Graduate Assistantships

Orientation for First Time Graduate Assistants and Doctoral Fellows

Fall 2020 Orientation

Tuesday, August 25, 2020, 5–5:30 p.m.

This event will be held via Zoom.  Please check back for more information.

HR Overview for students who have been granted a position as a Graduate Assistant or Doctoral Fellow for Fall 2020 Semester.


The GA applicant must be fully or conditionally (conditions 1, 2 or 3) admitted to a graduate program of study. Applicants with condition 4 status because of low grade-point average are not eligible for graduate assistantships. Students with admission for continuing education, non-degree or teacher certification are also not eligible for a graduate assistantship.

Once admitted and awarded a GA, a 3.0 graduate grade-point average must be maintained to continue satisfactory progress toward completing the program of study.

International students must have an F-1 or J-1 visa or official work permit to be a GA.

Need-based/work-study GA applicants must also complete the required financial aid forms through the Office of Financial Aid. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by March 1 for priority consideration for the following Fall semester. Even if a student qualifies for a WS-GA position, there are a limited number of positions available across campus.

A GA award will impact other financial aid; communicate with the Financial Aid office.

To keep a Graduate Assistantship position, the student must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours if appointed Fall and Winter semesters, and one credit for the Summer semester
  • Make progress toward completing a graduate program of study filed with the Office of Records and
  • Registration, without an excessive number of incompletes or course withdrawals.


For a full-time, academic-year GA appointment, the University provides a tuition scholarship for up to 9 credit hours of tuition waiver per semester, with a limit of 18 credit hours per academic year (September 1 to August 31) of the assistantship. For graduate assistants who are appointed to part-time positions and for GAs who begin employment after the start of the semester, the number of credit hours covered by the award will be prorated.

The graduate assistantship program also covers any tuition differential associated with certain courses. This award does not pay mandatory fees (general fee, student center fee and technology fee), new student record initiation fee, registration fee, late registration fee, drop fees or late fees applied when bills are not paid.

Graduate assistants receive library privileges.

Graduate assistants receive priority registration, provided they register online by the date specified by the Office of Records and Registration as noted in the class schedule book or website (same date as undergraduate Honors students).

Intangible benefits of appointment as a graduate assistant include close contact with faculty and other graduate students, valuable employment experience within an academic setting, and the opportunity to devote one's energies to academic work.


Compensation rates are determined by the hiring office.

Application Process

Applicants must either seek an assistantship through their academic department/school or find one online. When a job opening appears, you may complete an application and upload a resume, letters of recommendation or other hiring materials requested by the department. Once the first application has been submitted and you are applying to additional positions, your previously entered information will carry over into the new application form, where it can be edited.

Most departments/schools seek applications in February/March for fall appointments. Offices will review the submitted materials, interview candidates and select a GA. Once an appointment decision has been made, the department sends a letter of offer to the applicant and hiring paperwork (a Personnel Action Form or PAF) to EMU Human Resources. Once it is confirmed that the applicant meets the eligibility requirements, EMU Human Resources enters the stipend information into the payroll database system and, Student Business Services and the Office of Financial Aid are notified to process the tuition/fee scholarship.

Communication regarding this award will be sent to the "local" address. Domestic students should update this address through their my.emich account. Within 10 days of a move, international students (F- and J-visa holders) must update their address through the Office of International Students, who then will convey the change to the Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

For More Information

Mackenzie Jozefczak
HR Coordinator, Learning and Talent
Eastern Michigan University

140 McKenny Hall
Ypsilanti, MI . 48197

734. 487.7101 |  [email protected]

EMU Human Resource hiring info 

Read the Graduate Assistant policies [PDF].

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