Graduate assistantships

  • Domestic students who accept an Assistantship must be enrolled in at least 6 credits.

  • Graduate students must be in good standing within their department/program in order to be awarded an assistantship 


  • International students in F-1 or J-1 status MUST be enrolled full-time, 9 credits.

    • Graduating international students may request a reduction in courses credit in their FINAL semester. If employed as a student worker, International students must still meet the 6 credit minimum requirement.

  • Audited classes do not count towards registration requirements.

  • Students working 21 – 40 hours per week during the summer semester are by default considered in taxable status and are exempt from summer registration requirements.
  • Graduate assistants are expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.

  • A graduate assistant with a GPA of less than 3.0, satisfactory academic progress (SAP), may submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Office.

Teaching Assistantships may involve teaching courses, leading a discussion section, supervising a laboratory or meeting with students.

The typical appointment involves working up to 20 hours per week.
A teaching assistant receives a stipend, graduate student health insurance and tuition support from the University.

  • Teaching assistants who are solely paper graders are required to fill out timesheets.



Research Assistantships most commonly involve assisting faculty on research projects.

Research assistants receive a stipend, graduate student health insurance, tuition support, and in some cases may also include payment of fees.

Research Assistantships are often grant-funding and may be subject to additional requirements for eligibility.


Engagement Assistantships are paired with a service unit whose campus role is closely related to a student’s academic area of interest. 

Engagement assistants most often provide administrative aid to faculty and staff members, including but not limited to academic assignments, library services, and/or athletic services. Engagement assistants often receive a stipend, graduate student health insurance, and tuition support.


  • Students receiving a tuition waiver of up to 5 credits may be expected to work 10-14 hours per week, while students receiving a waiver for 6-10 credits may be expected to work 15 to 20 hours per week.

  • Domestic students working more than 20 hours per week during the school year (fall and spring semester) must request an exception to workload.

  • An exception to workload waives the Board of Regents policy that prohibits students from working in excess of 20 hours per week or 40 hours per pay period.

  • Students working in excess of 20 hours per week or 40 hours per pay period move from non-taxable to taxable pay status.

Please note:  The rates listed are the minimum rates that apply to all Graduate Assistantships (including Teaching Assistants (TAs), Research Assistants (RAs), and Engagement Assistants (EAs)). Departments are welcome to exceed these amounts where desired. 

Assistantship rate category Hourly rate

You cannot work over 20 hours per week and remain in non-taxable status. (International students cannot work over 20 hours/week under ANY circumstances).

If you anticipate regularly* working over 20 hours/week during your position (or find yourself doing so) you must submit a Graduate Student Workload Exception Request form (PDF).

* "Regularly" is defined by our office as working over 20hrs/week more than 1.5 pay periods (3 weeks) out of a any 4 week period). Yes, that includes 21/hours week.

Master's student $21.00/hr
Ph.D. student, before advancement to candidacy, no prior Master's degree $21.00/hr
Ph.D. student, before advancement to candidacy, with prior Master's degree $22.50/hr
Ph.D. student, after advancement to candidacy $24.00/hr
  • International students in F-1 or J-1 status who have not been formally approved for a reduced course load must be registered as a full-time student regardless of the change to the graduate student employment policy.

  • International students cannot, by law, work over 20 hours per week UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES without being out of compliance with immigration law. Your supervisor CANNOT ask you to violate your immigration status by making you work over 20 hours per week.
  • Immigration requirements contain very strict rules regarding students working past their program completion date. These rules may impact the student's ability to finish out their job duties in their final semester. As such, it is critical that the department issuing the assistantship is familiar with these requirements and is prepared to find a substitute for the RA or TA in the event that the student's program completion date falls before their contract letter end date.

Per UAF's academic catalog, a graduate student registered for 9 or more semester credits, with 3 or more at the 600 level, is classified as a full-time student. A graduate student enrolled in 5-8 credits is classified as part-time. Per University policy, students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be employed at UAF.

Graduate Assistants seeking outside work may be asked to file a workload exception and/or may be required to file an employment disclosure for services performed outside of the UA system. Prior to accepting outside work, Graduate Assistants are encouraged to discuss potential opportunities with their advisor/supervisor. Learn more about information related to employment disclosures.

Graduate Assistantship offer letters are now created and processed through the NextGen platform.

If you need to print or access your contract letter after signing, you can access all of your forms through the NextGen Dashboard.

  • Log into the dashboard using UA Username and Password.

  • When the welcome page loads, you will see an option for "Pending/ Draft Forms" (letters in-process) and "Forms History" (completed letters).

  • If you have difficulty accessing your Dashboard, please check your login information and/or update your password in ELMO if needed.