Information About Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships

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 his/her academic program. In recognition of this support, the tuition and a portion of health care (but not fees) are provided by the grant/contract funding agency or through the University.

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).

Administration of all assistantships occurs through the academic department or unit of employment.

The current list of available assistantships and other employment opportunities can be found here.

GA Definition

Assistantships, Fellowships, & Internships Defined

Eligibility Criteria

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 his or her 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.

Appointment Dates

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.

All appointments of less than one semester duration require approval from the GEU and departments must contact Labor Relations for assistance before issuing an offer letter.

GA Offer Letters

Graduate Assistant offer letters define the terms and conditions of employment for graduate students who are invited to accept a new position or a continuation appointment as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Connecticut. Separate letters are available for new appointments and continuing appointments, and are formatted for each of the following appointment categories; Teaching only, Research only, and the combination of Teaching and Research.

All letters contain boilerplate language that must be included, and the templates should be accessed from the Human Resources website as each new letter is created as content is subject to change (https://hr.uconn.edu/grad-offer-letters/). These template letters are not intended to be form letters, but the language has been vetted for compliance with relevant contractual and legal provisions. The hiring department is responsible for the personalization of names, titles, salary and other specific data. Hiring departments must also provide the GA with a Supplemental Description of Duties form. Template versions of the Supplemental Description of Duties form for Teaching GAs and Research GAs can be found here. These templates can be modified by departments to more accurately reflect the GA’s duties.”

Should you need to substantially revise the standard letters, it is imperative that you contact a Human Resources Associate for consultation.

GA Payroll Deduction

Graduate Assistants are eligible to use payroll deduction as a method of paying university charges not covered by their 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 Bursar at this page.

Health Insurance and Benefits

TheHuman Resources websitehas an extensive compilation of information on graduate assistant medical and dental benefits and policies. Information about GA health benefits can be foundhere.

Stipend Rates

Stipend rates for graduate assistants are graduated in terms of progress toward the advanced degree and experience. Stipend amounts and payroll processing deadlines can be found on the Payroll website

  • 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 content course credits of appropriate course work beyond the baccalaureate completed at the University of Connecticut, 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.

International GAs

All international students who will be employed as Teaching Assistants must provide certification of English proficiency, even if the requirement to provide English-language proficiency was waived as an admissions requirement. The student is responsible for obtaining certification in a timely fashion. The hiring department is responsible for reviewing the certification in Student Admin before employing the student in an instructional role. More information on UConn’s English Proficiency Policy for TAs and Testing Procedures can be found here. If the student will be providing teaching support (e.g., grading) but will not have direct instructional contact with students, the hiring department can request an override for the payroll transaction from The Graduate School.

Supplemental Employment

Supplemental Employment is used to describe when a Graduate Assistantship has additional employment. The online form can be found here, and directions for completing it can be found here. This form ensures the advisor is aware of the additional employment commitment their advisee is taking on.

When is a Supplemental Employment Approval form needed?

  • When a domestic GA will be employed by UConn more than 20 hours per week during either the Fall or Spring semester

When an international GA who is currently employed at less than 20 hours per week will be employed by UConn in an additional student labor position that will bring their total hours per week to no more than 20 during the academic semester

  • Requests are for a maximum of one semester. For requests that span more than one semester, a separate request should be submitted for each one.

When it is NOT necessary to complete a Supplemental Employment Approval form?

  • If a GA who is currently employed at less than 20 hours per week is being increased to no more than 20 hours per week (e.g., if a GA is employed at 15 hours per week (75%) and is being increased to 20 hours per week (100%)). This can be done through CORE and is not considered supplemental employment because it does not exceed the 20 hour maximum.
  • During summer and winter breaks. When classes are not in session, both domestic and international students may devote their full-time efforts to employment.

What is GA overload?

  • GA overload refers to instances where a GA’s current appointment needs to be increased beyond 20 hours per week.
  • GA overloads are paid via Special Payroll using the title “Graduate Overload Teaching or Graduate Overload Research.” A dual employment form and a copy of the approved Supplemental Employment Form should be uploaded with the SPAR request. Contact SPAR@UConn.edu for a copy of the offer letter template.
  • Special Payroll Requests for GA overloads are required to be teaching or research. Administrative or other roles should be placed on student labor.
  • If you have questions about whether or not a position is student labor or GA work, please reach out to The Graduate School for assistance.

Is a Supplemental Employment Approval form required for work outside of the university?

  • No, however, per The Graduate Catalog, GAs divide their full-time efforts between study and assistantship responsibilities, and as a result, they may not hold concurrent employment outside the University without the written consent of their major advisor.