Assistantships, Fellowships, and Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Students must be formally admitted to the M.A. in journalism program and must be full time (nine credit hours) for the term in which the assistantship is held. The duties and responsibilities of graduate assistants vary, and may include research or service support as well as assisting instructors with undergraduate journalism and media studies courses. Students on provisional or conditional admission are not eligible for graduate assistantship until they successfully fulfill conditions.

This year we offer tuition waiver and stipend to eligible new and current graduate assistants:

  • Tuition Waiver: The Department provides support at the level of one semester’s in-state tuition. This is deposited directly into the student’s university account. Graduate assistants who are classified as non-Florida residents are considered in-state for tuition purposes.
  • Stipend: The Department provides support at a set amount paid out over a semester that is generally equivalent to a semester’s tuition waiver.

Assistantships are usually awarded to begin in the fall term. Deadlines for consideration for a graduate assistantship or other departmental support is March 15. Graduate assistantships that become available at mid-year are advertised to current and potential graduate students as they become available.

To apply for the assistantship, complete this form and email it to the Department of Journalism and Digital Communication by the deadline.

Fellowships, grants and scholarships

Regardless of funding or title, all students receiving departmental support are expected to perform of service to the department throughout each semester of support. All funded students will be called Graduate Assistants regardless of the source of their funding. While students are each assigned to a faculty supervisor, students may also be called on to assist in other departmental duties. Graduate assistants are expected to be ambassadors for the department. They provide the first peer contact for applicants and assist visitors to the department.

Graduate assistants must recognize that they are perceived as leaders by the faculty, by their fellow graduate students, and particularly by the undergraduate students that they help mentor. Graduate assistants are expected to participate in all departmental activities to which students are invited, including lectures by visiting scholars and professionals, end of the semester gatherings, and Kappa Tau Alpha inductions. They are expected to encourage other students to attend. Graduate assistant attendance at these functions will be noted and be considered in the review process for subsequent semester support.

Eligibility for support

Minimally, applicants for graduate assistantships and departmental-funded fellowships must have an undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0 or above, a score on an admissions test that places them in the 75th percentile or above, and demonstration of accomplishment in previous work or academic environments. Current students must have no less than the grade of B in any of their course work and must have demonstrated their commitment to the department or the field to continue in the assistantship. All support is awarded on a competitive basis. There are always more qualified candidates than supported positions. Graduate assistants are reviewed at the end of each semester and may lose funding based on academic or work performance. No student on academic probation may receive departmental funding.

Applications for support for Fall term are due no later than March 15. Applications for support for Spring term are due no later than October 15. Support funding that becomes available after these deadlines will be offered to applicants or students who previously were not offered support, but who have been wait-listed. NO support will be provided without a completed support application.

Types of support:

  • Tuition Waiver – The Department provides support at the level of one semester’s in-state tuition. This is deposited directly into the student’s university account.
  • Stipend – The Department provides support at a set amount paid out over a semester that is generally equivalent to a semester’s tuition waiver.
  • Hourly pay – Depending on the source of funding, the Department may pay a student a set hourly rate that is determined in consultation with HR.

Sources of funding: College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Assistant Funding

The amount that the Department receives each semester in this funding line varies and may be directed support, in that it limits student services to a particular function, such as online course support.

Poynter-Jamison Foundation Scholar

The Poynter Jamison Chair in Media Ethics and Press Policy may select a student with an outstanding academic background who has also demonstrated an interest in ethics or responsible media practices. This scholar will provide teaching and/or research assistance to the Poynter Jamison Chair.

Tampa Bay Times Fellow

The Tampa Bay Times fellowship endowment may be used to support eligible students who bring strong interest or professional experience in media presentations of those who have traditionally been underserved by mainstream media. The Tampa Bay Times Fellows often work as teaching or editorial assistants for the departmentally-supported Neighborhood News Bureau or reach out to underserved communities in other ways.

Financial aid and loan programs
Loans, scholarships and other forms of financial aid are also available. However, graduate students are not covered under several state and federal aid programs, such as Federal Pell Grants, reserved exclusively for undergraduates. Contact the USFSP Office of Financial Aid, Scholarships & Veterans Services.