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Graduate Assistantship Policy


The primary purpose of a Graduate Assistantship is to provide students with professional experience and the necessary financial resources to attend a graduate educational program. A GA is first a degree-seeking student and second, an employee of the University whose assigned duties may assist the University with completions of tasks, but more importantly substantially contribute to the student’s academic and professional development


A Graduate Student may be eligible for a Graduate Assistantship if the student is:

  • Admitted into a graduate degree program (degree-seeking)
  • Registered for one (1) or more credit hours
  • Maintains a cumulative greater or equal to 2.75.

Graduate students who are awarded a Graduate Assistantship and otherwise qualify shall, in addition to any required wages, have an incentive tuition rate of zero percent (0%) and program fees of zero percent (0%), except the General Activity Fee shall be paid one-hundred percent (100%), in accordance with SDBOR Policy 5:22.

  • The incentive tuition rate begins the semester the student is appointed to a Graduate Assistantship and not before.
  • A GA’s first GA appointment may begin thirty (30) days prior to the graduate student’s first semester at the University, so long as the graduate student is admitted and registered in a graduate program that begins within that thirty (30) day period.
  • Graduate Assistants seeking to enroll for the Summer semester who do not receive a sufficient stipend to meet minimum requirements for the incentive tuition rate for the Summer semester may receive the rate, provided they received a qualifying Graduate Assistantship for the preceding Fall and Spring semesters. Continuation of the Graduate Assistantship during the Summer semester requires registration for the required minimum number of credit hours during the Summer semester.
  • If a Graduate Assistantship is terminated, or the student resigns prior to the withdrawal date, the student is responsible for the prorated full tuition rates for the current term. Full tuition rates shall be assessed in all subsequent terms in which the student is not awarded a Graduate Assistantship.
  • Graduate Assistants who are eligible for this incentive tuition rate will receive the same benefit for courses taken at other SDBOR institutions. The incentive tuition rate shall also be applied for all distance, off-campus and Center courses taken.
  • A GA must be awarded and receive at least the minimum stipend set annually by the University in accordance with SDBOR policies. GAs are expected to work a full semester to receive the full semester compensation and incentive tuition rate. The minimum compensation may be prorated according to the term of appointment in accordance with the provisions contained herein and in SDBOR Policy 5:22.

Time expectations for GAs are determined as follows:

  • GA appointments greater than 49% effort will be granted only with proper justification.
  • GTA hours to determine ACA compensable time are calculated as: 2 ¼ hours of service per week for each credit hour of teaching or classroom time, plus one (1) hour of service per week for each additional hour outside of classroom duties the GTA spends performing other required duties.
  • GRA and GAA hours are counted as they accrue. Percent time is counted as: 100% representing 40 hours/week; 95% = 38 hours/week; 75% = 30 hours/week; 49%= 20 hours/week, and 25% = 10 hours/week.
  • GTA or GRA appointments and hourly appointments cannot be held in combination. GAAs, however, may have additional hourly appointments.
  • Support activities, such as time spent in required meetings, office hours and other related activities, are considered as part of the time expectations for the

Graduate Assistants and Fellows Policy