|Graduate Admissions & Financial Aid
All students must meet Rensselaer’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
There are several potential ways that a Math Sciences graduate student can get financial support while enrolled at RPI. The most common methods are:
TA assignments vary significantly throughout Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In the Department of Mathematical Sciences, TA-ships are typically one-year appointments that cannot be extended for more than two years. They tend to be of three types.
TA-ships can take the form of independent classroom teaching (often called recitations), which may include small lectures, problem solving, computer labs, grading, office hours, etc. The TA works with a TA Supervisor, who is the faculty member teaching the course. The vast majority of TA-ships are of this form.
A few teaching assistantships take the form of grading and office hours only.
Other teaching assistantships may be mainly comprised of proctoring exams.
All TA’s are required to participate in RPI’s TA Orientation Program as well as the Department’s TA Orientation prior to their first semester of teaching.
In addition, all TA’s must attend the TA Seminar before or during their first semester of teaching at RPI. A graduate student, the Math Sciences Department Master TA, typically teaches this one-credit course (graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). The topics of this course vary according to the needs of the participants. In the past they have included: Maple, Gateway Exams, Grading, Laptops, Composing Quizzes, Campus Resources, Academic Honesty, Proctoring Exams, Extra Help, Office Hours, Latex, Making a Syllabus, etc. In addition, each TA has their class visited and feedback is provided.
See also: TA Resources
Many faculty in the Math Sciences Department have grant money that can be used to support graduate students who are interested in doing research in their field. The Research Assistantships (RA’s) do not typically have any teaching component. This allows a graduate student to have more time to work on Master’s or Ph. D. research. This is a topic you may want to talk to your advisor about.
Fellowships can come from inside or outside the department or the Institute. The specifics of fellowships vary from year to year. For example, there have been fellowships to work on computer modules that are used by classes for instruction. One of the fellowships offered regularly was established by Eleanore Diaz in memory of her husband, Joaquin B. Diaz, who was the Albert Einstein Professor of Science in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. It is awarded to an outstanding graduate student in mathematical research or teaching. The Graduate Student Coordinator has information on other available fellowships. This is a topic you may want to talk to your advisor about.
You should be sure to consider that the Math Sciences Department has guidelines for continuation of support for doctoral students. Graduate students who receive full support from the Department should plan to complete their doctoral programs within four or five years. Students can expect that their support will continue through this period, provided that they continue to make satisfactory progress toward their degree and they continue to perform well in their teaching assignments. “Satisfactory progress” means completing courses, required examinations (preliminary, qualifying, and candidacy), selecting a research area, and making progress toward completing a thesis. If a student requires support beyond the fifth year, each situation will be considered individually.