Graduate Assistants (GAs) are graduate students who are hired to perform instructional, research, or administrative duties. The goal of any assistantship is to provide a service to the University and to aid the student in the successful completion of their graduate degree by providing employment related to their academic program and professional goals.
Administration of graduate assistantships is governed by the Graduate Employees Union Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Information for Graduate Assistants
To be eligible for a GA appointment, a graduate student must be enrolled as a full-time, degree-seeking student in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress towards a degree.
- “Good academic standing” is monitored by the Graduate School per the University’s academic standing policy. If a student is placed on academic probation they will not be able to serve as a GA. Both the student and their academic department will be promptly notified by the Graduate School when a student has been placed on probation.
- “Making satisfactory progress towards a degree” is defined by the satisfactory academic progress (SAP) policy of the student’s academic program. Questions about whether a student is making satisfactory progress should be directed to the student’s department.
Tuition and Fee Remission
All GAs must receive a tuition remission and a fee remission; for details about minimum remission amounts, see the GEU contract.
Remissions can only be approved if the GA’s admission is finalized and they are properly registered. Remissions are initiated by the GA's employing department and entered into an electronic approval queue each term. Remissions must be approved by the employing department, Graduate School, Financial Aid, and Cashiers before they are applied to the student's account. Each approval level takes approximately one business day.
- For out-of-state students, tuition assessment will be changed from non-resident to resident rates approximately one business day after the remission has been applied to the student's account. This means there will be a brief period where the tuition assessment is still at non-resident rates even though the tuition remission that has been applied to the account is at resident rates.
GAs who are registered for 9 or more graduate credits and do not see their tuition and fee remission applied to their student account by the end of the third week of the term should contact their employing department.
To be formally hired as a GA, students must electronically accept their offer via the EPAF system administered by the Office of Human Resources. GAs will also need to visit Human Resources to complete their new hire paperwork. For questions about the hiring process contact Human Resources directly.
GAs will receive a Work Assignment Notice from their employing unit which describes the general nature of their duties, relevant health and safety information, expected preparation (if any), required training or orientations, and details of additional duties.
Student Health Insurance
Domestic students taking 5 or more credits, or international students taking 1 or more credits, are automatically enrolled in the PSU-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan unless they submit a waiver request based on demonstration of comparable coverage. For questions about the health insurance plan and the waiver process, contact the Center for Student Health and Counseling directly.
Available Graduate Assistantships
Students wishing to apply for graduate assistantships must correspond directly with the department offering the assistantship. Students are free to apply for assistantships in any department, not only in the department to which they are admitted. The Graduate School does not maintain a list of available assistantships and does not award graduate assistantships, but does post assistantship announcements when requested. If no GA postings are listed below, please check back regularly as we receive announcements for available GA positions throughout the year.
Information for Staff Submitting Tuition and Fee Remissions
All GAs must receive both a tuition and a fee remission; this is a change from past practice. Please see the instructions below for information about how to submit these through the student remission database.