Graduate Assistantships 101

The College of Education and Human Development offers three types of graduate assistantships providing financial support and career enhancing skills. An assistantship differs from a scholarship because you will engage in work related to your degree when you have an assistantship. At a minimum, you will work 20 hours per week in either a teaching, research, or administrative capacity.

  • Graduate Research Assistants (GRA)  GRAs are responsible for performing all tasks related to research. When assisting faculty with research projects, activities should be beneficial in furthering the GRA’s knowledge of, and skills in, the research process and/or which will enhance their understanding of the content or object of the research. Activities such as library research on the availability of source material, data collection, statistical analysis, and data processing tasks are examples of appropriate activities. For the preparation of publications or presentations of a scholarly nature, joint efforts between faculty and graduate students are encouraged. However, ethical standards of the discipline should govern the publication credits.
  • Graduate Service Assistants (GSA) – GSAs provide important support to faculty, staff, and administrators working in university administrative offices and centers. These assistantships may include duties that are not necessarily related to the student’s area of academic study and interest. GSAs working in these offices should conduct themselves as professionals and are expected to observe standard office etiquette and operating procedures.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) – GTAs are primarily assigned to teaching functions or duties that advance the educational mission of the department. All activities directly related to the teaching function and to the satisfactory accomplishment of the teaching process are appropriate duties for the GTAs. These activities include research for lecture notes, grading student performance, and other teaching-related activities for the class or classes assigned to the GTA.

Eligibility

Unconditionally admitted graduate students pursuing a graduate degree in full-time study are eligible for GA positions. Priority is given to graduate students pursuing a degree in the CEHD. The University does not provide GA positions/funding for students enrolled in 100% online graduate degree programs. However, the GA stipend will cover online classes as long as you're enrolled in a traditional face-to-face on-campus graduate degree program.

Application Process

There is no deadline to submit an application. Based on start dates, it is recommended that applications be submitted no later than February 1 to be considered for positions that begin in the Fall, and by October 1 for the Spring term beginning on January 1 (if an opening occurs due to a December graduation or funding from research grants).

GA Stipend

Master's and doctoral stipends are $18,000 per year ($1,500 per month). GAs are automatically enrolled for the student health care plan, and can add additional coverage for dependent family members. 

GA Contract Length

  • Fall Term Contract Start: July 1 (returning) or August 1 (new) – December 15
  • Spring Term Contract Start: First work day in January (typically) January 2 or 3 – June 30th

Enrollment Requirement

  • Must be enrolled in an on-campus graduate degree program (no online degree programs)
  • Must maintain good standing in his/her program with a 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale.
  • Must carry a Full-Time (FT) course load during each semester. See below.
    • (FT) - A minimum of 9 hours in the fall and a minimum of 9 hours in the spring semesters.
    • (FT) - A maximum of 12 hours in the fall and a maximum of 12 hours in the spring semesters.
    • (FT) - A maximum of 6 hours in the summer semester 
      • GA/GTA’s must take 6 summer hours since these positions are 12-months positions. 
      • Any hours greater than 6 hours in summer are the financial responsibility of the student.
    • University fees, and any fees incurred due to late registration are the responsibility of the GA/GTA.
    • A doctoral student who reaches candidacy (completes qualifying examinations) and registers for his/her candidacy hours (2 hours) is considered registered as a full-time student.
    • Full-time status is evaluated on a semester-by-semester basis only. Courses do not carry over from other semesters.
    • GA/GTA must report to the Graduate Student Success Office immediately any change in course load.

Renewability of GA-ship

  • GA /GTA’s positions are eligible for one year. Renewability pending the availability of funding and satisfactory performance are as follows: 
    • Master’s Degree Candidate can receive a maximum of 2 years of support. 
    • Doctoral Degree Candidate can receive a maximum of 3 years of support. 

Training Requirements

  • All GAs are required to participate in a mandatory orientation led by the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD) which typically takes place in the first week of August to coincide with the official start date of the GA contract. 
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) must also participate in Graduate GTA orientation typically offered in the summer prior to the start of fall classes by the Graduate School.
  • All GA's must complete the two (2) Compliance Trainings listed below:

Evaluation

GA evaluations are conducted annually by the supervisor of record and submitted to the Office of Graduate Student Success. Supervisors and GAs will receive the notification regarding the annual evaluation by March 1 of each school year. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) will be supervised and evaluated on their teaching assignments.

Apply for CEHD Assistantships: https://louisville.edu/education/financialaid/assistantships/ga-application