Graduate Assistantship

grad assistant at work

Teaching, research, and service assistantships are available to qualified students. An assistantship permits a student to act as a departmental assistant with the principal function of enabling qualified students to continue their graduate work. The stipend for an assistantship is determined by the President of the university. Appointments may be terminated at any time for cause; for example, improper performance of duties or violation of accepted standards of behavior, or failure to maintain scholastic eligibility for graduate school.

An assistantship can be awarded only to those students who qualify for full admission to graduate study and who also qualify for admission to the school governing the degree program.

Graduate assistants may receive a tuition waiver for up to twelve (12) hours for each semester that they are employed. The GA is eligible to receive a waiver for summer school tuition to equal the twelve (12) hours for one semester or twenty -four (24) hours for two semesters of employment.  

  • A graduate assistant who is employed for the Fall or Spring semester, and satisfactorily completes his or her terms of employment, receives a waiver for six (6) or nine (9) hours may then enroll in six (6) or three (3) hours — to equal a total of twelve (12) hours — during the Summer
  • A graduate assistant who is employed for both the Fall and Spring semesters, and satisfactorily completes his or her terms of employment, receives a waiver for six (6) or nine (9) hours in both semesters may enroll in twelve (12) or six (6) hours — to equal twenty-four (24) hours — during the Summer terms.

    If a graduate assistant resigns or is dismissed from a position, no tuition waiver will be granted beyond the semester in which the student is employed.

    Graduate Assistant tuition reimbursement applies ONLY to hours earned toward a student’s degree requirements. A student may request up to six hours of additional reimbursement, beyond the minimum degree requirements, with the approval of his or her advisor and the graduate dean.

    At all times, the work of the graduate assistant must be under the supervision of the college/school to which he/she is assigned. Specific types of work of graduate assistants may include the following: 

    • Directing and evaluating laboratory work
    • Preparing and evaluating tests
    • Preparing bibliographical and other instructional materials
    • Reading and evaluating themes and research papers
    • Substitute teaching under supervision
    • Actual teaching under supervision
    • Gathering research data
    • Monitoring examinations
    • Supervising university facilities and activities
    • Assisting business clients
    • Performing other duties as assigned

       A graduate assistant will be responsible for a approximately twenty (20) hours of work per week and for completion of the GA orientation sessions conducted by the Graduate School. A GA is assigned to a cohort group which acts as a support network for the GA. Service learning hours are strongly recommended. Additional responsibilities may be required by the college/school or department.

      A graduate assistant will successfully complete two graduate-level courses or their equivalence (a minimum of six hours) with a grade of C or better to maintain his or her graduate assistantship. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the assistantship. With extenuating circumstances, a student may appeal the loss of  his or her assistantship to the Graduate Council.

      Steps for making application

      Job descriptions and application forms for all assistantships are available in the Graduate School office. Students desiring to apply should consult the qualifications listed in each description.

      A graduate student seeking a graduate assistantship must:

      1. Be fully admitted to the HSU Graduate School.  Students under conditional admission may not receive assistantships.
      2. Complete an Application for a Graduate Assistantship.
      3. Submit the application for a graduate assistantship to the Graduate school who will copy to appropriate GA supervisor and/or department chair.

      Following approval, the GA supervisor and/or department chair will submit the application to the respective school dean for approval and recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will make final recommendation to the Vice President for

      Academic Affairs who will forward recommendations to the President. The President of the university will approve or disapprove each application. Incomplete applications will be returned to the department chair.

      University policy is to provide equal educational and employment opportunities services, and benefits to students and employees without regard to race, color, national origin, or sex, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 799A and 845 Public Health Service Act, and Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, where applicable.


      All appropriate documents required to meet HSU’s I-9 employment authorization verification requirements must be presented to the Human Resources office within three (3) days of signing signing a contract. Furthermore, no student may begin work until a valid Social Security card has been presented to Human Resources.

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