Community and Industry Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistants – Not just for the classroom anymore!

Did you know ... graduate students at The University of Akron are not limited to assistantships that require teaching in exchange for a tuition stipend? In fact, graduate students are available to bring new talent and insights to your business or nonprofit organization.

Through UA’s Community and Industry Graduate Assistantship (CIGA) program, select graduate students with full admission to the University who are in good academic standing can gain valuable work experience while assisting your organization. The assistantships are conducted only during academic terms and permit 20 hours of work per week in exchange for a stipend, which is paid by the organization, as well as a full-tuition scholarship, which is provided by the University.

Advantages all around

Graduate students, businesses and nonprofit organizations, and The University of Akron all benefit when they participate in the Community and Industry Graduate Assistantship program.

Benefits to the graduate student include:

  • Gaining valuable, real-world work experience relative to his/her academic discipline
  • Earning credit hours toward a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Implementing new knowledge and classroom theory
  • Greatly reducing or eliminating tuition debt
  • Adding professional experience to a resume

Benefits to a business or nonprofit organization include:

  • Access to a high level of talent
  • Ability to evaluate an individual’s performance before committing to full-time employment
  • Access to new insights, skills, and perspectives
  • Opportunity to establish or improve ties with The University of Akron and its pipeline of talent

Benefits to the University of Akron include:

  • Increasing job placement rates for students
  • Providing more opportunities for a relevant education by connecting academics to real-world experiences
  • Lessening the burden of tuition debt
  • ncreasing the likelihood a student will complete a master’s or doctoral program
  • Increasing the number of high-quality students recruited from the global market to the University; these students will make the Akron community their new home

The Process

To participate in the CIGA program, businesses and nonprofits should begin by speaking with a University of Akron representative (see contact information on back cover) and discussing areas of mutual interest. Once an area has been determined, the business or nonprofit will be contacted by a Department Chair whose academic discipline most closely aligns with both the needs of the graduate student and the organization. The process should begin at least three months prior to the start of a semester to ensure all agreements and contracts are in place.

Overview of Responsibilities

  • Prospective businesses/nonprofits must provide a detailed job description to the Department Chair, who will determine if the position is substantial enough to award a graduate assistantship and scholarship.
  • The academic department will identify candidates.
  • The business/nonprofit will conduct interviews and make a selection.
  • The business/nonprofit will provide the Department Chair with the following on company letterhead:
    – Name of the selected graduate student
    – Length of contract, which must align with UA’s academic semesters
    – Name of the graduate student’s direct supervisor
    – Job description
  • The Department will prepare a CIGA contract, which will be forwarded for signatures, first to the University’s Office of Research Administration and then to the business/nonprofit.
  • The contract, signed by both parties, will be returned to the Office of Research Administration.
  • An adviser from the academic department will serve as a liaison between the graduate student and the business/nonprofit for the duration of the assistantship.
  • Multiyear agreements can be established to expedite future assistantships.

Details regarding stipends and tuition

  • The University determines stipend amounts paid by businesses/nonprofits to graduate students.
  • Payment of the full stipend is required at the start of the assistantship; refunds to the business/nonprofit will be made by the University, if necessary.
  • The business/nonprofit must pay an additional percentage of the stipend to cover student benefits and worker’s compensation costs. The additional percentage also is due in full at the start of the assistantship.
  • The University will provide the student with a full-tuition scholarship for the duration of the assistantship, as long as the student remains enrolled on a full-time basis.


For Fall Semester
Term of Award: Fall Semester
Initial Request: for Resumes: Up through June
Agreement Deadline: By mid-August
Semester Begins: Mid- to Late August

For Spring Semester
Term of Award: Spring Semester
Initial Request for Resumes: Up through October
Agreement Deadline: By mid-December
Semester Begins: Early January

For Summer Semester
Term of Award: Summer Semester
Initial Request for Resumes: through March
Agreement Deadline: Mid-May

12 Month -
Term of Award: may begin any semester
Initial Request for Resumes: See above
Agreement Deadline: See above
Semester Begins: See above

CBA Stipends

The awards can be given for one semester (16 weeks), the academic year (16 weeks each in fall and spring semesters) or a 12-month period. An additional charge for UA benefits is also required (currently 3.1%).

Type of Award One Semester (fall, spring or summer) Academic Year (fall and spring) 12 Month
Community/Non-Profit $3090 $6180 $10,000
Business/Industry $3750 $7500 $12,200

CBA CIGA Community and Industry Sponsor Resources

Initial Inquiries

Organizations interested in sponsoring students for a Community Industry Graduate Assistantship should direct initial inquiries to

College of Business Administration Internship Office:
Nicki Grambo
Internship Coordinator
College of Business Administration
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-4805

Office of Research Administration Contact:
Rebecca Campbell
Senior Grants Coordinator
Office of Research Administration
The University of Akron
Akron, Ohio 44325-2102
Phone 330-972-8073