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Graduate Assistantships

UH Manoa offers assistantships to graduates of accredited institutions of higher learning who have satisfactory scholastic records, an adequate undergraduate background in the major program, and evidence of a high level of English proficiency. Graduate assistants, chosen on a competitive basis, serve as part-time teaching or research assistants. A graduate assistant must be enrolled in a classified master’s or doctoral graduate program (see Master’s Degree programs and Doctor of Philosophy programs). Graduate certificate, PBU (post-baccalaureate unclassified), law, medicine, Shidler College of Business (master’s only) students are not eligible for graduate assistantships. All graduate assistants must be registered for and must complete at least 6 credit hours of degree-related course work each semester, while holding the assistantship. Moreover, they must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to continue in the position. The maximum course load typically is 9 credit hours. The period of service for each year for teaching assistants is typically from two weeks prior to the beginning of instruction through spring commencement; research assistants normally serve for 11 months. Graduate assistants are awarded tuition exemptions, but they are not exempt from the general fees, special course fees listed in the Catalog, and the Graduate Student Organization fee. Applications should be sent to the chair of the appropriate department before February 1. Each application must be accompanied by three letters of recommendation from former professors or employers.

Information on assistantships and application forms may be requested from the chair of the appropriate graduate program.

Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships

Applicants are advised that UH Manoa has joined the Council of Graduate Schools in approving the following resolution:

Acceptance of an offer of financial aid (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by an actual or prospective graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.

The Office of Graduate Education has available general information on fellowship competitions open to American graduate students and administered by outside foundations or agencies. For application purposes, it is important to distinguish between (1) those awards made directly by the sponsoring agency to individual students and administered by an institution, and (2) those awards made by the sponsoring agency to an institution to be awarded, in turn, to students for study at the specific institution.

Awards in the first category are generally made by national organizations and allow students to choose their institution of affiliation. Applications are submitted by students to the sponsor, usually in early fall preceding the year graduate study is to begin. The National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships program is an example.

Awards in the second category, which vary in source from federal to local, include a large number of programs. At UH Manoa, nominations for these awards are generally made by the graduate programs that are eligible. In some cases (e.g., Fulbright awards), the student may apply through Graduate Education. Students are urged to exercise their initiative to explore the various possibilities. Initial inquiries should be directed to the chair of the program.

Information on fellowships is available by checking the following website: manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/fellowships-scholarships.