Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are determined
and awarded by individual departments, colleges, and/or research institutes.

UAF currently offers two types of assistantships:


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 by the University.

  • Teaching assistants who are solely paper graders are required to fill out timesheets.
  • TA application processes depts.


Research Assistantships most commonly involves 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.



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

General Information
  • 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 (link to 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: At this time these rates apply only to Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Graduate School and Thesis Completion Fellowship recipients (GFs). For more information on rates for Research Assistants (RAs) please contact individual departments.

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 $15.73/hr
Ph.D. student, before advancement to candidacy, no prior Master's degree $15.73/hr
Ph.D. student, before advancement to candidacy, with prior Master's degree $17.23/hr
Ph.D. student, after advancement to candidacy $18.74/hr
  • All Graduate Assistants are enrolled in the Graduate Student Health Insurance. Graduate Student Health Insurance is a no opt-out policy and will act as a secondary policy where prior insurance is held by student employees. 
  • 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 the 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 employement 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. For more information related to employment disclosures, please visit this page