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Graduate Associateships

Graduate Associateships allow graduate students to work for a university unit in exchange for a fee authorization (payment of tuition and fees) and stipend. There are three kinds of graduate associateships: graduate teaching associate (GTA), graduate research associate (GRA), and graduate administrative associate (GAA).

Graduate Associateship details for students and staff


A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. The graduate school recognizes that paid apprentices for research, teaching or service activities at the university can form an enriching experience for graduate students. This section summarizes the major types of paid apprenticeships for graduate students, graduate associate (GA) appointments. In addition, during their program of study some graduate students can support themselves directly through external sources. These include federal aid and loans, sponsorships and scholarships provided by entities external to the university, (summarized in Section 9.6). Additional information may be obtained from the student’s appointing unit, the Graduate Studies Committee, or the Office of Human Resources. Each office participates in the formulation of GA rules.

Appointments are typically referred to in percentages, and most GAs hold 50% appointments. GAs with a 50% appointment are expected to average 20 hours per week (regardless of whether they are a GTA, GRA, or GAA), for which they receive a full fee authorization. GA appointments of 25% (averaging 10 hours per week) receive a fee authorization that covers half of a student’s tuition and fees.

Typically, students who apply for admission to a program will be considered for GA positions, if available. If students are interested in finding a GA position, they should always begin with their home departments. Students can hold GA appointments in units other than their home department, but those are local decisions. There is no central clearinghouse for GA appointments at Ohio State. For more information about the rules pertaining to GAs, see Section 9 of the Graduate School Handbook.

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