Graduate assistantships provide
students with training and valuable professional experience in higher education
work environments. Graduate
assistantships are employment-related appointments and may require teaching,
research, and/or administrative service. The responsibilities may vary
depending on the department’s needs and the experience and academic
qualifications of the graduate assistant. A full-time assistantship requires
approximately 20 hours of work per week (including the summer semester); a
half-time assistantship requires about 10 hours weekly.
Earnings from graduate
assistantships are not counted as financial aid for purposes of qualifying for
Guaranteed Student Loans. However, graduate assistant earnings are considered
employment resources to apply against need for other financial aid programs.
Graduate assistantships provide
graduate students with financial resources, in the form of a stipend and
tuition waiver benefit, to pursue their degrees. Stipends for individual
graduate assistants are determined by the department/college, and are prorated
for graduate assistants appointed less than full time or for less than an
entire academic year.
The number of credit hours
covered by the graduate assistant’s tuition waiver benefit is determined by
appointment type and level. The tuition waiver may be applied to courses
taken during the semester of the assistantship, through the subsequent summer
sessions. The tuition waiver benefit pays tuition at the on-campus rate only.
Graduate assistants are
classified as Michigan residents for the purpose of determining tuition rates
at CMU. This classification remains in effect for the duration of their stay at
CMU if working on a doctoral program. For specialist's and master's degrees,
and graduate certificates, this classification as a Michigan resident is in
effect only during the academic year of the award (including the subsequent
Additional information on employment and the
benefits provided to Graduate Assistants is available on the Faculty Personnel
Services website at www.fps.cmich.edu.
Some graduate assistants are represented by the Graduate Student Union. More information is available at: www.cmugsu.org.
To be eligible for an
assistantship, a student must be admitted to the College of Graduate Studies
under regular, conditional, or non-degree admission. Students who have
concurrent or accelerated admission status may be appointed as graduate
assistants only if they have special permission from the Dean of Graduate
Studies. Other hiring criteria may be determined by the department or office
responsible for the assistantship.
Graduate assistants must maintain
a cumulative, graduate GPA of 3.0. The following credit hour loads are also
• Fall or spring semesters: 6
• Summer semester: 1 credit hour
• Final semester of enrollment
before degree completion: only the number of graduate credit hours needed to
complete the degree requirements. This waiver is for only one semester.
Requests for exemptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Dean of
U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulations
affect international students' eligibility for assistantships. The Office of
Research and Graduate Studies will confirm whether an individual international
student is eligible for an assistantship.
Application and Selection Procedures
Prospective graduate assistants
must contact individual departments to apply. While it is always best to apply
early, different departments may have different application deadlines and due
to extenuating circumstances, graduate assistants are sometimes selected a few
days before classes start.