Graduate assistantships

Graduate assistantships are appointments made to students enrolled in a master's or doctoral program at Wayne State University. Appointments may be made for one, two or three semesters of the calendar year. Graduate student appointees must be in good academic standing (i.e., have a minimum 3.0 honor point average or its equivalent). The graduate assistant must be enrolled for a minimum of six graduate credits each per fall and winter semester appointments.

Assistantship positions provide a salary and a tuition scholarship. Graduate assistants have the option of accepting subsidized medical, dental and vision insurance. The hiring unit determines the salary but must offer at least the discipline category minimum listed in the Compensation Schedule. The tuition scholarship provides payment for up to 10 graduate credits for each of the fall and winter semesters and up to two graduate credits for the spring/summer semester appointment. The scholarships will pay for only graduate credits listed on a student's Plan of Work.

GTAs and GSAs are represented by the Graduate Employees Organizing Committee/American Federation of Teachers (GEOC), except those who serve as counselors, supervisors, confidential employees or coaches. 

Types of assistantships

  • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs)
    GTAs provide approximately 20 hours of instructional service per week over the course of a semester. GTAs may be assigned teaching duties, including grading, in undergraduate-level courses or related laboratories or discussion sections, and may serve as instructors of record for undergraduate courses.
  • Graduate Student Assistants (GSAs)
    GSAs provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester. GSAs may be assigned research, administrative and scholarly duties for the primary benefit of the university or granting agency under the supervision of a university faculty member or administrator. Students who are engaged in work whose product is reasonably expected to be used among other purposes for the student's dissertation, thesis, essay, or independent or directed study, or who are engaged in other work for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarly or education program, should not be classified as Graduate Student Assistants but as Graduate Research Assistants. All Graduate Student Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Student Assistant Certificate of Relevancy.
  • Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)
    GRAs are typically doctoral students in good standing who hold their appointments in academic or research units. In some instances, the Graduate School may approve appointment of master's students as GRAs, provided their master's program carries a significant research component directly relevant to their own academic programs of study. Graduate Research Assistants provide approximately 20 hours of service per week over the course of a semester in research or academic activities relevant to their own academic programs of study. These activities should relate directly to the student's degree requirements and should be reasonably expected, among other purposes, to contribute to a student's dissertation, thesis, essay, independent or directed study, or otherwise be undertaken for the primary benefit of the student's research, scholarship or academic program. All Graduate Research Assistant appointments must include a Graduate Research Assistant Certificate of Relevancy.

How to apply

The Graduate School does not offer all the graduate assistant positions that are available at the university. Many are determined and offered by departments, although not all departments have assistantship positions. Typically, a department's website will indicate if positions are available. At least one person with contact information will be provided on the site. Assistantship application deadlines vary by department and program. Inquiry or application for fall semester assistantships should begin one year in advance if application deadline information is not readily available on the program website. Most departments or programs with assistantship positions will provide an application form. If you cannot obtain an application form from the department, contact the program concerning your interest in an assistantship.

Graduate Employees Organizing Committee (GEOC)
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Forms and policies