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Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Assistantships

We want to make sure all your questions are answered about the Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Learning Community. If there is something that you're wondering that we did not cover, please feel free to email Erica Johnson at

Get to know the Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship Program

What is a graduate assistantship?

A graduate assistantship is an opportunity for graduate-level students to work in student service areas or academic units while pursuing a masters degree.

The Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship Compensation Package

The Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship carries an annual stipend of $11,000and 20 hours of tuition remission at the standard, on-campus graduate tuition rate*, which can be applied to your coursework during the fall, spring, and subsequent summer semesters. However, this does not apply for non-refundable enrollment fees, student services fees or any special courses fees, which will remain the responsibility of the graduate assistant.

As a Graduate Assistant within the Student Affairs Division, students are eligible for a housing scholarship that covers a fully furnished one-person suite in Robinson Hall. The housing scholarship does not include a meal plan or a parking permit.

*Graduate Assistant tuition is waived at the standard, on-campus rate. There are some degrees that charge differently than the standard rate. Students will be responsible to pay the difference if enrolled in a specialized program.

Graduate Student Tuition and Fees

Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Housing Scholarship

Each graduate assistant in the Division of Student Affairs has the option of accepting a housing scholarship which covers a private room inRobinson Hall.Robinson Hall is a smoke-free, residential housing area, located on the north end of campus on Bellows Street, just steps from the Bovee University Center and Park Library.

There is a basic fitness center and laundry facility located on the ground floor, and a kitchenette for personal cooking. Your room contains a full-size bed frame and mattress, wardrobe, coffee table, end table, a small bookshelf, desk, desk chair, couch, private bathroom, shower curtain and window curtains.

Graduate Assistant Professional Development Opportunities

Access to professional development opportunities on campus and beyond varies by position. All graduate assistants hired within the Student Affairs Division are required to participate in a two-day orientation/onboarding experience in August, professional development activities designed for the community that support the ACPA/NASPA/NIRSA competencies (3 per semester), and a year-end showcase experience developed in coordination with the Counseling, Educational Leadership and Higher Education faculty.

Graduate students

Detailed answers to common questions

    Graduate assistants serve 20 hours per week in various departments within the Student Affairs Division. Some graduate assistant positions are based on an academic year (10-month) and others are for the full year (12-month). This is indicated in each specific job description.

    Yes, Student Affairs Graduate Assistantships are open to all international students enrolled as full-time students (9 credit hours).

    Please note, that if an international student accepts the housing scholarship, it is considered taxable income and depending on the student's visa and residency status, may be responsible for paying 14% tax on the scholarship upfront per IRS Tax code.

    International students are not eligible for graduate assistantships offered at neighboring institutions connected to our community.

    The student service areas that currently offer assistantship opportunities within the Division of Student Affairs include the Counseling Center, the Financial Wellness Collaborative, the Center for Student Inclusion and DiversityMulticultural Academic Student Services, the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership InstituteUniversity RecreationStudent Activities & InvolvementSexual Aggression Peer Advocates, and the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center. Outside of the division, there are opportunities for graduate assistants within the Department of Educational Leadership(EDL), the Career Development Center, and at nearby Alma College.

    While many of our students are pursuing a Masters of Arts in Higher Education, it is not a requirement for all of our graduate students to be in the MAHE program; however, preference and priority will be given to those candidates who are pursuing educational leadership or higher education degrees unless otherwise noted in the position description.

    Past Graduate Assistants have pursued a Master of Arts in CounselingMaster of Science in Administration (MSA), Master of Arts in Public AdministrationMaster of Arts in Sports Administration, or Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

    Explore all of CMU's Graduate Programs

    Any interested graduate student can apply for a Student Affairs Graduate Assistantship; however, an official offer or an ability to be hired is contingent upon the acceptance into a graduate program at CMU and a successful passing of a criminal background check.

    Priority for application review for interviews are given to those who apply prior to January 15th annually.

    Available Graduate Assistantships