Graduate Assistant Appointment Procedures

Application for Graduate Assistantship

Students should consult their departments of study concerning the availability of assistantships with the department in which the applicant will study. Students may also consult Career Connections or other departments for available assistantships outside the department in which the applicant will study. Students must submit an Application for Graduate Assistantships for an assistantship within the department in which the applicant will study. The completed application and supporting documents, including official transcripts, verification of graduate status, and letters of reference must be filed with the head of the academic component or department for review and recommendation. Students applying for assistantships through Career Connections outside the department in which the applicant will study must complete an application through Career Connections as well as the Application for Graduate Assistantships.

  • Graduate students who are interested in applying for a Graduate Assistant (GA) position should complete the Application for Graduate Assistantships.
  • The application should be completed and e-mailed as an attachment to the head of the academic component in which the assistantship is sought.
  • Please note that admission to the Graduate School and enrollment in graduate courses must precede an appointment to a graduate assistantship

Departmental Contract Letter

Each department/component will issue a contract letter to each applicant they wish to employ.

Personnel Transaction Form

The head of the academic component or department will then process a Personnel Transaction Form (PTF), to be approved and signed by the Dean/Supervisor of the College/School/Office and forwarded to the Graduate School to verify the applicant's admission status, salary level, workload, and dates of employment and then send it to the Office of Academic Financial Services for approval. Students must have been admitted to a graduate program and must enroll in at least 5 semester credit hours during both the fall and spring semesters before an assistantship is approved.

PTFs not approved will be returned to the component for appropriate action. All approved PTFs will be forwarded to the Office of Academic Financial Services.

During the fall and spring semesters, graduate assistants are paid monthly on the first working day of the month following the month worked. Graduate assistants who have summer appointments are paid in three monthly installments. 

For a Graduate Assistant to receive a paycheck, the PTF must be approved and in the Office of Academic Financial Services by the published payroll deadline. Payroll deadlines vary each month; schedules are available in the office of Human Resources. GAs are required to complete certain forms in the Office of Human Resources by the payroll deadline before receiving the first paycheck. Therefore, graduate assistants should go to the Human Resources Office as soon as their applications are approved to complete the necessary forms and to provide proof of citizenship, usually by means of a driver's license and Social Security Card or a passport.

Applications should be processed through the academic components by June 1 for an assistantship for the fall semester, by November 1 for an assistantship for the spring semester, and by April 1 for an assistantship for the succeeding summer session.

Appointments for assistantships are issued for an academic year (Sept. 1 - May 31), semester, or a summer session. Appointment dates follow the fiscal calendar and include the following periods:

Fall - September 1 through January 15

Spring - January 16 through May 31

Summer - June 1 through August 31

Depending upon the period of appointment, a GA is entitled to official university holidays and the same work period as the faculty unless exceptions have been agreed upon in writing in advance by the GA and supervisor. 

Reappointment to an assistantship is contingent upon prior performance, departmental research and teaching needs, and available funds. The number of years a student may hold a graduate assistantship depends upon the level of the degree program of the student. For a student at the master's level, the maximum number of years will be three. For a student at the doctoral level, the maximum number of years will be six. Only under extenuating circumstances may an extension of an additional semester or year be granted by the request of the head of the student's component. Ensuring academic success is of the highest importance. Provisionally admitted students on probation and students lacking progress may be removed from an assistantship.