SVSU offers a limited number of assistantships to actively enrolled and academically qualified graduate students. The graduate assistantship program is designed to: (1) complement the classroom learning of graduate students by providing supervised experience in professional roles; (2) serve as a source of income for well-qualified half-time to full-time graduate students, and (3) fulfill high-priority needs of University units for skilled assistants. Instructional, research or administrative appointments may be authorized.

Allocation of Positions

Funds available for the employment of Graduate Assistants and the allocation of these funds to instruction, research and administrative functions will be decided as part of the normal process of budget preparation. Deans and directors desiring to employ Graduate Assistants should submit requests through the member of the President's Staff to whom they report. Requests should specify the term(s) of employment, average hours per week, and the duties to be performed.

Application for Positions

Authorized openings for Graduate Assistants will be posted and otherwise announced by the Office of Career Services. Application forms may be obtained from that office and should be returned there.

The Selection Process

In order to qualify for consideration, applicants for Graduate Assistantships must be certified as actively enrolled and highly qualified academically through procedures established by the Vice will be referred to the individual or group authorized to screen them.

Approved applications will be returned to the Office of Career Services, which is responsible for informing applicants about available positions and arranging interviews. Final selection of Graduate Assistants is the responsibility of the employing dean or director. Appointments will be issued by the Human Resource Office.

The Renewal Process

Graduate Assistants desiring to renew their appointments must apply prior to March 15 for continuation in the following year (July 1 - June 30). Requests for renewals should be sent to the Office of Career Services, which will refer them for review to the same individual or group which screens initial applications. Continuation of graduate assistantships will be evaluated on the bases of: (1) maintenance of a 3.5 GPA, (2) active enrollment in the chosen discipline, (3) positive recommendation(s) from the employing dean or director, and (4) available budget.

Working Hours

Graduate Assistants may be employed for a maximum of 600 hours per fiscal year and for a maximum of three years. For each term of employment they will be issued appointments which call for 1/4-time, 3/8-time or 1/2-time employment.

  1. 1/4-time GAs employed for fall and/or winter semesters will work 150 hours per semester. Those employed for spring and/or summer sessions will work 75 hours per session.
  2. 3/8-time GAs employed for fall and/or winter will work 225 hours per semester. Those employed for spring and/or summer will work 112-1/2 hours.
  3. 1/2-time GAs employed for fall and/or winter semester will work 300 hours per semester. Those employed for spring and/or summer will work 150 hours.

These totals represent averages of 10, 15 and 20 hours per week for 15 weeks or 7-1/2 weeks. Productive working schedules which are consistent with the requirement for graduate student enrollment should be established by each supervisor in consultation with the GA. The appointments fulfilled between the following dates:

Summer Session

Fall Semester

Winter Semester

Spring Session

7/1 and 8/31

9/1 and 12/31

1/1 and 4/30

5/1 and 6/30

Rates of Pay

Rates of pay will be based on length of service and will be uniform in all University departments. The Vice President for Academic Affairs or his designee, after consultation with the Personnel Officer, will annually propose rates for the fiscal year at a meeting of the Executive Committee. GAs who bring substantial professional experience to their initial appointments occasionally may be assigned to the second or third step on the pay scale rather than the first step. The approval of the Personnel Officer is required.


The University extends to Graduate Assistants the opportunity to purchase permits to park in any parking lot at the same rate as other employees.

Enrollment Requirements

Graduate Assistantships must be registered for SVSU courses during each term of employment. The minimum and maximum credit requirements which govern their eligibility for GA employment will be as follows:

Type of
Range of Credits
1/4 3-6 6-12 6-12 3-6
3/8 3-6 6-12 6-12 3-6
1/2 3-6 6-10 6-10 3-6

With the approval of the supervisor, an exception to the maximum load requirement may be made after the first 15 weeks of employment.

Tuition and Fees

Graduate Assistants will be responsible for paying their own tuition and fees. As employees of a state institution, graduate assistants will be eligible to pay resident tuition rates during any terms of SVSU employment.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

Graduate Assistants who require financial assistance in addition to their GA pay in order to complete their graduate programs may apply for financial aid. Their needs will be considered using the same criteria applied to other students. 


Adopted 5/06/81 EC (PS)