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EIU Master of Arts in Communication Studies

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

A variety of internal funding options are available at Eastern Illinois University. Most of this funding is provided through graduate teaching assistantships. Assistantships are very competitive and admission into the program does not guarantee funding. Graduate assistants also need to enroll in 9 credit hours per semester (full time for graduate students) the assistantship is awarded in order to maintain their funding. In addition to graduate teaching assistantships there are also a number of travel grants and awards for current students.

Graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies who have assistantships typically are provided the opportunity to experience the classroom in several different ways.

Many of our graduate assistants teach in our introductory communication course, CMN 1310. These are stand-alone sections where the student is the primary instructor. To prepare you for your role as a CMN 1310 instructor the department's basic course director, Dr. Richard Jones, guides you through a 30-hour orientation and introduction to teaching the course that covers topics such as classroom management, grading, academic integrity, classroom technology and a host of other relevant issues. Students are given access to a standard syllabus, a common text, and classroom exercises. Students teaching CMN 1310 continue their "classroom education" in the department's CMN 5500 course, which allows Dr. Jones to continue meeting with graduate assistants throughout the semester.

Graduate assistants also have the opportunity to assist in the teaching of our large lecture classes, CMN 2010 Communication Theory and CMN3100 Persuasion. The faculty members teaching these classes provide graduate students guidance and instruction in leading the class sections and other primary teaching duties.

Students not teaching in CMN 1310, CMN 2010, or CMN3100 will work as graduate assistants in a variety of administrative positions to include Assistant Basic Course Director, Assistant to Undergraduate and Graduate Assessment, or as research assistants to various Communication Studies faculty.

We are very pleased to offer a number of teaching and administrative opportunities to graduate students. We believe that teaching and administration will help students develop valuable skills for both professional and academic positions.

Teaching Load

Students who teach CMN 1310 will teach only two sections per semester. Students who solely TA for large classes may assist with one to three classes per semester. Students with administrative assignments typically work 19-20 hours per week.

Other Assistantship Opportunities

Students in the Department of Communication Studies have also been very successful in finding assistantships across campus. Students have found work in campus units such as the Center for Academic Technology Support (CATS), the Student Union, the Housing Office, the Athletics Department, the School of Continuing Education, the Student Recreation Center, Career Services, Health Services, the Health Education Resource Center, the Student Life Office, the Counseling Center, and the Office of International Programs.


Graduate assistantships come with a tuition waiver (there are some university fees that cannot be waived) and a monthly stipend of $870. Assistantships are generally for the entire academic year and are paid over 9 months. 

Graduate Travel Awards

Williams Travel Grant

Williams Travel Grants provide travel support for EIU graduate degree-seeking candidates who have papers or creative works accepted for presentation at regional, state, national or international conferences between July 1 and June 30 of the current fiscal year. Students in the Department of Communication Studies have been very successful in getting their work accepted at conferences and receiving Williams Travel Grants for support.

Williams Travel Grants are for reimbursement of documented travel expenses up to $300. Grants will be made based on the quality of the application. Williams Travel Grant Winners may be required to present their projects during the Annual Graduate Student Exposition each spring semester. Winners will be photographed and featured in Eastern's Graduate Journal of Scholarship.

Click here for more information on the Williams Travel Grant

Eastern Illinois Graduate School Awards

The Graduate School at Eastern Illinois University offers a number of competitive awards for graduate students across campus. For more information on these awards please click here.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Angela S. Jacobs, Ph.D.
Graduate Coordinator

1741 - Coleman Hall

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