Student Employment

In addition to their studies, many students seek out part-time employment while at Fletcher, both to help fund their education and to complement their academic experience. Most of these students (approximately 70%) are employed on-campus. Positions filled by Fletcher students include teaching and research assistantships, administrative support work, tutoring, and various off-campus opportunities.

See below for detailed information about the most usual types of employment at Fletcher as well as frequently asked questions.


At Fletcher, a limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to students. Students may be employed by an individual professor or by one of the School’s research centers. Professors and research centers interview and select their own assistants. Teaching and research assistantships are treated as student employment at The Fletcher School. Assistantships do not reduce tuition fees. The stipend for assistantship positions is typically around $2,000/semester.

Fletcher students may serve as teaching assistants at Tufts University in the undergraduate departments of Political Science, Economics, History, International Relations, and Modern Languages. These assistantships are normally awarded to second-year students, though occasionally first-year students are selected. Students interested in teaching assistantships should make inquiries directly to the individual departments at Tufts University as early as possible for full consideration. Fletcher students also serve as teaching assistants at other institutions in the Boston area.


In addition to teaching and research assistantships, various part-time jobs are available at Fletcher and Tufts University under regular student employment budgets and, for those who qualify, the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program. Positions range from administrative support work and conference organization, to tutoring, gym monitoring, and sports coaching. Students typically earn $14.25 per hour depending on job responsibilities. On-campus job postings and more information on student employment can be found on Fletcher CORE. Interested students can find details about local babysitting opportunities here.


Fletcher School students who are U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents are eligible to apply for an award under the Federal Work-Study Program (FWS).  The Federal Work-Study Program was developed by the U.S. government to help eligible students meet some of their out-of-pocket educational expenses.

To qualify for the Federal Work-Study Program, students must apply for federal assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. The FAFSA application includes a question that asks if the student would like to be considered for a Work-Study award; the applicant must check this option before Work-Study funds will be included in a student’s financial aid package.  Students will learn whether they have been approved for a FWS award when Tufts University Student Financial Services notifies them with details on their financial aid package.

Work-Study awards are essentially a government subsidy of wages.   A student’s Work-Study award is not provided in a lump-sum, and it does not automatically reduce the University bill.  The award is earned through the student’s campus employment, and is paid to the student through a weekly paycheck as it is earned, up to the total budget awarded.  The government subsidizes a certain percent (75% in recent years) of the student’s wages, and the employer is responsible for paying the remainder.

Students interested in applying for the FWS should note that:

  • A Work-Study award applies only to the period (semester or summer) for which it is appropriated. Work-Study money cannot be held over for use in the next academic year, or used retroactively.
  • Students must monitor their earnings. Once the full amount awarded has been earned, students can only continue their employment if the employer is willing to hire students who do not receive Work-Study funds

A Federal Work-Study award can be used on-campus, off-campus for certain non-profit organizations, or for the America Reads program. More information about each is below:

  • On-Campus Work-Study – There are many positions offered by University departments for students with Work-Study money. Few individually approved community service and America Reads jobs available on-campus on a full-time basis.
  • Off-Campus Community Service Work Study – Work-Study students may work off-campus for non-profit organizations in positions that will directly benefit the community. For a position to be determined to be community service, a student must provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or solve particular problems related to those residents’ needs. The Student Employment Office provides details each year of non-profit and public agencies with open positions. Students may also request approval from the Manager of Student Employment of an appropriate agency for which they wish to work.
  • America Reads –Tufts University is committed to the America Reads Program. Under the terms of the Work Study Program, 100% of the wages of a Work-Study student may be paid from federal dollars if the student is employed as a reading or math tutor for children who are in preschool through elementary school, or as a tutor in a family literacy program that provides services to families with preschool or elementary school children.

A smaller number of Fletcher students find work opportunities off-campus. Please note that this option is not available for international students except in a volunteer capacity. International students may work up to 20 hours per week on-campus only. Off-campus salaries can often be higher than those found on-campus.

Students who work off-campus often have a previous relationship with that employer, for example as a former employee or summer intern. Recent employers have included non-profits, research institutes, local universities, and private companies. A few students may also do freelance writing or consultancy work.


International students in two-year programs are able to take advantage of the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization program during their second year of study (students must have completed at least two semesters of full-time academic study in the US before they can start the CPT training experience). This program allows second-year students to take off-campus jobs that are related to their Fletcher curriculum, allowing practical experience to supplement coursework in a real-world employment setting. The CPT program can provide meaningful professional training by extending summer internships, working with an employer for a capstone, or just providing a new professional training experience.


When considering employment options -  whether to work, where to work, and how much to work - you might find it useful to bear in mind the words of wisdom from current students:

“You have to strike a balance between work and student life at Fletcher. The life here is very busy and there are many interesting events taking place on a regular basis. This is part of Fletcher experience. So I would not recommend getting a job just for the sake of it. If it fits your overall career goals and if it can help widen your Fletcher experience, then it is a good idea.”

“Don't be afraid to approach professors and the various Centers where you see a match with your interests. There is a lot that goes on that can be missed in the sheer volume of email traffic.”

“If possible, I would recommend waiting until at least halfway through your first semester or the beginning of the spring semester to start a job. I think it's a good idea to get acclimated to the workload and have a strong idea of how much free time you have to devote to a job before starting work.“With teaching assistant jobs for undergraduate classes, you need to be persistent about obtaining the positions. The jobs are available but often not publicized, so it's necessary to reach out to professors/departments directly that you are interested in working with.”

“PhD Students: teaching assistantships will slow down your work. I only recommended doing it if (a) you truly need the money, or (b) you plan to pursue an academic career.”

“Map out your schedule and think about your priorities. Remember that in addition to classes you'll probably have to schedule study-group meetings each week too, mostly during the day. Working more than 10 hours per week isn't impossible, but you will have to constantly plan your time well.”

“Better to find a job where you set the hours - mine is during regular business hours and that means I often miss events on campus, opportunities to meet with professors, socialize, etc. I wish I could work whenever I wanted!   In general 12 hours a week is the absolute maximum I can squeeze in.”

“I wouldn't advise trying to work off-campus while you're here. You have so many demands on your time and external employers may not be as sensitive to scheduling conflicts. On-campus employment, with a professor or research center gives you a chance to work on something in your field and make a bit of money at the same time. It's also a great way to build closer relationships with professors and get connected within a community of practice, which can often help when looking for internships or full-time jobs. Overall, I had a great experience working with the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, and I have many colleagues that have really enjoyed their positions with various other departments.”