School of Graduate Studies

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Assistantships


A variety of assistantship opportunities are available to graduate students, and all are offered through individual colleges and departments. Check with your department to see what assistantships are available. There are 4 types of assistantships:

Graduate Instructor

A graduate instructor is a graduate student who is assigned to teach one or more courses for an entire semester and is the official instructor of record.

Graduate instructors are granted through departments. Students must be nominated by someone in the department to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.

Teaching loads vary up to a maximum of 20 hours per week and salaries vary depending on the department and the teaching load.

International students may be considered for teaching assistantships if they demonstrate adequate proficiency in English communication, as determined by Utah State University's Intensive English Language Institute, and have participated in the required Teaching Assistant workshop.

All graduate instructors are required to participate in a training workshop sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies prior to beginning the assistantship. The workshop helps students gain the techniques and skills to be effective instructors in the university environment. The workshop for international students also aids in understanding the American university culture and in improving communication skills. When the workshop has been successfully completed, it will be added to the student's transcript with 1 credit. However, this credit cannot be applied toward the graduate degree program.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) is a graduate student assigned to assist 1 or more faculty with instruction. A GTA may lecture in a course occasionally, tutor students, or assist in some other teaching capacity, such as teaching a lab or recitation session under faculty supervision.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are granted through departments, and students must be nominated by someone in the department to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.

Teaching loads vary up to a maximum of 20 hours per week and salaries vary depending on the department and the teaching load.

International students may be considered for teaching assistantships if they demonstrate adequate proficiency in English communication, as determined by Utah State University's Intensive English Language Institute, and have participated in the required Teaching Assistant workshop.

All teaching assistants are required to participate in a training workshop sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies prior to beginning the assistantship. The workshop helps students gain the techniques and skills to be effective instructors in the university environment. The workshop for international students also aids students in understanding the American university culture and in improving communication skills. When the workshop has been successfully completed, it will be added to the student's transcript with 1 credit. However, this credit cannot be applied toward the graduate degree program.

Graduate Research Assistant

A research assistant is a graduate student assigned to work under faculty guidance on 1 or more research projects. (GRAs are not paid from E&G funds).

Research assistantships are granted through departments. Students must be nominated by someone in the department to be eligible for a research assistantship.

The salaries and workloads for research assistants vary, with a maximum workload of 20 hours per week. Students conducting research that will be used for their thesis or dissertation may register for 4 research or thesis credits above the 12-credit limit.

General Graduate Assistant

A general graduate assistant is a graduate student assigned academic duties that do not fall clearly in the GI, GTA, or GRA categories. GGA duties may involve assisting with research, nonteaching instructional tasks (such as grading papers and tests or managing a computer lab), or include a combination of assistantship duties, with no one type of assistantship the predominant assignment.

The GGA category should be used for multiple assignments only when it is not possible to identify the predominant assignment or it will change from semester to semester.



In the interest of timely degree completion, graduate students are typically employed for no more than 20 hours per week. Exemptions to work beyond 20 hours per week must be approved by the student's advisor, department head, and the graduate dean. Graduate assistants must be full-time, matriculated students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

What is considered full-time is dependent upon the number of hours per week that a student is employed and how far the student is in his or her program of study. For instance, for a graduate student who is employed 20 hours per week (.50 FTE), 6 credits is considered full time. Graduate students may register for a maximum of 12 credits per semester. However, if a research assistant's assistantship involves his thesis or dissertation research, he may register for additional credits.