Section 9.2: Eligibility and Expectations

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In order to be eligible for a graduate assistantship, a student must be enrolled in a specific degree program.  Students in combined bachelor’s/master’s degree programs are not eligible for an assistantship until they have completed the bachelor’s degree and been admitted into the master’s degree.  A student may not simultaneously hold a graduate assistantship and a full-time fellowship or other appointment from a non-university source.


A graduate assistant who holds a full-time assistantship is expected to provide service to the appointing unit which approximates 20 hours per week for a total of 300 hours per semester. This may include assignments during the week prior to classes and/or during exam week.  A half-time graduate assistant is expected to devote half of the service commitment expected of a full-time graduate assistant (approximately 10 hours per week for a total of 150 hours per semester).  Service obligations are prorated for each 5 week summer term.

The service commitment of a graduate assistant who has been appointed by a nonprogrammatic unit will be equivalent to the total time expectations of a graduate assistant who is appointed through a programmatic unit. Due to specific operational requirements of nonprogrammatic units, some of the total time expectation may be satisfied during pre-semester, intersession, or post-semester time periods. If necessary to have the graduate assistant work the week before classes start, the week after classes end, or during breaks, the weekly hours need to be adjusted so no weekly total exceeds 25 hours and the total hours worked does not exceed the required hours of commitment.  Such arrangements should be understood by the graduate assistant and the appointing unit at the outset of the assistantship period.

In all instances it is expected that the graduate assistant and the appointing unit will strive to ensure that the service commitment is beneficial to the graduate assistant’s professional growth and is commensurate with the mission and goals of the appointing unit and of the University.

A graduate assistant who has tuition remission only does not have a service commitment.


Students with full-time and half-time assistantships must enroll for a minimum of 8 credit hours per semester (6 credit hours in summer term).  Although a student may be eligible for an assistantship by enrolling for 6 hours in the summer, the university definition of full-time graduate student is 8 to 16 hours.

Students who have tuition remission only (and no service commitment) are expected to enroll for a minimum of eight credit hours per semester (6 credit hours in summer term).

Graduate students who have satisfied all required coursework and that may be registered for only 2 credit hours of Thesis II are considered full-time students.