Graduate assistantships (GAs) are available in a variety of places across campus, from academic departments and research centers to administrative and service units. This type of graduate assistantship appointment comprises the largest number of awards offered by the University. Nondeclared students are not eligible for graduate assistantships unless granted an exception by the Graduate School. Graduate assistants are not allowed to hold a student worker position unless they have special approval through the Graduate School.
Information about the criteria used to select GAs and to assign graduate assistantship responsibilities may be obtained by contacting the chair of the department, the administrator of a research or service unit, or the Graduate School.
There are three types of graduate assistantships:
- Teaching Assistantships
- Research Assistantship
- Administrative Assistantships
These assistantships are offered as half-time (50%) or quarter-time (25%).
- Half-time (50%) assistantships require 20 hours of work per week.
- Quarter-time (25%) assistantships require 10 hours of work per week.
Fall and spring assistantship appointments receive a full tuition scholarship (waiver) if the appointment is for 75% of the semester (13 out of 17 weeks) and when the students are registered for a minimum of eight (8) graduate credit hours. All assistants receive a full tuition scholarship. Tuition scholarships pay tuition only; students are required to pay all their fees for the number of credit hours they are registered for in the fall and spring semesters.
Summer assistantships receive a tuition scholarship, up to nine (9) hours, if the appointment is for 50% of the entire summer semester (6 out of the 12 weeks) and when the students are registered for a minimum of three (3) graduate credit hours. Summer scholarships pay for all summer classes (i.e. intercession, 6-week, or 8-week courses). Tuition scholarships pay tuition only; students are required to pay all their fees for the number of credit hours they are registered for in the summer semester. Graduate assistants that have held a consecutive fall and spring contract for 75% of the semester (13 out of 17 weeks), automatically will receive a nine (9) hour non-working tuition scholarship for the following summer. As this tuition scholarship is “non-working,” this scholarship does not include an appointment or stipend.
Two quarter-time assistantships may be held without special approval. Graduate assistants are not allowed to hold a student worker position unless they have special approval through the Graduate School.
Salary schedules for graduate assistantships vary from unit to unit. Generally doctoral students are paid higher rates than master's students. Information about the specific conditions of the appointment should be directed to the department or unit making the appointment.
- Students holding an assistantship are required to register for eight (8) hours of graduate credit in the fall and spring semester and three (3) hours of graduate credit during the summer semesters.
A student may receive no more than two calendar years of financial support (24 months) while at the master's level. A student may receive no more than four calendar years of financial support (48 months) at the doctoral level. These time limits apply to assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, internships, and other similar awards and appointments administered by the University, regardless of the source of funds. Time limits may vary.
In the best interests of both the University and students, academic departments should monitor outside employment and intervene in those cases where outside employment results in problems. Toward this end, it is within the rights and responsibilities of a department: l) to require that graduate assistants holding outside employment notify their department, so that their performance can be monitored; 2) to make the relinquishing of outside employment a precondition for the continued enrollment of, and/or availability of assistantships to, students whose academic or assistantship performance has been rated unsatisfactory; and 3) to cancel or not renew the assistantship contracts of those students whose assistantship performance is rated unsatisfactory and who also hold and do not discontinue outside employment. Graduate students can appeal departmental decisions regarding outside employment and academic / assistantship status through the University's standard routes of appeal.
To request an exception to allow a graduate assistant holding an appointment to also hold a student employment position, the student employment hiring department must write a letter requesting an exception for the student. A second letter from the student’s academic department must also be written, stating that the student employment hours will not interfere with the student’s academic responsibilities. These requests should be on letterhead and sent to the Assistantship / Fellowship office.
If the exception is granted, please see the Student Employment Handbook for the flowchart with the maximum work hours allowed and multiple jobs.
Effective October 2014: Student employment work hours have been revised to the following:
Fall and Spring Semester (when school is in session)
Student employees may not exceed 20 hours per week in all combined jobs.
Intersession and break periods (break periods with a duration of 5 days or more)
Student employees may not exceed 37.5 hours per week in all combined jobs.
Summer Semester (when school is in session)
Domestic student employees may not exceed 37.5 hours per week in all combined jobs.
International student employees may not exceed 20 hours per week in all combined jobs.
The graduate internship provides an educational experience for students at either the master's or doctoral level who wish to, or are required to as a part of their program of study, devote their primary effort toward applied activities in an academic program or community-based agency or business under the direct supervision of a qualified representative of the host agency or business. Such internship activities may be unpaid or paid. Paid internships are externally sponsored and include the following categories: (1) paid through the University as a graduate assistant; (2) paid by an agency or business as an employee; or (3) paid by an agency or business as a consultant. Requests for information should be directed to one's department.
Individual departments often are able to provide traineeships. Information about these awards should be directed to the department to which one has been admitted or is seeking admission.
*International students are not allowed by Immigration Services to hold more than a 50% while school is in session.