including Graduate Teaching Associates) who are in their final semester of the graduate program and are in the process of writing and defending their MA thesis. Graduate Assistants in their final semester of the graduate program may register for 1 credit hour of course work (assuming all other requirements have been completed and the student is completing his/her MA Thesis)

Continuation of Funding:

Graduate students currently receiving a Graduate Assistantship may apply for a continuation (for up to two years). To do so, they need to express their interest to the graduate advisor in written form.

Graduate Teaching Associates:

Graduate Assistants may submit an application to be a Graduate Teaching Associate after they have completed 18 graduate level credit hours and after they have completed the departmental teaching course (Socl 500) and submitted the Graduate Teaching Associate Application. This application is available from the graduate advisor and the guidelines for the Graduate Teaching Associate process are posted on the Office of Graduate Studies website.

Graduate Teaching Associates should not take more than 6 credit hours of course work during semesters in which they are teaching.

Students receiving Graduate Assistantships (including those who are Graduate Teaching Associates) may register for as little as 1 credit hour of classes during their final semester in the graduate program and still be classified as full time. This assumes the student has completed all of his/her requirements for the MA program and will defend his/her thesis and graduate in this final semester.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14