The Department of Mathematics offers highly qualified new graduate students a substantial award package in the form of Teaching Assistant (TA) positions to highly-qualified students. The typical stipend is $18,500-$20,500 per academic year, while graduate tuition and fees are waived. Selecting the recipients for these positions is a competitive process.
TA responsibilities require no more than 12 hours per week. This relatively light teaching load compares favorably with that of many other institutions. Because of their lighter teaching load, SMU TAs often obtain their graduate degrees comparatively quickly. TAs assist faculty in grading for undergraduate courses, and tutoring in evening help sessions run by the department.
Occasionally, experienced teaching assistants who intend to pursue a teaching career are given full responsibility for teaching a course, typically a small section of precalculus.
Students who have earned their M.S. degree and continue on for a Ph.D. are often supported as Research Assistants. These positions are supported by faculty grants and, other than course work, students work on research full time. Approximately a third to half of students are supported as RAs.
Summer support is not guaranteed and is dependent on departmental budget constraints. However, what is typical is for students in their second summer, i.e., post the M.S. degree, will be provided 1 month of summer support as they begin their research. In subsequent summers, i.e., post passing the Ph.D. qualifying exams, it is typical to provide 2 months of summer support.
Duration of Support
Students who maintain high levels of academic achievement and progress toward their degree will be supported throughout the duration of their studies, up to 5 full academic years past the B.S. degree.