3.2.8 Graduate Assistants


Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Graduate Research Assistantships are designed to provide support for graduate students while also offering them the opportunity to augment their academic experience through teaching, research, or other academically related activities.

Graduate assistants receive a tuition scholarship covering up to ten graduate credit hours of resident tuition each term of appointment. This applies only to graduate credit. It does not apply to undergraduate credit, audited classes, or dropped classes.


Graduate Teaching Assistant

A graduate student functioning as an apprentice to the faculty doing teaching, research and/or services. All Graduate Teaching Assistants are assigned on a nine-month basis.

Graduate Research Assistant

A graduate student functioning as an apprentice to the faculty doing research and usually being supported by research funds (subsidy condition). Graduate Research Assistants may have nine or twelve month assignments.


A graduate assistant must be admitted to a graduate degree program, maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average, and be registered for six to twelve graduate credits per term.

A graduate assistant whose native language is not English must pass the TSE and SPEAK test before assuming teaching duties (see Executive Order 86-8, English Requirement for Graduate Assistants).

A graduate assistant shall not hold another position within or outside the university without the prior written approval of the dean or his/her designee. If the graduate assistant has less than a 3.5 grade point average, the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School is also required.




Employing Unit

  1. Prepare appointment packet containing:

    1. Letter of Offer, signed by Dean/Director

    2. Indication of educational level appropriate for position offered

    3. Grade point average

  2. If original appointment, also include:

    1. Award Letter

    2. Recommendation of Chair

    3. For non-native English speaking students who will have teaching responsibilities: certification that student has taken and received an acceptable score on the TSE or verification that the TSE will be taken prior to the student assuming teaching responsibilities; and verification that the SPEAK test will be taken prior to the student assuming teaching responsibilities.

  3. Send candidate Letter of Offer signed by Dean/Director, Award Letter, and if original appointment also send:

    1. Academic Personal Data, form 716

    2. Bulletin titled Verification of Employment Eligibility

    3. Tax cards

    4. Medical benefit information

    5. Benefit enrollment cards


  1. Sign and return all appropriate forms to employing unit.

  2. Report to Human Resources or International Services (as appropriate) to complete Form I-9 process (see APPM section 3.0.12, Verification of Employment Eligibility).

Employing Unit

  1. Prepare Personnel Assignment (PASS), form 787, signed by Dean/Director

  2. Forward copy of appointment packet to Graduate Office for review.

  3. Forward original appointment packet, PASS, Letter of Offer, Chair's recommendation, tax and medical cards, and form 716 to Personnel Processing and Records.

Personnel Processing and Records

  1. Review PASS and obtain approval from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSPS) or International Services if appropriate.

  2. Enter assignment into HRS.

  3. Send copy of PASS with tax cards to Payroll and send copy of PASS and benefit enrollment card to Benefits Administration.

  4. Send Notice of Personnel Action (NPA), form 786, to Employing Unit for distribution to employee within ten (10) days.