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Graduate Associates

GA appointments complement formal instruction and give the student experience in teaching, research, or administrative activities. 


GA responsibilities should not interfere with a student’s reasonable progress toward completion of the graduate degree.

A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. Appointment as a GA contributes to that objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support. This apprenticeship complements formal instruction and gives the student practical, 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 toward completion of the graduate degree.

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

Benefits for 50% (and greater) GA Appointments

All graduate associateships include the following benefits:


Paycheck Calendar

Graduate associates appointed for autumn semester will receive their first paycheck at the end of August. GAs on a nine-month appointment will receive one-half of a month’s paycheck in August and one-half in May.

Payroll Deduction

Payroll deductions for student health benefits and other student service fees will occur in four installments for both autumn semester and spring semester. Deductions will be reflected in September through December paychecks for autumn semester and January through April paychecks for spring semester. For summer term, deductions will be reflected in June and July paychecks.

Payroll Deduction Form


GA Appointment Document

2018–19 Appointment Dates

  Autumn Spring Summer
Start August 17, 2018 January 1, 2019 May 17, 2019
End December 31, 2018 May 16, 2019 August 15, 2019

2017–18 Appointment Dates

  Autumn Spring Summer
Start August 16, 2017 January 1, 2018 May 16, 2018
End December 31, 2017 May 15, 2018 August 16, 2018

Appointment Description

All graduate associates must receive clear, complete, and written information about the terms and conditions of their appointments.  Continued regular, clear communication between graduate associates and their supervisors is critical to establishing and maintaining a positive and productive environment. 

All GA-appointing units are required to use the Graduate School's standard GA Appointment Document for new and renewed GA appointments. Individualized offer letters are also an important part of the graduate student recruitment process. Offer letters should reflect the particular culture and values of the appointing unit and should refer to the GA Appointment Document.

Enrollment Requirements

Student Max Min Max Min
Graduate Associate, 50% 18 8 12 4
Graduate Associate, 25% 18 4 12 2
Graduate Fellow 18 12 12 6
Post-Candidacy Student 18* 3 12 3
For Financial Aid and Fees 18 8 12 8

* Post-candidacy students typically enroll in three hours. Post-candidacy students who wish to take more than three hours should speak with their graduate program.

Students may be eligible for financial aid at half time. Please contact the Buckeye Link for detailed information about financial aid.

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.

It is generally preferable for problems related to GA appointments to be settled at the local level. Regular, clear communication between graduate associates and their advisors and supervisors is key to establishing and maintaining an effective work environment. However, if talking to an advisor or immediate supervisor does not resolve a problem or potential grievance, graduate associates are encouraged to consult program handbooks and other materials provided by the appointing unit to ascertain grievance guidelines that may be in place. Graduate program chairs and heads of appointing units can also provide information about such guidelines. The staff of the Graduate School is also available to provide consultation with graduate students about problems or potential grievances. There may be instances in which recourse to these persons does not provide resolution. The Graduate Council has established grievance procedures (see Appendix D).

First Four-Week Summer Session

A typical graduate associate appointment is for autumn and spring semesters. However, work patterns are determined locally, and they may vary due to the first four-week summer session.

If the first four-week summer session is part of a GTA’s established teaching load, for example, no additional pay is required. Alternatively, GTAs who have fulfilled their teaching obligations during autumn and spring semesters may be hired on supplemental appointments to teach during that session.

Other Information About Appointments

Terms of Appointment, Reappointment, or Termination

Appointing Unit Responsibilities


All GAs must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Graduate Degree

    GAs must be pursuing a graduate degree

  • Minimum Registration

    GAs must register for the minimum number of hours for their appointment

  • Good Standing

    GAs must maintain a high GPA and be making reasonable progress toward their degree, see also Section 5.1 of the Graduate School Handbook.

  • Spoken English Certification

    Applies only to international graduate students whose nation of origin has an official language other than English (including those nations with English as one official language among others). Details about certifcation can be found at the ESL siteLearn More

  • Other Requirements

    Learn More

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