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Graduate Assistantship Enhancement Program

About the program

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is pleased to provide an assistantship enhancement program designed to recruit top prospective graduate students into our terminal graduate degree programs. This competitive enhancement will provide an additional $4,000 in compensation each academic year for up to four consecutive years*. The graduate assistantship enhancement will be provided in addition to the funding package offered by each student’s academic program. 


The program is limited to students pursuing terminal degrees in CAS on the Columbia campus. To be eligible for nomination, prospective students must be accepted by the Department/Program and supported by their standard departmental assistantship for all four academic years. Students must be enrolled full-time (minimum 6 hours/semester) to be eligible for the additional compensation. Graduate Directors will verify enrollment each semester and promptly notify the appropriate Associate Dean if a student is no longer in good standing, does not meet the minimum enrollment requirement, or has left the degree program early. Students awarded a Presidential Fellowship are not eligible for this college enhancement program. Students awarded substantial funding from an external source may be ineligible for this award (e.g., NSF GRFP, Bilinski Fellowship, etc.).

*Students who receive substantial fellowships during the award period may pause the fellowship for up to 1 year.  


Nomination Deadlines

There are three independent nomination deadlines selected to help CAS graduate programs recruit top terminal degree students throughout the admissions process. Full and fair consideration will be given to each nominee, regardless of nomination period.


The nomination deadlines for the upcoming admissions cycle are:

  • Monday, January 27, 2025
  • Monday, February 24, 2025
  • Monday, March 24, 2025


Terminal degree-granting Department/Program may submit up to three applications in rank order. If no nominees for a Department/Program are selected during the first round, the Departments/Program may nominate three prospective students in the second round and so on; any nominee from the first round who was not selected during that round must be re-nominated in the second round and so on for consideration. No Department/Program may receive more than three graduate enhancements per year; depending on available funds, the college will consider additional awards and/or funding that increase diversity in graduate programs.  

If a Department/Program nominee accepts another offer or receives a Presidential Fellowship at any point in the admissions cycle, the Graduate Director should promptly notify the appropriate Associate Dean. If a Department/Program nominee declines the offer prior to submission deadlines (or is awarded Presidential Fellowship), the Department/Program may submit another application for review.

Application Process

To nominate an admitted applicant, the Graduate Director must submit the following documents electronically as a single PDF using the online form below:
  • A 1-2 page letter from the graduate director summarizing the nominee's merits and the total financial support offered to the nominee by the program. Include the ranking of the nominees if more than one nominee is being put forward. 
  • Nominee’s graduate application including three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and the personal statement submitted for graduate admission by the nominee.
  • A single PDF file should be labeled with the name of both the nominee and the graduate program.
The online nomination form is available below. Nominations in each round will be reviewed by CAS leadership and results announced in a timely manner.


Please contact Jeff Twiss ( if you need help troubleshooting this form.


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