Typically, a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) is paid from the Faculty Salaries category of the University budget, a Graduate Assistant-Salary (GAS) is paid from Instructional Funds (not the wages category), a Graduate Assistant-Wages (GAW) is paid from the wages account, and a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) is paid from Institutional Grants awarded to certain faculty members and from outside university and faculty research contracts.

The categories for GA appointments include master's level and doctoral-level students. A student working directly toward a doctor's degree without earning a master's degree will be considered the same as a master's degree student until the student has earned 30 graduate semester hours. Mid-year adjustments in a graduate assistant's salary will not be made.

For the academic year, a full-time GA is appointed for .50 FTE, which is defined as 20 contact hours a week in direct support of instruction and requires enrollment in five (5) graduate semester credit hours. Employment less than .50 FTE is possible during the summer with an appropriate reduction in hours worked and pay received. (see Master's or Doctoral Graduate Assistant pay scales). Summer Graduate Assistant pay is distributed in three installments on the first business day of July, August, and September.

  1. The minimum course load for which graduate assistants must be enrolled during long semesters is five (5) semester credit hours, for both a .25 or .50 FTE. Departments may require a greater minimum number of hours. For enrollments less than five (5) hours, a letter from the dean or program component leader to the Graduate School requesting approval to enroll for fewer hours and explaining the reason for the request is required. Students in thesis, dissertation, practicum or internship hours may register for a minimum of three (3) hours. (Note: Students enrolled for less than 5 hours must pay FICA tax unless enrolled in their last semester.)
  2. The minimum course load for which graduate assistants must be enrolled for summer is five (5) semester credit hours for a 0.50 FTE and three (3) semester credit hours for a .25 FTE.  Summer enrollment includes enrollment any time during summer I, summer II, and/or summer III terms (6/1-8/31). The summer must be 5 semester credit hours of graduate coursework.

A Graduate Assistant is entitled to register by paying the tuition fees and other fees or charges required for Texas residents without regard to the length of time the assistant has resided in Texas if the assistant is employed at least one-half time (.50 FTE), is enrolled in a minimum of 5 semester credit hours, and is working in a position which relates to her/his degree program. The student should complete the Request for In-State Tuition Form for Graduate Assistants, have it signed by the academic component leader, and forward it to the Graduate School as an e-mail attachment. The form must be submitted by the 12th class day of long semesters, the 4th class day of summer sessions. Graduate School personnel will approve the request for in-state tuition and forward the form to the Registrar’s Office.