Transitioning to a GA/Getting Started

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. The deadline to enroll in payroll deduction is the tenth day of the semester.

Health Insurance and Benefits

The Human Resources website has an extensive compilation of information on graduate assistant medical and dental benefits and policies. Information about GA health benefits can be found here.


If a student is transitioning from a graduate assistantship to a prestigious fellowship (or vice versa), the department must notify The Graduate School so their health insurance eligibility can be evaluated and, if eligible, maintained.

Registration and Tuition Waivers

Students employed as Graduate Assistants are required to maintain full-time student status (6 or more credits), as noted in their offer letter and The Graduate Catalog. Employment as a GA is a result of student status, therefore GAs are expected to registered for a minimum of six credits before the start date of their employment (August 23 for Fall, January 8 for Spring). 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.

As a result of the six credit requirement, GAs may not enroll in either zero credit continuous registration courses or GRAD 5960/6960, which is a three-credit course that cannot be taken in conjunction with other courses. GAs who have made the decision in conjunction with their advisor to enroll in research credits should register for either GRAD 5950 or 6950. Doctoral students should register for GRAD 6950. Plan A Master’s students should register for GRAD 5950. Permission numbers are not needed for students to register for these research courses. If the student attempts to register and receives an error, they should contact the Registrar for assistance.

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 courses. GAs are still required to pay student fees as the negotiated GA rate. When graduate fee bills are calculated by the Bursar's Office, the tuition waiver will automatically populate to the GA's fee bill once two items are in place:  an active payroll authorization in Core-CT and enrollment in at least six credits. GAs who terminate their assistantship without completing all degree requirements within seven calendar days are subject to prorated tuition. GAs who are terminating and completing degree requirements must submit the Request for Alternate Completion Date.pdf form to align their GA termination and degree completion dates and avoid prorated tuition.

GAs who wish to audit courses may do so, however they must also be enrolled in at least six graded credits. The fees for any audited courses in addition to the six graded credits will be included in the GA tuition waiver. The form to audit a course can be found on the Registrar's website.

Social Security Number Updates

Students who are employed on-campus must provide a Social Security Number. If the Social Security Number was not provided on the student's application, the student should take steps to update their record in Student Admin by completing the Biographical Update Request Form and submitting that form, along with a copy of their Social Security card, to the Office of the Registrar. These items can be submitted either in person or via secure fax at 860-486-0272. International students who do not have a Social Security Number at the time of admission or completion of an I-9 must update their Social Security Number in both Student Admin (by following the process detailed above) and in Core-CT. To update their Social Security Number in Core-CT, the GA should submit a copy of their Social Security card to the Payroll Office either in person or via secure fax at 860-486-4296 (Attn: Grad Payroll).

Mandatory Trainings and Orientations

In addition to the "Not Anymore" training required for all graduate students, Graduate Assistants must complete some additional employee trainings, including the Employee Safety Training Assessment, Sexual Harassment Prevention, Diversity Awareness, and Annual Compliance Training. Details on these trainings can be found here. Consistent with Article 13 of the Graduate Employee Union contract, these trainings are considered part of the workload of Graduate Assistants.

Graduate Assistants may be required or invited to attend multiple orientations, including the TA Orientation offered by CETL and the International TA Orientation offered by the International Teaching Assistant Services office. Information on The Graduate School's Graduate Student Orientation can be found here.