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General Information

Section 9.1 of the Graduate School Handbook

Titles. The three graduate associate (GA) titles are: Graduate Administrative Associate (GAA), Graduate Research Associate (GRA), and Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA).

Appointment as a GA contributes to the overall objective of earning a graduate degree by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support. This apprenticeship complements formal instruction and gives the student practical and personal experience that can be gained only by performing instructional, research, or administrative activities. It is expected that GA responsibilities will not interfere with a student’s reasonable progress (Section 5.4) toward completion of the graduate degree and may align and support the student’s graduate degree. It is important for the student, the advisor and the academic unit employing the GA, to understand that the student is to work a maximum of 20 hours per week on duties that are not directly related to their graduate degree. The monitoring of these activities will vary by unit. 

Responsibilities. Specific GA responsibilities are determined by the appointing units. These may include teaching classes, recitations, and labs; advising and counseling students; grading papers; gathering and analyzing data; writing reports; and assisting faculty members and administrators.

Eligibility. To hold a GA appointment, a student must satisfy the following eligibility requirements. The student:

  1. must be pursuing a graduate degree at this university. 
  2. must meet minimum Graduate School registration requirements: 
  3. take eight credit hours during each semester when a 50 percent or greater GA appointment is held, except during the summer term, when the minimum is four. 
  4. take four credit hours during each semester a 25 percent appointment is held, except during the summer term, when the minimum is two. 
  5. for doctoral students who have achieved candidacy status, take three credit hours each semester or term when a 50 percent GA appointment is held. Students are required to be continuously enrolled after passing the candidacy examination (Section 7.7). 
  6. must be in good standing in the Graduate School when the appointment or reappointment becomes effective. 
  7. must maintain reasonable progress toward a graduate degree. It is the responsibility of each Graduate Studies Committee to determine what constitutes reasonable progress in its degree programs. 
  8. must certify proficiency in spoken English before assuming GTA duties involving direct student contact (applies only to international and permanent resident non-English speaking graduate students). 
  9. must satisfy other requirements published by the Graduate Studies Committee or appointing unit. 
  10. must, if enrolled in a bachelor’s/master’s combined program, hold only a GA appointment that does not involve teaching of other students. 

Audited courses do not count toward these requirements.

Monitoring. Responsibility for monitoring of eligibility for GA appointments is the joint responsibility of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Studies Committee.It is also the Graduate Studies Committee’s responsibility to ensure that GAs are only performing the work associated with their specific type of appointment (e.g., GRAs should not teach courses, etc.).