Graduate Assistant Employment

Welcome! The Graduate Assistant Employment office is here to help with your questions about:

  • Tuition benefits
  • Job vacancy postings
  • Semester provisional benefits
  • Extended benefits
  • Policies
  • And more

If you have questions that aren't answered below, please email or call our office:

Graduate Assistant Employment Program

About Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistants are students at the University who are pursuing advanced degrees and who are also employed by the University to teach and conduct research. 

Graduate assistantships offer several advantages to both students and the University. They:

  • Meet critical teaching and research needs
  • Provide financial assistance to graduate students while they pursue their degree
  • Provide teaching and research experience for graduate students

The University is committed to ensuring that graduate assistants have competitive benefits and wages and appropriate academic and financial support as they pursue advanced degrees.

Am I Eligible for Graduate Assistant Employment?

You are eligible for 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 (except for summer) an assistantship is held

What Do I Need to Start Working?

If you work at the U, you must fill out the I-9 form and provide documents to show that you are eligible for employment on or before your first day of work for pay. You need to complete this step to keep working at the U.

Start your Day One right and come prepared. This government web page shows what documents you may need to bring to your first day of work. Your employer will also work with you to explain the I-9 process. The federal government requires original documents; photocopies cannot be accepted for the I-9.

If you have questions, email or call the OHR Contact Center (, 612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363).

Back to top

Finding a Graduate Assistantship

You have several ways to find a graduate assistantship at the University:

  • Your department may offer you an assistantship as part of your admission and acceptance to a graduate degree program. 
  • Check departmental newsletters, bulletin boards, emails, etc., for internally posted positions.
  • Visit the student job search page to search and apply for openings.
  • Network within departments and with current and former professors.

With each posting, you'll find complete application instructions.

Visit our Finding a Graduate Assistantship page for more information on:

  • Eligibility 
  • Registration requirements
  • Types of appointments
  • Work-study funds 

Back to top


Tuition Benefits

You can receive tuition benefits through your graduate assistantship if you:

  • Work at least 98 hours during the semester payroll dates (nonresident waivers require at least 195 hours)
  • Are registered for the minimum number of credits

Visit our Tuition Benefits page for more information on: 

  • Maximum tuition benefits
  • Calculating your benefits
  • Flexible hourly appointment benefits
  • Making sure your tuition is paid
  • And more

Employment Benefits

As a graduate assistant, you may be eligible for various benefits. See our Graduate Assistant Employment Benefits page to learn more about:

  • Medical and dental coverage
  • Resident tuition rate reduction
  • Informal sick leave
  • Leaves
  • Vacation

Back to top

Pay & Taxes

Learn more on the University's Graduate Assistant Payroll and Taxes policy page.

Terms of Appointments 

  • Graduate assistant terms and conditions of appointment are included in an individual's appointment letter, which you will receive when you are hired. In addition, many campuses, colleges, and departments have developed handbooks for graduate assistants.
  • Graduate assistants cannot be terminated during the term of their appointment, except for just cause or a change in funding availability.
  • Graduate assistants have a voice in student governance:
    • Council of Graduate Students (COGS) is the graduate student governance organization.
    • Many departments include graduate students on committees.
    • Graduate students serve on every University-wide committee related to graduate education. 

Job titles and job codes 

These job codes and titles apply to graduate assistants:

9510: Graduate assistant coach
9511: Teaching assistant
9515: Graduate instructor
9517: PhD candidate graduate instructor
9518: Advanced masters teaching assistant
9519: PhD candidate teaching assistant
9521: Research assistant
9526: Graduate research project assistant
9527: PhD candidate graduate research project assistant
9528: Advanced masters research assistant
9529: PhD candidate research assistant
9531: Administrative fellow
9533: PhD candidate administrative fellow
9571: Summer term teaching assistant (without tuition benefits)
9572: Summer term research assistant (without tuition benefits)
9573: Summer term administrative fellow (without tuition benefits)
9574: Summer session teaching assistant
9575: Summer session teaching assistant (without tuition benefits)

These job codes and titles apply to professional schools:

9535: Professional program assistant
9538: Legal project assistant with tuition benefits
9539: Legal project assistant without tuition benefits
9549: Vet Med resident–graduate program
9553: Dental fellow–graduate program
9554: Medical fellow–graduate program
9559: Medical resident–graduate program

Back to top

Policies for Graduate Assistants

See the University's official Graduate Assistant Employment policy page for complete details on:  

  • Classification and pay
  • Paid and unpaid leave
  • Conflict resolution
  • Employment work rules
  • And more

Back to top