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Welcome to your new role as a Graduate Assistant!

“Graduate Assistant” or “GA” is an umbrella term that includes both Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs). This webpage will orient GAs employed at Storrs and regional campuses who fall under the Graduate Employee Union (GEU) and provide information, resources, and to-do items specific to your role as a GA to help you successfully transition into your assistantship. GAs are encouraged to refer back to this webpage for useful information throughout their entire time here at UConn. 

If you are also a new graduate student, please visit Graduate Student Orientation and Information for New Graduate Students for additional information, resources, and student-specific requirements. Incoming international students will also find helpful resources provided by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). 

Many of the systems referenced below require a UConn NetID for access. At the time of your admission offer, you were emailed your NetID and Activation Code. If you have not done so already, please take a moment to activate your NetID. For assistance with your NetID, please contact Information Technology Services (ITS) at

Your Getting Started Checklist:

Before Your First Day of Work

1 Register for Classes

GAs are required to maintain full-time student status (6 or more credits), as noted in your offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, which means that GAs are expected to be registered for a minimum of six credits before the start date of their appointment each semester. GAs who have not completed their registration for a minimum of six credits by their start date are not fulfilling one of the contingencies of employment and will be subject to termination from their assistantship. If you need help navigating the Student Administration System, the University has step-by-step resources to help you.


2 Pay Your Fee Bill and/or Register for GA Payroll Deductions

Fee bills for graduate students are due the Friday before classes begin. As a benefit of your assistantship, you will receive a tuition waiver for the duration of the appointment and reduced student fees, including a reduction to the General University Fee, waivers of the Infrastructure Fee and Visa Compliance Fee, and a lump sum relief payment of the Student Recreation Center Fee. The Student Recreation Center Fee must be paid upfront; the relief payment will be processed through Payroll.

As a GA, you are eligible to use payroll deductions as a method of paying the student fees not covered by the tuition waiver. There is no additional cost for participating in the payroll deduction plan. Instructions on how to enroll in GA Payroll Deduction are available through the Office of the Bursar. GAs who wish to pay their fees through this option must enroll by the tenth day of each semester. Enrollment in a prior semester does not carry over to the next; you must re-enroll.

A late payment fee of $150 is payable by all graduate students whose tuition and fees are not paid in full on the published fee bill due date. If after Day 10 of the semester, your bill remains unpaid you will be assessed a second $150 late fee by the Office of the Bursar

3 Find Housing and Update Your Address

The University provides the following resources to help you find off-campus housing and/or roommates near your UConn campus. On-campus housing for graduate students enrolled at the Storrs campus is available at Northwood Apartments.

UConn Off-Campus Housing Information

Storrs Campus Graduate Housing

Public Transportation Information 

Parking on Campus

If the address you will be residing at is different than the address you listed on your application for admission, please be sure to do the following as soon as possible:

  • Notify your department admin/payroll processor of your new address
  • Update your address in Student Admin
  • After the start date of your GA appointment, update your address through the Employee Self-Service (ESS) system for Core-CT

    4 Get Your Parking Permit

    The University provides GAs with more extensive parking privileges than provided to other students, including access to some employee lots. If they wish, GAs may choose to purchase a parking permit which allows access to Area 2 employee parking lots. Learn about all the different permits available, apply for your permit online, and check out the campus parking maps. If you wish to purchase an Area 2 parking permit and the option does not appear in your Parking Portal, please reach out to with a copy of your GA offer letter and request assistance.

    UConn also provides public transportation information that you may find helpful.

    4 Get Your Husky One Card

    The Husky One Card is the official UConn ID for all students, faculty, and staff. Your One Card serves many functions and may be used to gain access to labs or other buildings. You can submit a photo for your ID in advance online. You will receive your One Card via mail.

    5 Sign Your Supplemental Description of Duties Form

    In addition to your offer letter, your hiring department will also provide you with a Supplemental Description of Duties (SDD) form for each semester you are appointed. This form summarizes the specific duties you are expected to perform and may include, among other things, the assigned course, lab, research project, or position; the faculty member to whom the GA will report; course meeting times and location; the maximum number of students for which the GA will be responsible per class, section, lab, etc.; and the work location. The SDD form may be issued separately from the assistantship offer letter and must be signed by both the GA supervisor and the GA. It is important to review and sign your SDD form in a timely manner each semester. 

    Register for International Teaching Assistant Orientation:

    For international Teaching Assistants only: If applicable, review UConn’s English Proficiency Policy for TAs, register for the microteaching test, and register for International Teaching Assistant Orientation (offered in fall semesters only).

    On Your First Day at Work

    1 Complete Your I-9 Form

    All new and rehired employees must complete a Form I-9, which is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Part 1 must be completed on or before your first day of work. Part 2 will be completed with your department/supervisor. (Note: GAs employed in the spring semester who are then reappointed for the following fall are not considered rehires.)

    2 Complete Your Payroll Tax Forms and Enroll in Direct Deposit

    Access to the Employee Self-Service (ESS) system for Core-CT will be available after the start date of your appointment. Wages are subject to federal and state taxes, and through ESS, you can complete your W-4 form and enroll in direct deposit for your paychecks. (Please note, this is a separate direct deposit enrollment from the one used by the Office of the Bursar.)

    For International GAs: Wages are subject to federal and state taxes. Each individual’s situation is different and can affect tax liability. To determine your withholding, complete the online Foreign National Information Form upon arrival in the U.S.

    3 Enroll in Graduate Assistant Employee Health Insurance

    As you are now part of the University’s exemplary group of GAs, you have the opportunity to obtain health benefits through the Connecticut Partnership Plan. You will be able to enroll in or waive coverage within 31 days of your appointment start date through Core-CT. Access to the Employee Self-Service (ESS) system for Core-CT will be available after the start date of your appointment. To assist you in making changes to your health coverages during the annual open enrollment period, view this "Enrolling in Benefits" job-aid.

    4 Complete an Employee Safety Training Assessment (ESTA)

    Complete an Employee Safety Training Assessment with your supervisor using your area's Workplace Hazard Assessment to learn which safety training courses are appropriate for your new position.

    During Your First 2 Weeks of Work

    1 Attend New Teaching Assistant Orientation

    The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) offers a New TA Orientation designed to help students succeed in their TA role at UConn and introduce principles and practices of effective teaching.

    2 Complete the Technology Training Tutorial

    ITS offers technology training for both students and employees, which will walk you through technology tools available to you and how to activate them.

    3 View and Print Your Paycheck in Core-CT

    Once you receive your first paycheck, you can access, view and print your paychecks using self-service in Core-CT. You can search paychecks by check date, view your check in .pdf format and print a copy of your check using your web browser. Please note, FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes do not apply to service performed by students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study. More information can be found on the Tax & Compliance Office's Student Taxation page.

    Important Notes:

    If a Social Security Number was not provided on your application for admission, you will need to update your Social Security Number with the Office of the Registrar by completing a Biographical Information Update Request Form. If your Social Security Number is not accurate in both the student and employee systems, your tuition waiver may not appear on your fee bill.

    For International GAs:

    • GAs must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN). International GAs who need to apply for a SSN should review the SSN application instructions and reach out to ISSS to submit a request. Once you have applied for a SSN and received your SSN card, you will need to updated your SSN by uploading a copy of your SSN card to the Payroll Office and by following the directions above to update your SSN in Student Admin.

    • If you purchased repatriation insurance, you are eligible to request reimbursement of the premiums you paid. Contact Human Resources for additional information.

    During Your First Semester and Beyond

    1 Complete Diversity Awareness Training

    All GAs are required to complete this one-time, state-mandated training during their first semester of employment. You will receive an email notifying you when you this training has been assigned to you in the Learning@Work system.

    2 Complete Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

    All GAs are required to complete this one-time, state-mandated training during their first semester of employment. You will receive an email notifying you when you this training has been assigned to you in the Learning@Work system.

    3 Complete Annual Compliance Training

    All GAs are required to complete this training every year. You will be notified directly when this annual training is available and has been assigned to you in the Learning@Work system.

    4 Time Off

    Allotted time off is normally taken during academic break periods when classes are not in session, but may be taken at other times mutually agreed to by the GA and their supervisor. GAs must request time off in writing and with as much advance notice as possible.

    5 Holidays

    The following are GA holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If GAs are required to work on a listed holiday, they may arrange an alternative day off with their supervisor within the same semester.

    6 Graduate Student Employment during Summer and Winter Intersessions

    Graduate students who accept employment during the Summer and Winter Intersessions are generally employed through Special Payroll. Unlike the Graduate Payroll which pays students to-date (i.e., payment is issued every other Friday for work performed over the previous two weeks), the Special Payroll follows the state’s standard bi-weekly payroll schedule and will pay two weeks in arrears. This pay schedule means that employees are paid two weeks after the end of the pay period in which the work was done. It is important that graduate students keep this pay schedule shift in mind so that they can plan their finances accordingly. Payroll will be unable to pay graduate students with Summer and Winter Intersession Special Payroll appointments ahead of the scheduled Special Payroll pay date.

    Links to annual pay calendars can be found on the main page of the Payroll website. The Special Payroll pay date can be determined by finding the Pay Period End date in which dates were worked (Pay Period End dates are marked by a gray box on the calendar) and counting out two weeks after that date.

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