Job opportunities

Many Ford School students seek employment opportunities that use the skills they are developing while in graduate school. There are a number of graduate student assistantships and work-study positions available.

Graduate Student Assistantships

Graduate student assistantships are opportunities for students to be involved in teaching, research, or employment on campus. Typically, assistantships are very competitive opportunities that carry a strong funding package that may include tuition, stipend, and health benefits. At the Ford School, the most common types of assistantships are Graduate Student Instructorships (GSI) and Graduate Student Research Assistantships (GSRA).

Graduate Student Instructorships (GSI)

Some Ford School students with relevant backgrounds have obtained GSI positions teaching undergraduates in other departments (such as political science, psychology, communications, English, chemistry, etc.). In general, GSI positions are highly competitive, and tend to value teaching experience. There are also opportunities for grader positions in some departments, which support instructors. All current graduate student appointments are listed on the University of Michigan's Careers at the U site. Check back regularly as new positions are added frequently.

Graduate Student Research Assistantships (GSRA)

Ford School students may also be hired as a GSRA, which is a competitive position awarded by individual faculty who have funded research projects. Strategies for increasing your competitiveness for GSRA positions include taking courses taught by faculty whose research interests you, discussing mutual interests during office hours, or offering to work as an hourly research assistant. GSRA positions cover tuition and offer students a substantial stipend and health insurance. Learn more about the Ford School’s extensive research endeavors.

Work study

For students who qualify for federal work study, the Ford School offers work study positions in our Student & Academic Services, Graduate Career Services, Communications & Outreach, and Development offices, as well as multiple reading room assistant positions in our Margaret Dow Towsley Reading Room.

In the past, students have also worked at the Institute for Social Research, the Institute of Science and Technology, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Transplant Policy Center, the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Center, and the University’s Office of Government Relations.

In addition to working on campus, students are encouraged to consider the possibility of off-campus employment in policy-related positions. In recent years students have worked for the City of Ann Arbor, the Michigan Municipal League, Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Washtenaw Development Council, and the Non-Profit Enterprises at Work Center.