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Policy

GSAD-901 Graduate Assistants (formerly PR06)

Procedure

P2 - Graduate Assistantships with IUGs, Internships, or Outside Employment

Contents

Summary

This guidance applies to graduate students appointed on assistantships in the fall, spring, or summer, as well as to graduate students appointed on Summer/Research Lecturer appointments.

  • Internships
    • The student must be enrolled in SUBJ 595/895 Internship to be appointed to an assistantship while participating in an internship.
    • The credit hours awarded for SUBJ 595/895 must align with the University's expectations for assignment of credit.
    • Students appointed to graduate assistantships during the academic year must not undertake internships requiring more than 30 hours per week (10 credits).
  • Outside Work
    • 20 hours per week is the maximum for outside work for students appointed to ¼-time assistantships.
    • The program needs to request approval and provide justification for the request.
  • IUG Students
    • IUG Students may be appointed to an assistantship provided:
      • The student is on track to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in the typical time-to-degree for their undergraduate major.
      • They meet all the other requirements to be appointed to a graduate assistantship, including at least 9 credits on their Graduate Transcript for the semester(s) in which they will be appointed as a graduate assistantship.
      • They are enrolled in no more than 12 total credits on their undergraduate and graduate transcripts.

Background

All assistantship appointment types are provided to support students as they work to complete their degrees.  The different assistantship appointment types (¼-, ½-, ¾-time) reflect the different expectations of time spent on the assistantship activities as defined by the assistantship provider. However, time for class, study, and other activities in support of completing the degree must be available.  Sufficient time for study is reflected in the number of credits allowed under each assistantship type. The expectations are: 

      Credit Limits (Fall/Spring)1
Assistantship Type Assistantship Activities Research Degrees Professional Degrees
Quarter-Time (¼) 10 hours/week

9-14 credits

(27-42 hours/week)

9-18 credits

(27-54 hours/week)

Half-Time (½) 20 hours/week

9-12 credits

(27-36 hours/week)

9-15 credits

(27-45 hours/week)

Three-Quarter-Time (¾) 30 hours/week

6-8 credits

(18-24 hours/week)

6-12 credits

(18-36 hours/week)

Guidance


Internships and Assistantship Appointments

Internships are assumed to support a student's progress toward their degree by providing valuable real-world experience related to their disciplinary interests. Accordingly, students may be appointed to a graduate assistantship and simultaneously undertake an internship under the following conditions:

  1. The student must be enrolled in SUBJ 595/895 Internship to be appointed to an assistantship while participating in an internship.
  2. The credit hours awarded for SUBJ 595/895 must align with the University's expectations for assignment of credit (see 42-23 Credit Requirements by Types of Instruction).
    1. One credit may be assigned for ~45 total hours of internship (e.g., 3 hours per week for a full 15-week semester).
  3. In recognition of the fact that a student appointed to an assistantship has assistantship responsibilities in addition to their internship, students appointed to graduate assistantships must not undertake internships requiring more than 30 hours per week (10 credits).
    1. Students wishing to undertake a paid internship requiring 40 hours per week should do so in the summer or take a leave of absence for the semester of the internship.

Outside Employment While on an Assistantship

As defined in GSAD-901 Graduate Assistants:

“A graduate assistant may accept concurrent employment outside the University only with prior permission from the head of the unit providing the assistantship and the head of the student’s graduate program, with the primary considerations being that the additional hours do not compromise the student’s academic progress, or their assistantship responsibilities.” 

Graduate assistantships are support packages provided to full-time degree-seeking students enrolled in residence graduate programs as aids to completion of advanced degrees. As stated in GSAD-901 when considering concurrent outside employment for the student while they are appointed to an assistantship, "the primary considerations being that the additional hours do not compromise the student's academic progress, or their assistantship responsibilities."

The Graduate School recognizes that there can be times when outside employment for a student supported on a graduate assistantship can be important.

Requests for students appointed to assistantships to be approved for simultaneous outside empolyment up to 5 hours per week will be considered when the student is supported on a ½- or ¾-time assistantship. Given the expectation of 20 or 30 hours of effort devoted to the assistantship-required activities per week for students supported on a ½- or ¾-time assistantship (respectively) plus time for studies in support of degree progress, requests for outside employment for students on ½- or ¾-time assistantships in excess of 5 hours per week will not be approved. 

Requests for students appointed to assistantships to be approved for simultaneous outside employment up to 20 hours per week will be considered when the student is supported on a ¼-time assistantship. There must be a significant justification from the program as to why the student needs to be employed.

Given the required activities combined with time needed for study for students supported on a graduate assistantship, full-time outside employment in addition to the assistantship is not consistent with the philosophy of an assistantship supporting full-time effort as an aid to the completion of an advanced degree and will not be approved.  (Expecting a student to sustain the combination of assistantship activities, study toward degree and full-time employment (40 hours of effort) for an entire semester is not reasonable.)


Assistantships for Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree Program Students

As defined in GSAD-901 Graduate Assistants, "certain" Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) students are eligible to be appointed to a graduate assistantship:

“2. ELIGIBILITY 

Graduate assistantship appointments are contingent upon the student’s admission to the Graduate School as a degree-seeking student enrolled in residence. Certain IUG students in simultaneous undergraduate and Graduate School degree programs, approved by the dean of the Graduate School, are also eligible (requests should be submitted for the dean’s approval via memorandum to the Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards Administration). Eligibility is also contingent upon enrollment in the appropriate number of credits (specified below) in each semester of a graduate assistantship appointment.  

Challenges faced by IUG students

IUG students who have not completed their undergraduate (UGRD) degrees may be registered for courses in a single semester on both the UGRD transcript and their graduate (GRAD) transcript. In both cases, some of these courses may be used in fulfillment of both UGRD and GRAD degree requirements (AKA "double counting").2

Such scheduling challenges can be further negatively impacted by the limited availability of upper-level UGRD courses or required GRAD courses.

These guidelines are established to ensure that several critical features IUG students supported on assistantships are appropriately balanced:

  1. Graduate assistantships are provided to graduate students as aids to completion of advanced degrees, therefore, minimum credit loads counting toward the graduate degree are appropriate.
  2. Graduate assistantships come with additional responsibilities as part of the assistantship; in the interest of ensuring the student can successfully complete their assistantship responsibilities AND their studies, maximum total credit loads (undergraduate plus graduate) are appropriate.

Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) degree students may be appointed to a ½-time assistantship prior to the conferral of their undergraduate degree for a maximum of 2 semesters with the approval of both their graduate adviser and the provider of the assistantship under the following conditions:

  1. They meet all the other requirements to be appointed to a graduate assistantship, including at least 9 credits on their graduate transcript for the semester(s) in which they will be appointed as a graduate assistant.
  2. They are enrolled in no more than 12 credits on their undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  3. The student is on track to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in the typical time-to-degree for their undergraduate major (see GCAC-210 IUG Degree Programs, provision 5).

Notes:

  1. Students enrolled in 12-14 total credits on their undergraduate and graduate transcripts may be considered for a ¼-time graduate assistantship, provided the student is on track to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in the typical time-to-degree for their undergraduate major.
  2. Students enrolled in 6-8 credits on their graduate transcript and 12 or fewer credits overall may be considered for a one-semester approval as an exception, provided the student is on track to complete their undergraduate degree requirements in the typical time-to-degree for their undergraduate major.

1: The range of hours listed corresponds to the total hours of academic effort expected for an average student based on University Faculty Senate policy; "For the typical student, a total of forty-five (45) hours of work planned and arranged by the University faculty is required to gain 1 credit." (see 42-23 Credit Requirements by Types of Instruction)

2: While the expectation is that any course listed on a transcript will ultimately count toward the requirements for that degree, the reality can be somewhat more complicated, particularly with regard to UGRD student aid eligibility.

Revision History

Revised by The Graduate School, April 23, 2024

  • Added opening sentence of Summary clarifying to whom this guidance applies.

Approved by The Graduate School, February 15, 2024

 

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