Procedures for Assistantship & Fellowship Award Offer Letters

Template Letters

Departments offering graduate students funding in support of their graduate study (assistantships, fellowships, traineeships) must provide students with an official signed offer letter.

Graduate students being offered an assistantship and a fellowship must be provided separate offer letters, one for the assistantship and one for the fellowship.

The template letters must be used. All information contained in the template letters is required. However, departments may include additional language relevant to their specific programs, but the additional information cannot negate or supersede the required information.

Academic Year


Spring 2023 Pre-Session


Full Support Fellowship Awards from Graduate Studies (Presidential and Fling Fellowships) provide stipend payments for recipients of these awards. Fellowship recipients are required to be full-time students (at least 9 credit hours or have an approved full-time graduate status form) during the period of appointment and may hold another major fellowship. They may not engage in remunerative employment, including a graduate assistantship or traineeship.

The provisions of the tax law require students who are degree candidates to report fellowship awards as taxable income to the extent such awards exceed “course-related expenses.” The IRS does not require institutions to withhold taxes with respect to fellowship payments nor does it require institutions to report those payments, except in the case of certain nonresident aliens. It is the student’s responsibility to report the fellowship income while filing a tax return.

Assistantships combined with a fellowship or traineeship

Some fellowships provide partial support (i.e., Chancellor’s, Dean’s Fellowship); students with these fellowships may hold other fellowships and assistantships.  No taxes are withheld on fellowship payments for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, but some or all of the fellowship payment may be taxable income to the extent it exceeds course-related expenses.  Sometimes taxes are withheld for international students depending on the student’s country.  It is the student’s responsibility to report the fellowship income while filing a tax return.