Graduate Assistantships | Graduate School | SIU

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Graduate Assistantships Main Content

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 appointment comprises the largest number of awards offered by the University.  Nondeclared students are not eligible for graduate assistantships. Graduate Assistants are not allowed to hold a student worker position unless they have special approval through the Graduate School.

Students should inquire directly to the chair of the department to which they have been admitted or to the appointing officer of a research center or administrative or service unit. Information about the criteria used to select GAs and to assign their 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 tuition scholarship (waiver) if the appointment is for 75% of the semester (13 out of 17 weeks). 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 if the appointment is for 50% of the entire summer semester (6 out of the 12 weeks).  Summer scholarships pay for all summer classes (i.e. intercession, 6-week, or 8-week courses).   Both half time (50%) and quarter-time (25%) assistantships receive an 9-hour waiver for the summer.  Graduate assistants that have a consecutive fall and spring contract automatically receive an 9-hour summer 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 summer semesters.

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 a master's level. A student may receive no more than four calendar years of financial support (48 months) at a doctoral level.  These time limits apply to assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, internships and other similar awards and appointments administered by the University, regardless of source of funds. Time limit 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.

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Student Employment While Holding an Assistantship

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. The information can be found on Student Employment’s website at: http://studentjobs.siu.edu/_common/documents/student-emp-handbook.pdf.

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.

Graduate Internships

The graduate internship provides an educational experience for student's at either the master's or doctoral level who wish or are required as a part of their program of studies to 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.

Traineeships

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 the Immigration Services to hold more than a 50% while school is in session.

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