Graduate Assistantship Policies

 Table of Contents



What are Assistantships?

  • Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) – GRAs are a research or project assignment that is relevant and adds value to the student's major field of study, area of interest or expertise.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) – GTAs are teaching assignments where the graduate student will be the Teacher of Record and must be qualified to teach in that field.
  • Graduate Assistantships (GA) – GAs are assignments where the primary function is neither research nor teaching.  Graduate students in this category work on a variety of projects.

What are the requirements to apply for an Assistantship?

  • GRA/GA Requirements
    • Have received an undergraduate degree
    • Applied for and been fully accepted to a graduate degree program of study
    • Maintained a 3.0 grade point average in any previous/current graduate course work
    • Maintained a 3.0 grade point average in any previous undergraduate course work if a first semester graduate program student
    • In addition, the GRA/GA cannot exceed 24 waived course credits in an academic year, or reach or exceed the number of hours required for the registered program in waived course credits.  Returning GRAs/GAs must have satisfactory performance on previous assignments.
    • Be enrolled in graduate courses for the semester that you are serving as a graduate assistant.
    • Be lawfully present in the United States (see for more info).
  • GTA Requirements
    • All of the requirements for a GRA/GA above
    • Have a Master’s in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semesters hours in their graduate program
    • Submit both a CV and transcript to the Graduate College prior to beginning the teaching assignment
    • Completed GRAD 9001 (dates/times to be determined) or approved alternative.
    • Complete the Teacher of Record Appointment Form
    • Complete the Buckley Form and submit it to the Registrar separately

What are the responsibilities of an Assistantship appointment?

  • Appointments are for one semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) and will be awarded to qualified students.  Some departments have 2 semester appointments (Fall and Spring).
  • Graduate Students will work with the assigned Graduate Faculty Project Supervisor for 10-20 hours per week for 17 weeks per semester based on assignment (Fall and Spring).
  • Graduate Students will work with the assigned Graduate Faculty Project Supervisor for 10-40 hours per week for 10 weeks per semester based on assignment (Summer).
  • Graduate Students must be assigned to work with a faculty member holding provisional or full graduate faculty status.
  • Graduate Assistants must register for and maintain a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 12 graduate semester hours for Fall and Spring semesters.
  • A GRA/GTA may not be employed in any another position on the KSU campus nor can they hold two GRA/GTA positions in one semester
  • International students will have additional steps to complete to be hired.

What are the benefits of an Assistantship?


  • Tuition Rates – Each Assistantship position pays a special tuition rate of $25 per semester, as well as all student fees
  • Tuition waivers are the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • Tuition costs above the hours indicated on the contract will be the responsibility of the Graduate Student.
  • Graduate Assistants that are enrolled in one of KSU's premium-priced or executive/premier programs will be required to pay all tuition/other costs of these programs in excess of standard graduate program tuition.
  • Additional charges for on-line courses are covered in the tuition waiver.
  • Tuition will only be waived for graduate courses.  No tuition waivers will apply to any undergraduate courses.
  • Tuition will not be waived for more hours than required for the degree program as stated in the Graduate Catalog.

Health Insurance

  • All Graduate Assistants are required to have health insurance. Students will be billed for the mandatory health insurance fee at the time of registration.  A waiver of the health insurance fee may be applied for directly with the insurer.  Please see United Healthcare for information and rates.


  • Assistantships normally include a stipend in addition to the special tuition rate as defined in the contract.  
  • Stipends will be paid monthly on the last business day of the month.
  • Stipends are determined by the average number of hours of work expected by the student. Please see the Tier structure for more details.

How do I apply for an Assistantship?

  • There are two paths to being hired for an Assistantship position.
    • Your graduate program may have already identified you to fill an Assistantship position through the recruitment process or through knowledge of your expertise while in the program. 
    • Graduate Students that have not been identified may:

If I am selected for an Assistantship, what do I need to do?

  • Hiring Packet Due Dates – Due dates for the hiring packet are available on the Graduate College Assistantship website
  • Students who do not submit the hiring packet prior to the deadline for priority registration will have two options:  Pay all fees by the deadline for priority registration and be reimbursed after the hiring packet is processed –OR- Have their classes dropped if the tuition and fees are not paid and re-register for classes during the next phase of registration.
  • Hiring Packet – The Hiring packet consists of several forms. 
    • Graduate Assistantship Contract & Approval Form – Filled out online by the Graduate Faculty Project Supervisor or Program Director.  The Graduate Student must indicate a preference for waiver; legibly print their name, sign and date.
    • TOR Appointment Form and Authorization to Release Transcripts (for GTA’s only). The TOR appointment form must be completed by the Graduate Faculty Supervisor or Program Director.  The form is signed by the department chair.  The GTA must complete the authorization to release transcripts, sign and date.
    • Student Employment Personnel Action Form (SEPAF) – The SEPAF form needs to be filled out by the Graduate Faculty Supervisor or Program Director. 
  • New Hire Orientation – All GRA/GTA/GAs are required to attend a new hire orientation.  It is the student’s responsibility to attend the set orientation time.
    • New Hire Orientation must be completed no later than 3 days after the beginning date on the contract.
    • Students will contact Human Resources (HR) at 470-578-6030 or for New Hire Orientation dates after the hiring packet is completed. 
    • Students who cannot attend the New Hire Orientation program must notify Human Resources (HR) at 470-578-6030 or to schedule a separate orientation time.
  • International Student Requirements
    • International students with an F-1 visa are required to provide a copy of their current visa documentation as well as their current I-20 form, complete with a work authorization stamp from the Office of International Services and Programs.
    • International students must have a social security number prior to being hired.
    • Contact HR at 470-578-6030 or with any questions.
  • Students will not be paid until all of these steps are complete.

What are the requirements to continue in the Assistantship program?

  • GPA Requirements – If a student's grade point average falls below 3.0 (academic probation), they will no longer be eligible to hold an Assistantship.
  • Resignation – A GRA/GTA/GA wishing to resign must submit a letter of resignation to their faculty supervisor and the Dean of the Graduate College.
  • Failure to Meet Job Requirements – Students who do not meet the academic requirements or the requirements of the job may be terminated.
  • Compensation Upon Termination – Compensation will cease upon termination of the contract, and the student may be required to reimburse the University for tuition.