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Graduate Assistantships


GRA positions include full or partial tuition and a stipend for work. The School has a very limited number of these available as part of the admissions process. These assistantships provide 9 credits of tuition remission and a monthly stipend. Research institutes and individual faculty members sometimes hire GRAs using external funding (e.g. research grants and contracts). These GRA positions are handled directly by the center/institute or faculty member. So, it is sometimes worth contacting a faculty member directly (someone who matches your interests) to see if they have positions. Listed below are a few of the research centers where students have found GRA positions.

General information about University Graduate Assistantships is available here.

Center for Urban Studies

The mission of the Center is to promote and facilitate the conduct of research and community service for faculty and students on urban issues relevant to the metropolitan area. The Center is an established and ongoing link between the University and the community. The Center provides the infrastructure by which the assets of the University can be accessed by the community, and a means by which the University can access the community as a research laboratory.

Population Research Center

The Population Research Center (PRC) is an interdisciplinary public service, research, and training unit for population-related data and research for the State of Oregon.

Institute on Aging

The Institute on Aging at Portland State University gathers some of the top researchers and instructors in the field to provide much-needed education and insight into our aging population.

Community Environmental Services (CES)

Community Environmental Services (CES) is a research and service unit within the Center for Urban Studies in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. CES has provided high quality research, technical assistance, data collection, and educational outreach services in the areas of solid waste management, recycling, waste prevention, and other resource conservation and business sustainability issues since the late 1980's.

CES employs between 15-20 students annually. Over 80% of CES staff are graduate students from programs within Portland State University including Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Studies, and Public Administration. CES usually continues employing students over the summer. The best way for students to get hired is to drop the director an email along with a resume. When they know they are hiring they contact those who they have resumes for. They also post to USP and UPA listservs.

Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies 

The Institute was created to better connect the university to issues of concern to communities in the six-county Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Area, and to bring new attention to key issues of metropolitan significance. Acting as both a broker and a catalyst, the Institute has been serving the region since 1992. IMS sometimes hires GRAs on externally funded projects. Contact the Director, Sheila Martin, for more information: