Graduate Assistantship Application (CECS)
Role, Purpose and Work Expectations
Assistantships serve to facilitate graduate students in the prompt and successful completion of an advanced degree program and to provide work experience in a setting under the supervision of a faculty or administrative mentor.
A full-time graduate assistant (GA) will work, on average, 20 hours a week (equivalent to a half-time employee). Therefore, they should not be scheduled for more than 20 hours of work each week.
GA positions are not to be used to mimic real-world working hours upon employment in the field of the graduate degree. Internships and practica should be used in these situations.
Applying, Eligibility and Requirements to Remain Eligible
Graduate students interested in applying for a graduate assistantship must apply with the department or unit to which they wish to be employed.
Applicants accepted into a graduate degree program may apply for a GA. However, a student must be a full-time graduate student, regularly admitted to a graduate degree program, and in good academic standing to fill an assistantship position. Graduate assistantships may be offered but cannot be awarded until an applicant is admitted into a specific graduate program and the Graduate School. Full-time status must be maintained through an entire semester when holding a graduate assistantship. For GA's, a full-time course load for the fall and spring semesters is nine graduate credit hours and six credit hours over the summer term. The full-time course load may not be comprised of undergraduate courses unless the course is a program prerequisite. A full-time (20 hours a week) graduate assistant may register for up to 12 hours in the fall and spring semesters and six hours over the summer term. Anything more than this amount is an overload and requires approval of the dean of the Graduate School.
GAs are eligible to receive an assistantship for a finite number of consecutive months starting from the first month of service. The length of time a student can hold a GA position in months is seven-ninths of the total number of hours required to earn the degree. Therefore, a student in a 36-hour program would be eligible to hold an assistantship for 28 months (counted as consecutive months). A student in a 72-hour doctoral degree program could hold an assistantship for 56 consecutive months.
A student must demonstrate satisfactory progress in the academic program to retain an assistantship. Failure to do so may result in a termination of the assistantship. Unsatisfactory progress is defined as the failure to maintain a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA in graduate courses attempted in the specific program at UTC; a grade of U, D or F in any course; more than two grades below a B; failure of the comprehensive/preliminary examination; an unsatisfactory evaluation of a thesis or dissertation; failure of a research defense; or any other failure of a required component pertaining to the GA’s academic requirements. Any, or a combination of these, constitutes sufficient basis for termination of a student’s graduate assistantship at the discretion of the hiring department and the Graduate School. Individual programs have the right to establish their own criteria; however, the preceding definition must be the minimum standard for continuing in graduate programs and holding graduate assistantships.
A GA will be dismissed from holding the position for failure to complete work assignments satisfactorily or complete work assignments in a timely manner.
A GA who resigns his or her position during a semester will not be eligible to hold a GA position thereafter. In addition, the GA will be required to repay the tuition waiver. Questions about how to handle issues involved with GA resignations should be addressed to the dean of the Graduate School.
Visit Graduate Assistantships to learn more.