Graduate Assistant Policies & Guidelines
Types of Graduate Assistantships
- Graduate Teaching Assistants and Doctoral Teaching Assistants (TAs) are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries and reported as the “teacher of record” for an organized class. Graduate Teaching Assistants must hold a master’s degree in the teaching discipline or 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline.
- Graduate Instructional Assistants and Doctoral Instructional Assistants (IAs) are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries, but are not reported as the “Teacher of Record.” Salaries of Graduate Instructional Assistants who assist in the operation of a lab or activity/recitation group may be paid from course fees that are collected for the purpose of such a lab or activity/recitation group. Graduate Instructional Assistants and Doctoral Instructional Assistants are responsible for a specific group of students and assign some portion of these same students’ grades.
- Graduate Research Assistants and Doctoral Research Assistants (RAs) are employed by any department or office of the University and may be paid from grant or university funds. If employed on a grant, the work performed must directly relate to the objectives of the grant.
Eligibility for Employment and Enrollment Requirements
To be employed as Graduate assistant, a student must:
- have unconditional acceptance into a graduate degree program;
- be enrolled in at least nine SCH in a graduate degree program each semester of employment*;
- maintain a minimum 3.0 Texas State grade point average in coursework leading toward the completion of a graduate degree.
The Dean of The Graduate College must approve any exceptions.
*Graduate assistants enrolled in nine hours during the spring semester (or who had an approved exception request with justification on file) who plan to enroll the following fall may be employed in the summer with no enrollment requirement. Students who were enrolled and employed as undergraduate assistants in the spring semester and who plan to enroll following fall may be employed as graduate assistants in the summer with no enrollment requirement. Students who wish to be employed as graduate assistants in the summer and who were not enrolled in the spring semester must enroll in a total of nine hours during the summer.
Graduate assistants cannot be appointed in salaried and hourly positions concurrently.
A graduate student is not allowed to enroll in a course in which he or she is an instructional assistant.
Eligibility for In-state Tuition
See forms located at - http://www.sbs.txstate.edu/students/waivers-exemptions.html, click on Student Employees.
How to Apply for a Graduate Assistantship
Applications for assistantships should be made directly to the department or university office following their application procedure.
It is also possible to apply for certain RA positions online through Career Services at Jobs4Cats.
Selection and Appointment
Offers of assistantships are contingent on available funds and admission of the applicant to a degree seeking graduate program. Graduate assistantship appointments are normally made for a summer session semester term, four and one half month academic semester, nine month, or 12 month basis. The term of an appointment of a Research Assistant may be based on the period of available grant funding. Renewal is at the discretion of the department or university office for which the student is employed. In all cases, the account manager or the manager’s designee will decide who is hired in accordance with the qualifications and standards required for the position.
Orientation and Training
All IAs and TAs must enroll in professional development coursework, beginning in the first semester of their employment. The tuition and fees for professional development courses will be paid by the university. The course numbers and titles vary by department. Some departments offer a three hour course that is completed the first semester of employment. Some departments offer a two hour and a one hour course. Other departments offer a one hour course. All IAs and TAs must complete a total of three hours of professional development coursework to satisfy this condition of employment. The form which must be submitted for the graduate assistant course fee waiver can be found out at: http://www.sbs.txstate.edu/students/waivers-exemptions/contentParagraph/01/document/Request+for+NON-RESIDENT+Tuition+Waiver+-+GRA%27s+%26+TA%27s.pdf.
Most departments also conduct one or more orientation sessions for new assistantships. Graduate students should inquire about orientation attendance requirements with the department or university office at the time they apply for employment.
Supervision and Evaluation
Graduate TAs are the Instructor of Record for the course(s) assigned, however they are under the direct supervision of a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline. Graduate IAs are supervised by the Instructor of Record or Laboratory Coordinator of the courses assigned. Graduate RAs are usually supervised by the faculty member or office supervisor with whom they work. All assistantship positions undergo regular evaluation as required by the department in which they are employed.
Salaries and Benefits
Graduate assistants are paid in accordance with the following University Pay Plan salary schedule which can be viewed at http://www.hr.txstate.edu/univpayplan/student.html.
All Graduate assistants, employed at least half-time (50% FTE) for a minimum period of four and a half consecutive months, are eligible for employer group insurance plans administered by the Human Resources Benefit Office. Graduate assistants are able to make a choice between the Student Insurance Plan administered by the Student Health Center and the Employer Group Insurance Program administered by the Human Resources Office. Also, some Graduate Students may already be covered by insurance outside the University, therefore may choose not to enroll in a health insurance option offered by Texas State. Graduate Students should refer to the comparison summary on the Human Resources Office web site in order to make an educated decision.
Allowable Work Hours
During the fall and spring semesters, a graduate/doctoral assistant may work up to 50% FTE (20 hours per week). An exception request with justification from the graduate advisor or department chair approved by the Dean of the Graduate College must be on file for employment over 50%. The Graduate Dean may approve up to a maximum of 75% FTE. International graduate/doctoral assistants cannot be employed at more than 50% FTE during the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, a graduate/doctoral assistant may be approved by the Graduate Dean to work up to 100% FTE (40 hours per week).
No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity sponsored or conducted by Texas State University-San Marcos on any basis prohibited by applicable law, including race, color, age, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.