Graduate Assistantships Overview

What is a Graduate Assistantship?

An assistantship is awarded to a graduate student who provides teaching (teaching assistantship: TA) or research (research assistantship: RA) support to the University that is a part of their academic program. In recognition of this support, tuition is waived by the University and subsidized health insurance is offered. Graduate Assistants (GAs) are responsible for paying their student fees at the negotiated GA rate.

What is the Eligibility Criteria to be a GA?

To be appointed, to retain an appointment, or to be reappointed, a student must hold Regular (not Provisional) status, must maintain a cumulative average of at least B (3.00) in any course work taken, must be eligible to register (i.e., must not have more than three viable grades of Incomplete on their academic record), must be enrolled in a graduate degree program scheduled to extend through the entire period of the appointment or reappointment, and must be a full-time student.

In order to perform duties with direct instructional responsibilities, a graduate student appointed as a Teaching Assistant will need to provide proof of English proficiency. UConn’s English Proficiency Policy for TAs and Testing Procedures details information about how to provide proof of proficiency.

What is the Appointment Length and Hours Per Week?

Effort devoted to the duties of a graduate assistantship typically range between 10 and 20 hours per week (also sometimes called a “half GA” and “full GA” respectively). Appointments ordinarily are made for the nine-month period, August 23 through May 22, but may be of shorter duration for a variety of reasons.

What Benefits Do GAs Receive?

The Human Resources website has an extensive compilation of information on graduate assistant benefits, payroll, and policies, including detailed information about health insurance benefits. If employed in an assistantship that falls under the Graduate Employee Union (GEU), additional benefits may be described in the GEU contract and on our GA Onboarding page. Please note, GAs employed solely at UConn Health do not fall under the GEU.

Do GAs Receive a Tuition Waiver?

A graduate assistantship provides the student with a tuition waiver for the duration of the appointment in the fall and spring semesters. There is no tuition waiver for summer or winter intersession courses. GAs are still required to pay student fees. When graduate fee bills are calculated by the Office of the Bursar, the tuition waiver will automatically populate to the GA’s fee bill once two items are in place:  an active payroll authorization input by the hiring department and enrollment for the semester in at least six credits.

What are the Stipend Rates?

Stipend rates for graduate assistants are graduated in terms of progress toward the advanced degree and experience.

  • Level B/I: for graduate assistants with at least the baccalaureate.
  • Level M/II: for experienced graduate assistants in a doctoral program with at least the master’s degree or its equivalent in the field of graduate study. Equivalency consists of thirty graduate level credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, together with admission to a doctoral program.
  • Level P/III: for students with experience as graduate assistants who have at least the master’s degree or its equivalent and who have passed the doctoral general examination.

Specific stipend rates may be found on Payroll’s website and will be included in the GA offer letter.

Are GAs Required to Do Any Additional Trainings?

As part of their employee role, GAs are required to participate in these mandatory trainings. There may be additional trainings or orientations required or recommended depending on the specific GA duties.

What is a Supplemental Description of Duties?

In addition to an offer letter for a graduate assistantship, the hiring department must also provide GAs with a Supplemental Description of Duties (SDD) form for each semester they are appointed. This form summarizes the specific duties a GA is 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 Supplemental Description of Duties must be signed by both the GA’s supervisor and the GA. The Supplemental Description of Duties form may be issued separately from the assistantship offer letter.

Can GAs Hold Additional Employment?

Graduate Assistants seeking on-campus employment or wishing to hold an internship in addition to a full-time (20 hour) GA appointment during the semester must complete the online Supplemental Employment Approval form, which requires their advisor’s approval and is submitted to The Graduate School for final approval. International students on UConn-sponsored visas are not able to work above 20 hours per week during the semester.

Job Offer Acceptance Etiquette

When accepting a job offer feel free to ask clarifying questions. If you feel that you are not being given enough time to make your decision, ask if additional time might be granted. Supervisors are encouraged to give candidates up to a week to accept an offer but sometimes this may not be possible. 

Once accepting an offer and if resigning from a different graduate assistant position, it is recommended that you immediately notify the department of your resignation. This is especially important when departments are already counting on you to teach courses or labs. They would rather know immediately and be able to initiate a hiring process to fill open positions, ensuring that course offerings remain available, etc.  

What Next?

If you are applying to UConn, there is a place within the application where you can indicate that you wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship.

If you have accepted an assistantship offer, please visit our GA Onboarding page. This webpage will orient GAs employed at Storrs and regional campuses who fall under the Graduate Employees 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.

Current Opportunities

Are you an academic or non-academic department that would like to advertise a GA position here? If so, please send your job description to to be posted. Additional guidance for non-academic units can be found on our Appointing a GA in a Non-Academic Unit page.

There are currently no positions posted – check back soon!

There are currently no positions posted - check back soon!