Graduate Assistant Employment

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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.

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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

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Graduate assistant facts: Grad assistants at the U--2,500+; Average hourly wage--$24.10; Departments employing grad assistants--222

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Benefits

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

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Pay & Taxes

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

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Terms of Appointments and Policies

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.

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

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Contact Us

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

Graduate Assistant Employment Program 
gaesinfo@umn.edu
612-624-7070

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