Graduate Assistantships Information
All graduate assistantships are awarded each year by academic units and non-academic units on a competitive basis following a highly qualified student’s nomination by their graduate program and using predetermined criteria, including but not limited to the applicant’s academic record, test scores, recommendations, and other pertinent information. Graduate assistants may be classified by function or purpose and include teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs), lab assistantships (LAs) and graduate assistantships (GAs):
Teaching Assistants, Level 1 (TA1)
Graduate students appointed to the position of TA1 may not have primary responsibility for a course or serve as the instructor of record, but may assist in the instructional process by serving as discussion leaders in breakout sections, grade papers, proctor exams, or assist the primary instructor of record in other ways. The department chair and graduate program director shall determine that the credentials of a student assigned as TA1 qualify the individual to assist in instruction activities.
Teaching Assistants, Level 2 (TA2)
Graduate students appointed to the position of TA2 will have completed more than 18 hours of graduate course credit in the appropriate discipline and will have completed centralized training facilitated by the College of Graduate Studies. TA2s may have primary instructional responsibility for a course and may have autonomy for teaching, assigning grades, and providing laboratory instruction/setup as part of a regularly scheduled course. TA2s must be under the supervision of a Georgia Southern faculty member that teaches in the discipline. The department chair and graduate program director shall determine that the credentials of a student assigned as TA2 qualify the individual to undertake the assignment of instruction.
Research Assistants (RAs) are research positions which allow graduate students to conduct research of a scholarly nature, normally under faculty supervision. In most cases, RA salaries and tuition are charged to sponsored programs and are not paid by the University. The work of an RA can include, but is not limited to, the production and analyses of data, the development of theoretical analyses and models, the production or publication of scholarly journals and research reports to develop his or her own research agenda and for the benefit of the University, faculty or academic staff supervisor, or granting agency.
Lab Assistants, Level 1 (LA1)
Graduate students appointed to the position of LA1 may not have primary responsibility for a lab or serve as the instructor of record, but may assist in the instructional process by assisting in a lab or assist the primary instructor of record in other ways. The department chair and graduate program director shall determine that the credentials of a student assigned as LA1 qualify the individual to assist in instruction activities.
Lab Assistants, Level 2 (LA2)
Graduate students appointed to the position of LA2 will have completed more than 18 hours of graduate course credit in the appropriate discipline and will have completed centralized training facilitated by the College of Graduate Studies. LA2s may have primary instructional responsibility for a lab and may have autonomy for teaching, assigning grades, and providing laboratory instruction/setup as part of a regularly scheduled course. LA2s must be under the supervision of a Georgia Southern faculty member that teaches in the discipline. The department chair and graduate program director shall determine that the credentials of a student assigned as LA2 qualify the individual to undertake the assignment of instruction.
Graduate Assistants (GAs) provide general administrative support to academic and administrative units within the University. Whenever possible, the duties assigned to graduate assistants should be relevant to the graduate program and the professional goals of the students.
The following guidelines should be used when determining the work assignments and workload for assistantships:
- Assistantships best serve the student, the hiring unit, and the student’s academic department when they are used as an integral component of the graduate education experience.
- Assistantships should enhance the educational experience by exposing the student to the professional activities of their disciplines, involving them in university activities related to their academic and professional interests, and affording them the opportunity to work closely with faculty and professionals.
- Assistantships should provide high quality support for the academic mission of the University.
ASSISTANTSHIPS FOR FULLY-ONLINE STUDENTS
At the discretion of the dean of the respective college, a limited number of assistantships may be provided to students enrolled in programs or classes that are delivered fully-online AND where the student will be employed as a TA, RA or GA in the home college/department of the graduate program. In cases where the employing unit and the academic unit are NOT one and the same, the employing unit MUST seek prior approval from the dean of the academic unit in advance of offering the student an assistantship. To be eligible, fully-online students must be able to meet the same eligibility requirements and are required to fulfill the same on-campus work schedule as a traditional graduate assistant. As such, it is anticipated that fully-online graduate assistants will reside within a reasonable distance to the University.
- Assistantships may only be awarded to graduate students who have unqualified admission to the College of Graduate Studies under the “Regular” degree admission classification. Provisional degree or non-degree admits are not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.
- Graduate assistants must maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0**,** Ed.D., Curriculum Studies must maintain cumulative graduate GPA of 3.25, Ed.D., Educational Administration must maintain cumulative graduate GPA of 3.50.
- If an Incomplete (I) grade is received, the graduate assistant must remove the “I” during the following semester.
- To be eligible, fully-online students must be able to meet the same eligibility requirements and are required to fulfill the same on-campus work schedule as a traditional graduate assistant. At the discretion of the dean of the respective college, a limited number of assistantships may be provided to students enrolled in classes that are delivered fully-online AND where the student will be employed as a TA, RA, or GA in the home college/department of the graduate program. In cases where the employing unit and the academic unit are NOT one and the same, the employing unit MUST seek prior approval from the dean of the academic unit in advance of offering the student an assistantship.
- Your work must be completed in the State of Georgia and you should be available to work on the campus for which your appointment is designated.
- Graduate Assistants must be registered for a minimum of 9 credit hours of course work for Fall or Spring semester, within the program of study throughout the period of the assistantship. The only exceptions can be found here.
- Summer Minimester I or II require a minimum of 3 credit hours. * Student must be registered during the term in which they hold an assistantship.
- Summer Full Term or Minimester I and II together require a minimum of 6 hours except Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice which requires a minimum of 5 hours.
Graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver of the standard in-state and out-of-state tuition but must pay a reduced matriculation fee of $25 per semester along with all assessed university fees. Some programs are approved to charge a premium tuition rate that is not covered by the standard tuition waiver.
Graduate assistants are responsible for paying all University Fees and the Technology Fee each semester.
Mandatory Health Insurance
All graduate assistants are required to have health insurance. Health Insurance is provided by United Healthcare through the University System of Georgia Student Health Insurance Program. All Graduate Assistants must apply for health insurance through the United Healthcare website.
Graduate Assistants who already have their own personal health insurance may apply for a waiver of the mandatory student health insurance through Health Services/United Healthcare website. Select “Waive Online”. Proof of insurance must be provided each semester.
- Full time Graduate Assistants can expect to work a maximum of 20 hrs/wk in both the fall and spring semesters. Federal law generally limits the number of hours that international students can work on campus to 20 hrs/wk in the fall and spring semesters. All Graduate Assistants are required to track time in ADP per the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More information about tracking time is provided during employee on-boarding. More Information about working with ADP can be found at Georgia Southern’s HR Website.
- The standard starting date for a graduate assistant should be one week before the first day of classes and the standard ending date shall be the last day of final exams. Graduate Assistants are NOT required to work when classes are not in session (i.e. holidays, between semesters), unless previously arranged with their supervisor.
- Onboarding Process: NEW GAs MUST go through the onboarding process to ensure they are paid on time:
- Background Investigation – The Graduate Assistant will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org providing submission instructions for the background investigation through Accurate, the authorized background investigation vendor for the University System of Georgia. Complete this request within 8 business hours of receiving the email. Note, this email is not sent until HR receives the PA approval email.
- Equifax Employment Center Module – The Graduate Assistant will receive two emails from email@example.com. The first email contains a username and the second email contains the password needed to access the Equifax portal to complete the employment documents. The Graduate Assistant will be prompted to change the password on first log in. Note, these emails are not sent until steps 1 – 3 are completed.
- Schedule New Hire Processing – Once the documents are completed and submitted, The Graduate Assistant will receive another email titled “Further Action Needed”. Please follow the directions in the email. This last email will provide a link to schedule an appointment to provide the I-9 required documents and sign the state-required loyalty oath.
- Your work must be completed in the State of Georgia and you should be available to work on the campus for which your appointment is designated.
- If you are an international student with F-1 visa: you must complete the ISAP office’s check-in procedure before continuing with the Georgia Southern HR hiring process. If you have not yet received a confirmation e-mail for the ISAP check-in, please go to the ISAP Portal website at https://issportal.
georgiasouthern.edu/ and submit the “New International Student Check in” form, or go to the ISAP office for assistance.
- A graduate assistant choosing to resign or terminate his/her employment must submit a letter or resignation to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. If the student accepts the offer and then desires to withdraw, the student may submit, in writing, a resignation within two weeks. However, after this date, the appointment of the assistantship prevents the student from accepting another offer without first obtaining a written release from the College of Graduate Studies.
Yes. A graduate assistant may be terminated for the following reasons:
- Suspension or dismissal of a graduate student from the University for disciplinary reasons
- The overall GPA drops below 3.0
- The semester course load falls below the minimum full-time load of 9 hours or the equivalent
- An allegation of academic or scientific misconduct
- Failure to perform work assignments at a satisfactory level
All graduate assistants will receive written notice a minimum of two weeks prior to termination. Failure to satisfactorily perform work assignments in particular needs to be documented in writing prior to the dismissal notification. Additionally, the University reserves the right to terminate a graduate assistant if, in the discretion of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, the circumstances of a particular situation warrant such action.
For more information view the Georgia Southern Graduate Catalog
Applying for Assistantship
- If you have not applied for admission, please do so first and pay the application fee.
- Complete the online Graduate Assistantship Application.
- This requires you to enter a valid email address. You will be required to sign in to your MyGeorgiaSouthern to complete your GA application.
- Check the College of Graduate Studies website often for the list of available Assistantships. HERE
- If you do not see any positions that you are qualified for or are having trouble finding an Assistantship, ask the Graduate Program Director or Department Chair for your department about available assistantships.
- Once hired, go to Human Resources the week before classes begin to fill out required paperwork.
What to do after you have turned in your online Graduate Assistant application
Georgia Southern University is home to roughly 3,500 graduate students. The University employs many of these graduate students as graduate assistants. Consider taking a few extra steps to make your application stand out.
- Turning in an application does not guarantee an assistantship will be granted. Most employers do not look at the online application until after they’ve interviewed or hired you.
- There are thousands of graduate students that apply and it is time consuming for potential employers to look through every application in the Application Portal. It is best to send a personal email to a potential employer with at least a Cover Letter and Resume so that the potential employer is aware that you would like to apply to the specific position listed.
- On the available assistantships page, be sure to view the Job Description Some assistantships ask for a Cover Letter, Resume, References, Work Samples, and more sent DIRECTLY to the contact listed.
- Before you send your resume, cover letter, etc. stop by the Georgia Southern University Career and Professional Development Office. Their services are free to students. Their experienced and knowledgeable staff can offer insight into the quality of your cover letter, resume, etc. and suggest improvements. The career center can also offer advice on when and how to contact potential employers.
- If the job description does not ask for you to send them your materials (cover letter, resume, etc.), it is best to reach out to the contacts listed to express interest in the Assistantship position. Otherwise, they may not see your application or know that you are interested in the position.
Last updated: 3/1/2023