Information for Graduate Assistants (GAs)
"Because of your additional role as a graduate assistant, you will contribute in significant ways to APSU and have many opportunities to learn more about teaching, research, and service in the university setting."
Graduate Assistantship Information
A graduate assistantship (GA) is an avenue for graduate students to earn experience and financial benefits while attending APSU in their chosen or related field of study. Graduate assistants will contribute in significant ways to APSU, and are selected from among a very competitive group of superior graduate students. Thus, regardless of your specific duties as a graduate assistant (GA), your assistance will be a central element in delivering top quality instruction or service to the university community. Although the workload varies throughout the departments, excellence is always expected. It is important that GAs are able to prioritize so neither the GA assignment nor grades suffer, and performance is always optimal.
Graduate assistantship positions allow qualified students an opportunity to gain experience while continuing their studies. These experiences not only further knowledge and the education experience, but also provide or build upon skills needed in a professional environment. In addition to these practical skills, successful GAs gain the respect of supervisors that can eventually become colleagues or references.
What kind of Assistantships are there?
There are three different categories of assistantships. You will be assigned an assistantship in a particular category. The descriptions below indicate what is expected of you and what you can expect of your department, program, or office.
Graduate Assistant: Graduate assistants (GA) are appointed to perform various types of duties other than those related directly to teaching or research. Most commonly, these duties relate to supervisory or administrative functions of the university.
Graduate Research Assistant: Graduate research assistants (GRA) perform duties in support of university research, which may or may not relate directly to the student’s thesis or field study. A student appointed as a GRA works under the direct supervision of the administrator of the research contract, who often may be his/her major professor. Department heads are responsible for assuring that GRAs receive ample opportunities to make continuing progress toward their degrees.
Graduate Teaching Assistant: Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) work under the direct supervision of regular faculty members and may be assigned only to duties related directly to instruction. These include such activities as assisting in the preparation of lectures, leading discussion sections, conducting laboratory exercises, grading papers, and keeping class records. Assistants may not be given responsibilities which are basically clerical in nature. In consultation with the supervisor, the teaching assistant works to gain teaching skills and an increased understanding of the discipline.
It is important to note that each department is required to devise a GA job description for their area. It is imperative that you obtain the job description at the beginning of your assignment to ensure you are meeting the expectations required.
Graduate Assistant Eligibility Requirements
Graduate Assistants (GAs) in all three categories must be fully admitted to a graduate program at APSU to begin and retain their position. Full admission requirements vary by program and can be found on the appropriate Program Requirements sheet found on the Graduate Programs page.
- Graduate Assistantship Scholarship:
The scholarship pays tuition and fees that covers up to 10 credit hours for graduate coursework per semester.
- Graduate Assistantship Stipend
Currently, the total stipend is $5,184.00 per academic year. This amount is paid semi-monthly in seven equal payments during the fall and/or in the spring. An assistantship is a temporary appointment as a student employee, and offers a financial stipend to a graduate student for working 20 hours per week per semester in teaching, administration, or research. Students accepting an assistantship award obligate themselves to work for the University for the academic semester and/or academic year. Graduate assistant duties begin on the first day of classes and end on the last day of classes.