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Assistantships for Professional Students

There are a variety of assistantships available to Peabody students at the professional level. These are offered from sources including those within Peabody College’s academic departments, various offices outside of Peabody at Vanderbilt University, and the Vanderbilt Medical Center. Please note that none of our professional programs guarantee an assistantship but many Peabody students secure positions by staying in touch with faculty and staff in their department and making themselves available to interview as positions become available throughout the year.

Peabody College’s assistantship process is decentralized. It is incumbent on the student to seek assistantship information through their department and graduate coordinator. The majority of Peabody assistantships for the 2019-20 academic year will be published throughout spring/summer 2019 on the Peabody On-Campus Job Board.  Work study positions throughout Vanderbilt will be listed on HireADore.com. All newly accepted and enrolled students will gain access to HireADore in July 2019.

Vanderbilt University also offers various Graduate Fellowships in offices such as the Writing Studio, the Institute for Digital Learning and the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, and many others. The requirements and application deadlines for each fellowship vary.


There are three main types of assistantships:

  • Graduate Assistantships (also called Professional Student Worker) – The term “graduate assistantship” varies across the university. These students are employed for hourly work of a clerical or administrative nature and may or may not receive tuition benefits.
  • Teaching Assistantships – These students are assigned to a particular course or faculty member to teach the course, teach labs, assist the teaching faculty member, etc. Partial to full tuition benefits and/or hourly to monthly wages/stipends are earned based on the level of work performed.
  • Research Assistantships – These students are assigned to a particular faculty member or project. Research Assistants will typically receive an hourly compensation rate that is commensurate with the complexity or difficulty of the assignment. They may receive, but are not guaranteed, partial to full tuition benefits.

Please note that the term “assistantship” is used in many different contexts and does not always mean the same thing across the college or university. Typically, each assistantship guarantees one of three things, all in exchange for work:

1) Partial to full tuition benefit, 
2) Hourly or monthly wage, or
3) A combination of tuition benefit and hourly or monthly wage.

This is different from a scholarship because an assistantship requires that a student hold a position, or job, throughout the academic year.


Please note: The College does not want students to be overly burdened with on-campus work hours, which could negatively affect their wellness, as they are to be primarily focused on their studies. Therefore, professional students (M.Ed. or M.P.P.) employed on any non-sponsored funding source (any net asset class besides 15 (grants and contracts) in the College should work no more than 20 hours per week if they are enrolled in nine credit hours or more in the fall or spring semesters or six or more credit hours in the summer.

Although the University does permit students to work up to 29.5 hours per week, professional students may not be employed for more than 20 hours per week if any non-sponsored  funding sources (any net asset class besides 15 (grants and contracts) are used. Requests for exceptions must be approved by the program director and the dean.

Please see the college guidelines on classification and compensation, to determine the correct job title and compensation rate for professional students.