Graduate Assistantships

Both teaching and research assistantships are available through affiliated departments. For 2023, the base salary for a 9-month, 50% appointment is $17,309.86 ($22.19/hr) for Masters students and $20,280.00 ($26.00/hr) for Doctoral students. Graduate students holding an assistantship are eligible for health/dental benefits and tuition waivers of up to 14 credits per semester.

Summer support may also be provided by research assistantships available through individual faculty members and/or the IBS Program.


You are eligible to hold a graduate assistantship if you are:

Admitted to a graduate school degree program or a post-baccalaureate professional degree program and registered for the required minimum number of credits each semester an assistantship is held. Course registration is not required for summer assistantships.

Registration Requirements

You are required to register for at least six credits per semester to hold one of the following titles and classifications:

  • Graduate School Fellow 9561 or 9566
  • Graduate Instructor 9515
  • Graduate Research Assistant 9521
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant 9511

Registration must be completed by the first day of employment (in most instances) and maintained for the entire semester. Audit courses do not fulfill registration requirements.

You may register for 1-5 credits in select semesters by applying for an exemption with the Special Graduate Assistant Registration Status (SGARS) form. Approval must be obtained from your employer, faculty adviser, and director of graduate studies. Tuition and fringe benefits are based on the percentage of your appointment.

Advanced Masters or Ph.D. candidates are required to register for at least one credit per semester. The credit can be at any graduate level credit but must be 8333 (Masters) or 8444 (Doctoral) to qualify for loan deferment.

Important: Tuition benefits only pay for one graduate school credit on advanced status. If you register for more than one credit, you will be billed for tuition over one credit.

Graduate Research Assistant - 9528 (MS), 9529 (Ph.D.)

Graduate Teaching Assistant - 9518 (MS), 9519 (Ph.D.)

Registration for GRAD 0999 does not fulfill the registration requirements while holding a graduate assistantship.

Failure to Register

Failure to register for any credits or cancellation of all credits may result in termination of your graduate assistantship.

If you withdraw from all credits, you are responsible for any remaining student account balance.

International students filing for “Exemption from Full Time Status” with the International Student & Scholar Services Office are not exempt from the minimum credit requirements.

Appointment Types

Fixed Hourly

This type of appointment has a set number of hours that are worked each pay period and does not require the use of a timecard. There are two types of fixed hourly appointments

  • Single Semester: A single semester appointment is for one semester only and runs according to the official payroll semester dates.
  • Annual: An annual appointment runs for a 9-month academic or 12-month fiscal year.

Conditional Annual

This type of appointment is used as an alternative to fixed-hourly appointment when a department anticipates that funding will be available for the academic year but is not certain. This appointment type is contingent upon the availability of funding for the position and may be terminated at any time.

Assistantships and Graduation

You cannot work as a graduate assistant after the semester in which you graduated. If you graduate mid-term while holding an assistantship, you can continue working in your assistantship title until the end of the term.

Work Study Funds

Work-study awards are a form of financial aid that is available to undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. If you are a graduate or professional school student, you will be awarded work-study upon request if you have need-based eligibility and will be enrolled at least half-time. Work-study awards are included in Financial Aid Award Notices. Check out more details on work-study awards.