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Graduate Assistantships

Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships for graduate students provide outstanding students with financial resources to help them complete their degrees. Assistantships offer varying educational and professional benefits. The Graduate School administers and oversees the Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships.

A graduate assistantship is not required to attend graduate school, but is used as a tool to gain valuable experience and cover costs of tuition. All assistantships are determined by the issuing department or office. Students must work with department directly to obtain an assistantship and complete the appropriate paperwork to receive payment. 

Types of Assistantships: 

Position 

Definition 

Graduate Teaching Assist (GTA) 

Primary duty of teaching, tutoring, instructing or lecturing. Requires "face time" (zoom or in person) 

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) 

Primary duty is to work in collaboration with faculty involved in ongoing research. Research may or may not be directly related to thesis/dissertation research 

Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA) 

Primary duty is to complete administrative tasks typically within an office setting. Job duties do not meet definitions of a GRA/GTA.

Credits Needed for Full-Time Student Status:  

 Spring/FallSummer
25% time assistantship  75
49% time assistantship53

*For financial purposes, students need to be enrolled in at least 5 credits regardless of semester of study. Students with financial aid questions should e-mail the Financial Aid Office or visit their website.

Key Things to Know Regarding Assistantships: 

  • All graduate assistants must register for a minimum of one (1) credit (including summer) in order to receive an assistantship
  • GTA or GRA appointments and on-campus hourly appointments cannot be held in combination
  • Assistantships are not the form of compensation for the time graduate students spend on their thesis or dissertation research. Students on research assistantships are expected to work on their own research over and above the time for which they are compensated.
  • GAs must not total greater than 49% effort in a single appointment or in combination with any other assistantship appointment. GA appointments greater than 49% will be granted ONLY with proper justification. 
  • Graduate students who are awarded a graduate assistantship and otherwise qualify shall, in addition to wages, will have all tuition and fees waived with the exception of the General Activity Fee (GAF). The GAF will be charged per credit hour.