We offer teaching and research assistantships, as well as competitive fellowships, that provide a stipend and tuition waiver amounting to 75% of tuition and fees (excluding health insurance). Typically, a fellowship recipient will take four courses, while a teaching assistant will take three.
Our doctoral students spend at least one semester as an intern, usually in a governmental or industrial research laboratory. In some cases, the laboratory provides a salary as an alternative to an assistantship.
The stipends for full-time teaching and research assistantships are about $1,325/month (M.S. students) and $1,700/month (Ph.D. students with an M.S. degree) for nine months. Summer assistantships ($825 to $1,700) are also available on a competitive basis.
Fellowship stipends range from $7,000 to $14,500 for the academic year. This may be augmented by a half-time appointment as a teaching assistant. Fellowships awarded in national competitions (e.g., by the Department of Defense or the National Science Foundation) can also be used to support graduate study at NIU.
We employ about 40 graduate teaching assistants (GTAs). They're usually assigned to a lower-level course, such as college algebra, finite mathematics or business calculus. They work about 20 hours a week attending lectures, conducting recitation sections, meeting with students, and preparing and scoring quizzes and other work.
Alternatively, some GTAs work full time in the Math Assistance Center or serve as graders for mathematics courses (including upper-level courses).
Experienced GTAs are given the opportunity to teach their own section of a course (college algebra, trigonometry or calculus) for an enhanced stipend.
Graduate research assistants (GRAs) help faculty members with research. For example, our mathematics education faculty have GRAs interview young math students and transcribe recorded interviews. Our numerical mathematics faculty rely on GRAs to write computer programs for algorithms they're developing and test the programs on actual data.
Advanced doctoral students in all areas of the department become full partners in research with their professors and can sometimes be appointed as GRAs while they work on their dissertations.