Students who apply for financial assistance at the time of their first admission to the Department's graduate program are evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee for admission and assistantships. Students whom the Committee considers suitable for appointment as assistants are recommended to the Head. A student who is in residence and applies for an assistantship for subsequent years is evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee, whose recommendation is presented to the faculty for acceptance or rejection. With good academic and assistantship duty performance, aid is normally available for subsequent years of study according to the following guidelines.

The Department normally expects students on one-third time assistantship appointments to complete their M.A./M.S. degree requirements in two years. Therefore, students are eligible for up to two years (4 semesters excluding summers) of assistantship support during their first two years of residence. Continuation of assistantships is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress toward degree objectives as discussed in Section O below.

The Graduate Studies Committee selects those students it considers most qualified for Graduate School Awards and, in consultation with those students, prepares and submits their applications to enter the competition.