Policies Specific to Graduate Assistants

  • Any graduate student appointed as a Graduate Research Assistant, Graduate Assistant or Teaching Assistant must be enrolled in and complete six (6) hours of graduate-level courses for fall and spring semesters and three (3) hours of graduate-level courses for the summer semester. Exceptions to the hours requirement require an approved Student Workload Form (PDF, 329K). All sections of the form must be completed and submitted to the Hiring Supervisor, who will forward to the Dean and then the Graduate School for final approval. If a graduate student drops below the minimum number of hours required without an approved workload form, the assistantship will be terminated.

  • Graduate Research Assistants and Graduate Assistant hold the position on a semester-by-semester basis. Renewal of the contract is not automatic and must be negotiated with the department or program each semester. 
  • Departments and programs set the number of work hours required to maintain an assistantship with the student each semester. Work hours may vary between 13-29 hours per week during the 15-week semester.  In no case may a department require a student to work over twenty-nine hours per week. No graduate assistant may have more than one job on the UWG campus, or work for another USG school. Because the university considers graduate assistants to be part-time employees, they are ineligible for employee benefits. No annual or sick leave is accrued.
  • Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Assistants are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA and remain in Good Standing.
  • Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Assistants must not be under Provisional status, and must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program of study. 
  • Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants, and Teaching Assistants receive compensation as negotiated with the individual departments or programs hiring them. Students are paid monthly according to the monthly payroll calender. All receive a tuition reduction, which covers all tuition charges except for $25, for the term during which they work. Students pay all other fees required by the university for graduate students. In addition, students holding an assistantship are required to have mandatory health insurance.
  • All work performed by Graduate Assistants must be performed within the state of Georgia. 
  • Hiring of Graduate Assistants must be approved in the student's academic department and in the Graduate School. 

Appointment Procedures:

Once the department or hiring unit has completed and submitted the proper paperwork (which includes the electronic GA Job Offer Form) to the Graduate School, the hiring department will notify the student of his/her appointment. The appointment letter is provided from Human Resources for new hires, and contains information such as pay periods, policies, insurance requirement, etc. If the student accepts the appointment, he/she will return the acceptance letter to their hiring department.

If a background check is required, a link will be sent from the Human Resources office via email. This should be completed right away, or the hiring process will be delayed. 

New hires (anyone not previously hired as a GRA/GA/TA) will receive an emailed link from the Human Resources Office, located in Aycock Hall, to complete all employment forms. Students must provide a driver’s license and social security card for proof of identification, along with a personal voided check or their banking information.  Students should direct any questions regarding the appointment to the hiring department.

Grievance Procedures, Resignation, or Termination: 

  1. If an assistant has a grievance against his/her employer, the student should contact the Department Chair or unit head first to resolve the issue. If that does not resolve the issue, please follow the procedures outlined in the Student Handbook and the Graduate School Catalog.
  2. A graduate student wishing to resign or terminate his/her position should write a letter of resignation to his supervisor. The supervisor will inform the College Dean’s Office and the Graduate Financial Aid Counselor.
  3. Failure to perform duties assigned in a satisfactory manner, or failure to comply with academic polices, may result in the termination of the assistantship. Students not completing a semester or term will be charged full tuition on a prorated basis. At the end of each term, the supervisor will complete an evaluation of the GRA, GA or TA and keep that evaluation on file in the department or hiring unit office. Evaluation forms (PDF, 99K) may be found within the Forms section.

The Graduate School Dean reminds both the student and the employing unit that steady and successful progress toward the degree is the most important and significant goal for the student. An assistantship should facilitate, not hinder, that timely progress.