Financial Aid and Assistantships
A goal of the Industrial Engineering Department is to provide financial aid to all qualified graduate students seeking assistance. To be eligible for an assistantship, 1. you must be admitted into a degree program, 2. be enrolled full time in course work leading to the degree, 3. be in good academic standing, 4. have an approved Preliminary Degree Plan (PDP) on file in the Graduate School, and 5. a TOEFL score of 600 points or above (paper version) or equivalent in other versions. Special exceptions may be made for students in the final term of study, who may be enrolled on a part-time basis. Normally students requiring more than one deficiency course are eligible for TA or RA funding only when those deficiencies have been completed. The awards of assistantships, scholarships and fellowships are highly competitive and are based on the following:
- Entering credentials (GRE and TOEFL scores -for international students- and overall undergraduate Grade Point Average - GPA).
- Graduate overall and major GPA.
- Skills (teaching/research potential and experience).
- Program needs.
Some sources of funding require United States citizenship or permanent residency. For the most part, financial aid is equally available to all students; however, good command of the English language is a required skill for most positions, particularly those that are interested in working as teaching assistants or research assistants. International TAs must demonstrate English proficiency of at least 600 points or above (paper version) or equivalent in other versions in the TOEFL.
In addition to the above,
The majority of financial aid takes the form of half-time research (RA) or half-time teaching assistantships (TA), for which students work 20 hours per week on specific assignments. Two weeks before the beginning of each semester, a Call for TA Applications will be posted on the front office and in our departmental displays. All interested students will submit a Teaching Assistant Application with an attached résumé. The Department Chair will publish the TA assignments the first week of each semester and thereafter students report to their designated faculty supervisors for detailed work instructions. Students are responsible for carrying out their duties in a professional manner, and any problems should be reported to their designated supervisors. In addition, opportunities for research assistantships exist on funded research. Conditions and periods of employment are determined by the faculty members responsible for these projects within the broad guidelines given for financial aid outlined above.
International students are encouraged to apply for TA and RA support, although only under exceptional cases are international students offered assistantships in their first semester. They are not usually considered for financial aid until they have finished their first semester of coursework. UTEP graduates and U.S. citizens, in that order, have priority for Teaching Assistantships.
TA positions are evaluated every semester. Although a student on academic probation may be allowed to continue in the program, he or she will not be eligible for any assistantship or stipend until the next full term in which good standing has been restored. Master's students are ordinarily limited to two years support as a TA or RA.
All funded students are required to carry 9 hours each regular semester and 3 hours for the summer and must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. An exception is the semester of graduation, when funded students may take 6 hours in a regular session or 3 hours for the summer. This requirement includes not only formal classes but also research hours (IE 5398 or IE 5399 courses).
Students supported through departmental funds must attend seminars and similar departmental activities. Teaching and research assistantships include a waiver of nonresident tuition. Other than certifying these waivers, the department plays no role in determining the residency status of students.
Mexican students should contact the International Student Office to inquire about scholarships and programs that apply specifically to them. A program of particular interest to Mexican students is PASE (Programa de Asistencia Estudiantil), which allows Mexican students to pay Texas resident tuition rates.
Finally, the Graduate School and the Office of Financial Aid have available some graduate scholarships. Contact the Graduate School or the Office of Financial Aid for more information. A list of telephone numbers and e-mails addresses are provided at the end of this guide.
These guidelines are intended only to summarize a number of topics concerning the types of graduate assistantships available at our department, including how they are administered. These guidelines does not replace the Teaching Assistant / Research Assistant Handbook prepared by the Office of Graduate School, which each student should consult in order to understand the Graduate School rules relative to graduate assistantships