Assistantships are used to employ full time graduate students as teaching and administrative assistants.
Decisions on the assignment of MRP Graduate Assistant (GA) lines are made by the MRP core faculty. In making their decisions, faculty consider all current MRP students who have formally applied for assistantship funding within the Graduate Application and who still need to complete at least 10 credits to finish the MRP degree. They also consider all applicants to the MRP program who have been admitted and have formally applied for assistantship funding.
The prime GA selection decisions for the upcoming academic year are made in April. Applicants seeking assistantships should ensure that their complete MRP applications are received by the university’s Graduate Office no later than March 15. Applicants who do not make this deadline are much less likely to obtain an assistantship.
The selection of GA recipients is based on four major criteria, weighted equally, as follows:
- Academic performance as an undergraduate, and in any subsequent graduate study, as reflected by grade point average (GPA), grades in key planning-related courses, and awards.
- The extent to which academic background is cognate with planning.
- Evidence of relevant work experience, volunteer experience, writing and verbal and technical skills appropriate to a graduate planning program.
- Possession of skills and experience of value to the Department of Geography and Planning.
In addition, in assigning GA lines, the MRP core faculty consider evidence of commitment to graduate study in planning at the University at Albany and diversity issues. Our objective is to form a pool of graduate assistants who can bring a wide variety of different talents, experiences and concerns to the department, and who are truly representative of the university’s student body as a whole.
The MRP program core faculty seeks to divide its GA lines roughly equally between first- and second-year full-time students. Some GA awards are “full lines”— including a stipend and a tuition scholarship of nine (9) credits each semester, in return for 20 hours per week of work during the 14-week teaching semester. The majority of the awards are “half lines”— including a stipend and tuition scholarship of six (6) credits each semester, in return for 10 hours per week of work during the 14-week teaching semester.
Students are encouraged to apply for other University funding opportunities.