Graduate Assistantships and Traineeships (Fellowships)

Graduate Assistants and Trainees are obligated at all times to maintain high ethical standards in academic and non-academic activities, and to report violations of these standards to the faculty mentor and/or program director. Such students should stay well informed of departmental, school, and institutional regulations, and follow them consistently. In general, Graduate Assistants and Trainees are expected to be engaged in activities associated with their graduate programs year-round, including the periods between academic terms.

Responsibilities of Graduate Trainees

Graduate Trainees are supported by fellowship and other institutional funds that do not have a service requirement but are instead intended to allow the student to be committed full-time to their graduate studies. The fundamental responsibility of Graduate Trainees is to immerse themselves full-time in their graduate studies, carrying out those activities required by their program, including course work and any original research necessary to fulfill thesis, pre-dissertation, or dissertation requirements that the program stipulates.

Responsibilities of Graduate Assistants

In general, Graduate Assistantships (including Graduate Research Assistantships and Graduate Teaching Assistantships) provide support from research grants or other institutional funds for students engaged in activities that support the research, teaching, and service missions of the university. The fundamental responsibility of Graduate Assistants is to work closely with their faculty mentors in carrying out research, teaching, or service activities, while at the same time making good progress toward the completion of the degree program. If a student’s assistantship responsibilities and academic program are properly coordinated, these responsibilities will be compatible. The assistant and mentor should articulate their goals early in the term of appointment and work together to achieve them. If problems arise in the assistantship assignment, the Graduate Assistant should seek help first from the faculty mentor. If problems cannot be resolved, the student should consult their program director.

Qualifying for an Assistantship/Traineeship

Students who are receiving a Graduate Assistantship or Traineeship are required to be enrolled according to the following criteria:

  • at least 9 credit hours in the fall and spring terms, and
  • registration for credit hours in the summer at a minimum level established by their academic School or College. Students should consult with their program director before registering for summer credit hours.

Students enrolled in programs that traditionally only offer course work and research opportunities during fall and spring terms are considered to be full-time even if they do not enroll during the summer term.

Graduate Assistant and Trainee Leave

Graduate assistants and trainees are not entitled to paid leave. Any schedule time away must be coordinated between the student and the mentor. Additional information regarding assistantships and traineeships can be found here.