Hiring Graduate Students

Graduate Assistants & Fellows

  • Teaching Assistant (TA): a graduate teaching assistant may include lecturing, leading discussion groups, serving as an assistant to laboratory classes, counseling students, proctoring examinations, grading tests and papers, and providing general assistance in the instructional process. Students who are strictly paper-graders are NOT classified as teaching assistants. 
  • Research Assistant (RA): a research assistant performs research part-time under the direction or supervision of regular faculty members or supports the research initiatives of the institution.
  • Service Assistantship (SA): a service assistantship involves service activities such as office duties, library services, photographic and/or CAD services, athletic services, or other academic or professional assignments.
  • Fellows: this category is reserved for students who receive a fellowship, such as a Graduate School Fellowship, NSF Fellowship, ADAC, or IGERT Fellowship that provides a stipend and a tuition scholarship to the student. Fellows who receive a portion of their stipend from another source (e.g., a research grant) are still classified as a Fellow.
  • International Graduate Assistants: WARNING! Immigration requirements contain very strict rules regarding students working past their program completion date; and/or working over 20 hours a week.

Graduate Assistant Hiring Process

  1. Complete Job Form*, appropriate contract letter (see below); and insurance enrollment form - see Student "Forms" page.
  2. Complete Financial Aid form - This link takes you to the UAA Departmental Scholarships FAQ page where you can log into the UAA Employee Intranet to access forms. Use one form or the other: UAA Administration Scholarship Form (formerly Academic Tuition Award Form) OR UAA Student Payment Request Form (acceptable for all contracts). Submit completed form to Financial Aid.
  3. Student must have full time status (9 credits)**.  Student are allowed to enroll in 6 credits if the student meets one or more of the following conditions: a) significant time in the field during semester of contract,  b) has completed all required coursework for their degree, or, c) in their last semester of study before graduation. Programs must request full-time status exemption. Email requests to Elisa Mattison with student's name, type of GA, and the justification for the exemption. If the student is full-time, then send forms directly to HR.
  4. To be awarded graduate assistantships, students must be in good academic standing, as reflected by an Annual Report of Student Progress on file with the Graduate School (if beyond their second semester of study). This report must be on file before processing of the award.  
  5. Students must complete the on-line Health Insurance Enrollment Form; program must submit a copy of the signed (includes student) contract/award letter (including health insurance detail code/org/acct in the box on page 2) via Docu-Sign, to the Graduate School to complete enrollment for benefits.

*HR needs both the Job Form and the signed appointment letter. The job form must be approved by the Graduate School only for enrollment of less than 9 credits for fall or spring awards.

Summer Assistantships:

Do not combine spring/summer work on the job form because stipends will not be accurate and status may change from non-taxable to taxable. Generate separate insurance enrollment form, contract letter, and job form for each semester.  All graduate students awarded a summer assistantship (and not graduating)  must be registered for fall classes before the assistantship will be processed by HR and the Graduate School. 

** Students do not have to be enrolled during summer semester, and may work 40 hours per week, per BOR student employment policy. 

If the student is not graduating in summer semester, they must be enrolled in the fall semester for 6 to 9 credits, to continue their assistantship; see UAA catalog/Graduate Assistantships. 

Graduate Assistant Forms & Templates

Contract Letter Templates: please note: the org & fund information for the tuition remission and the detail code and org and account for health insurance information must be included on the contract letter in the box on page 2. Please review the hiring steps and process. Failure to do so may delay processing of the student's tuition remission and stipend and application to the student's account.

  • Please forward the signed copy (including the student's signature) of the appointment letter (via Docu-Sign) to:
    UAA Office of Financial Aid
    UAA Office of Accounting Services
    UAA Graduate School 

    Contract Letter Templates: Please use the UAA Graduate School Resources and Processes site for contract letters.
  • Research Assistant (not work study)
  • Teaching Assistant (not work study) Must have current FERPA certification on file.
  • Service Assistant (not work study)
  • RA/TA/SA Work Study
  • Students, such as ADAK,  who are awarded a fellowship, should use the RA forms and edit to use Fellowship instead of Research Assistantship, and tuition scholarship instead of tuition remission.

Tuition Remission Forms 

Please use one of the two forms below:

Work Hours and Employment Restrictions

  • Graduate assistantships may be awarded for any number of hours up to 20 hours per week during the academic year (fall and spring). During the summer and school breaks (winter and spring break), graduate students may work up to 40 hours per week.
  • Graduate assistants with a full-time (20 hours a week) assistantship are NOT allowed to work as a part-time instructor, take another student position, or work in any other capacity for UAA or an outside entity, unless an exception is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Students, through the student's advisory committee, department chair, and dean, prior to the work being performed. 
  • Graduate students MUST be full-time (9 credits or more) to be eligible for an assistantship; audited classes do not count toward full-time classification.  Students spending significant time in the field during the fall and spring semesters on a research assistantship  are only required to enroll in 6 credits. Graduate students in their final semester of study are only required to register for 6 credits for graduate assistantships. 
  • Graduate students cannot serve as a principal investigator on an appointment or grant. If a graduate assistant writes a research, service, or instructional proposal that is funded by an external agency, a UAA faculty or staff member must serve as the principal investigator.

Budgeting for a Graduate Assistantship

Please review the information gathered by the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Office of Student Financial Assistance when hiring graduate student assistants. 

  • Tuition

    Academic Year 2021 - 2022

    (Course number A600-A699)

    Resident: $513 per credit hour ($9,234.00 for 18 credit hours for full time study = 9 credits for 2 academic semesters)

    Non-resident*: $1079 per credit hour ($19,422.00 for 18 credit hours for full time study = 9 credits for 2 academic semesters)

    WGRP: See resident rates. 

    *Nonresident students are assessed nonresident fees on all academic credits including self-support, except A500-A599 level credits. Nonresident students who restrict their enrollment to no more than 4 credits each semester are charged resident tuition - See more information in the catalog
  • Fees

    Estimated Fees - see Tuition and Fees to estimate fees.

  • Health Insurance

     GA Health Insurance Premiums 2021-2022 

    Semester Coverage Dates Premium Amount  
    Fall  August 25 - January 4 $ 1069.00
    Spring  January 5 - May 16 $ 1061.00
    Spring/Summer  January 5 - August 24 $ 1867.00
    Summer  May 17 - August 24 $ 806.00

    WWAMI students only: Annual cost $2936.00
                                            Monthly cost $245.00

    Healthcare Resources/Information:

    2021 - 2022 Summary Brochure

    2021 - 2022 Certificate of Coverage

  • Stipend

    The Graduate School sets minimum rates of pay for graduate students. Departments can set their own rates as long as the minimum rates are met.

    Please note: Service assistance MUST be paid an hourly wage mandated by Federal regulations.  

    Graduate Assistant Category (GN) Current
    Master’s student $17.54/hourly equivalent
    Ph.D. student before advancement to candidacy, no prior Master’s $17.54/hourly equivalent
    Ph.D. student before advancement to candidacy, with prior Master’s   $19.21/hourly equivalent
    Ph.D. student after advancement to candidacy $20.89/hourly equivalent

    Example of student stipend and benefit calculations:

    A student working 20 hrs/wk for two semesters (GN or SN) plus extra time on holidays may work a total of 760 hours. A student working 40 hours/week during the summer (GT or ST) may work up to 560 hours. Summer work accrues staff benefits of 9.5%. Total hours for an entire year: 1320. Each department on campus determines the number of student hours worked per year slightly differently. Contact your fiscal office for more information on the number of hours a student may work in your department.

    Calculating the student's stipend: ($ hourly equivalent)(1320)
    Calculating the student's benefits: ($ hourly equivalent)(560)(.095)

Tuition Remission

Only courses directly related to a student's degree program and on the student's GSP will be covered by tuition remission (e.g. recreation classes, etc. are not covered). Any exception to this policy must be in writing from the student's graduate advisor to the Dean of the Graduate School. Only 400- or 600- level courses will be paid. 

Teaching assistantships includes a payment of tuition made by the university:

  • If the workload is 15-20 hours a week, tuition remission is for a maximum of 9 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the workload is 10-14 hours a week, tuition remission is for up to 5 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the assistantship is for less than 10 hours a week, it does not include tuition.
  • And, the assistantship appointment begins on or before the first day of instruction and ends on or after the last day of final exams for the semester.

Research assistantships include a payment of tuition by specific grants/contracts:

  • If the workload is 15-20 hours a week, tuition remission is for a maximum of 9 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the workload is 10-14 hours a week, tuition remission is for up to 5 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the assistantship is for less than 10 hours a week, it does not have to include a tuition award, although it can if the grant/funding agency has tuition money available.

Service Assistantships include payment of tuition by the university.

  • If the workload is 15-20 hours a week, tuition remission is for a maximum of 9 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the workload is 10-14 hours a week, tuition remission is for up to 5 graduate credits per semester.
  • If the assistantship is for less than 10 hours a week, it does not have to include a tuition award, although it can if the grant/funding agency has tuition money available.

Graduate Student Health Insurance Deadlines:

Fall Semester

  • August 15 for all students with fall assistantships, and fellowships or with annual coverage. GA’s must be enrolled for fall coursework by this deadline.
  • End of the first week in September (drop/add deadline) for late hires.

Spring Semester

  • December 15 for all students with spring or spring/summer assistantships and fellowships. GA’s must be enrolled for spring coursework by this deadline.
  • End of third week in January (drop/add deadline) for late hires.

Summer Semester

  • May 15 for all students with summer assistantships and fellowships.  BOR policy does NOT require enrollment in coursework for any student workers unless the student needs summer coursework or is graduating (6 credits required). 
  • End of 3rd week in May (drop/add deadline) for late hires.

Graduate Health Insurance Detail Codes

College/Organization Detail Code Detail Code Description
CAS Service/Other AH04 CAS SA GSHI
CoEng Teaching AH10 CoENG TA GSHI
CoEng Research AH11 CoENG RA GSHI
CoEng Service/Other AH12 CoENG SA GSHI
CBPP Service/Other AH15 CBPP SA GSHI
COH Service/Other AH19 COH SA GSHI
COE Service/Other AH23 COE SA GSHI
Graduate School Service AH27 GS SA GSHI
Graduate School Fellowship AH28 GS FELLOW GSHI
Athletics Teaching AH29 ATHLETICS GA GSHI
Office of Student Affairs AH34 Student Affairs SA GSHI
Business Enterprise Inst. AH35 BEI Research Admin GSHI
Arctic Domain Awareness Center AH37 ADAC Research GSHI
Alaska Center for Conservation Science  AH38 ACCS Research GSHI

GA Evaluation Templates for Teaching Assistants: