Departmental Support

Financial assistance is available for graduate teaching assistants (GTA) and for graduate research assistants (GRA).  A GTA handles laboratory sections, grades papers, or performs other assigned instructional duties.  A GRA is compensated to conduct supervised research, which generally relates to the student’s thesis or dissertation research.

Approximately 50% of all graduate students receive assistantships. Students who are registered for nine credits with a qualifying assistantship are entitled to a significantly reduced tuition rate, in addition to a monthly paycheck. For an out of state Master's student, the value of a 20-hour per week assistantship with tuition remission typically ranges from $13,000 to $18,000 for the academic year. Ph.D. stipends are typically higher. Additional summer support may also be available.

A full-time GTA or GRA is equivalent to approximately twenty (20) hours per week of assigned duties during the academic year.  Part-time service is compensated in accordance with expected hourly effort.

The student with a graduate research assistantship (GRA) should recognize that the prescribed hours of research work are minimum expectations mandated by employment practices and may not represent the effort which actually will be necessary to produce a satisfactory thesis or dissertation within a reasonable period of time.

The graduate student must be registered as a full-time student during the academic period in order to receive an assistantship.  Continuing students must register before assistantships and fellowships are processed for the semester for which they are authorized.  Pre-registration is required to prevent payment delays.

You will be automatically considered for research assistantship support based on information provided on your application. No further application materials are required. Financial awards are primarily granted to students starting in the fall. Graduate students wishing to be considered for financial assistance should submit their application by March 15.

Assistantships with Tuition Reduction

The minimum compensation, established annually by the Board of Regents and currently set at $3,157, must be awarded in each semester to qualify for reduced tuition.

Additionally, a student with an assistantship must meet the following minimum registration requirements to qualify for reduced tuition:

  • Spring and Fall Assistantships: The minimum registration required to receive reduced tuition with a qualifying assistantship in a fall or spring semester is 9 credits.
  • Summer assistantships. The minimum registration required to receive tuition with a qualifying assistantship in the summer is 2 credits.

Self-support classes, including English remediation classes, are not eligible for reduced tuition.
A student receiving an assistantship and tuition remission is required to maintain 9 credits throughout the semester in which the support is received. If a student drops to fewer than 9 credits, the student will immediately lose the assistantship and will be required to repay the institution for the tuition remission on the dropped class. Students who withdraw from the institution will have their assistantships pro-rated to reflect time actually worked.

Note that graduate students are assessed the same campus fees as undergraduates (see Tuition and Fees Schedule). State law does not permit reduction or remission of fees under any circumstances.

Graduate assistants under state contract are subject to institutional policies set forth in the Faculty/Staff Handbook. Research assistants are required to sign an “ Employee Agreement to Disclose Inventions” form. Teaching assistants are required to sign a “ Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Compliance Sheet”.

Students must register before assistantships and fellowships are processed for the semester for which they are authorized in order to prevent payment delays. Graduate Special Students (non-degree-seeking students) are not eligible to receive assistantships.


Graduate Education Office

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
501 East St. Joseph St.
Chemistry Building,
Room 2201
Rapid City, SD 57701-3995

Phone: (605) 355-3468
Fax: (605) 394-1767
E-mail Graduate Education

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