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.
In order to comply with federal healthcare
reform requirements, work hours for non-benefit eligible employees are
restricted to a maximum of 50 hours per pay period during the academic
year. All assignments, including work
for multiple departments or as a student employee, count as work toward the
total workload. Research conducted by
graduate research assistants as part of the graduate assistantship, shall not
exceed 40 hours per pay period, except as it relates to the graduate student’s
education, such as dissertation related research.
Graduate Assistant Benefits
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
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 standard 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 summer).
Graduate assistants are covered
by travel accident insurance which provides $25,000 to a beneficiary in case of
accidental death while traveling on university business.
Graduate assistants are given
special library privileges, allowing them to check books out for a six month
Additional information on employment and the
benefits provided to Graduate Assistants is available on the Faculty Personnel
Services website at www.fps.cmich.edu.
The responsibilities of a graduate assistant are determined by the
hiring department. The responsibilities must be commensurate with the time
constraints of the assistantship appointment.
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