Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship is an opportunity to work on campus in a research or service-oriented capacity in order to gain valuable work experience in higher education or an academic field and earn a tuition waiver and stipend.

If you have any questions, please email

Prospective GAs

Who is eligible for a graduate assistantship?

Graduate students matriculated in degree-seeking programs are eligible. They must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in their graduate programs

How do I apply for a graduate assistantship?

1. Answer “Yes” to the question on the graduate admission application about being interested in a graduate assistantship. This will place your name on a list of students from which academic departments will hire their graduate assistants. Due to the nature of the work, most academic departments hire students from their programs to be graduate assistants. Please note that academic departments may require the completion of additional steps to apply. Please contact the graduate coordinator of your program for more information.

2. Check the Career Development Center's website for available graduate assistantships on campus. Positions posted in this location are typically for service-oriented offices on campus. Positions are generally posted beginning in April for the following fall semester and in November for the following spring semester. Positions are posted as they become available, so it is a good idea to check the CDC's website regularly for updates.

Where can I find graduate assistantships that are currently available?

Available graduate assistantship positions are now being posted on the Twardowski Career Development Center’s website
1. Current students (those with WCU login credentials) must apply for GA positions through Handshake. You must login to view available positions and submit applications through Handshake.

2. Newly admitted students, (those without WCU login credentials) can view available GA positions here. You must email your application materials to the contact person listed for the position.

When are graduate assistants hired?

Most graduate assistants are hired in the fall semester for the academic year (fall and spring semesters). There are typically some positions available in the spring semester, but there are far fewer than for fall. The hiring cycle for fall semesters will commence during the previous spring semester and into the summer until all positions are filled.

How many hours are graduate assistants required to work, and how are they compensated?

Tuition Credits Waived (per semester) Hours Required (per week) Stipend Amount (per semester)
3 5 625
6 10 1250
9 15 1875
12 20 2500

Newly Hired GAs

As a an international student, are there additional hiring steps I need to complete?

Yes. International students must contact the Center for International Programs for instructions before beginning the hiring process.

I have been selected to be a graduate assistant. What do I need to do?

There are several steps to complete the hiring process

  1. After you have been selected, you will be sent a contract by the graduate assistant coordinator. You must read the entire contract thoroughly, initial the first page, sign the second page, and return the contract to by the due date noted in the contract.
  2. Go to the Payroll Office on campus located at 201 Carter Drive (off of Matlack Street) with your government-issued photo identification and Social Security card to fill out the new-hire paperwork.IMPORTANT: Graduate assistants cannot begin working until this step has been completed.
  3. Complete the required employment clearances. You will be contacted by the Office of Human Resources to complete the required employment clearances. These clearances require several steps, including fingerprinting, and ALL steps must be completed within 90 days. Failure to complete the clearances within 90 days will result in the revocation of your graduate assistantship.

Is there a maximum number of hours a graduate assistant can work on campus per week?

 Yes. Graduate assistants can work up to 20 hours per week when combining all forms of student employment.

Do I have to pay student fees as a graduate assistant?

 Yes. The tuition waiver does NOT cover student fees. Graduate assistants must pay all student fees. Payment must be made by the due date listed on your WCU bill. The tuition waiver will not be applied to your balance until payment has been made. Nonpayment could result in your classes being cancelled.

Current GAs

Are graduate assistants required to submit timesheets to get paid?

No, graduate assistants are not required to submit timesheets either to the Office of Human Resources or to the Graduate School. However, it is strongly recommended that graduate assistants maintain a written, signed log of all hours worked with their supervisors in case any discrepancies arise.

When do graduate assistants get paid?

Graduate assistants are paid their stipends divided into eight (8) installments in accordance with the WCU’s pay schedule.

Spring 2020 Pay Dates

·         February 14 - for pay period ending January 31

·         February 28 - for pay period ending February 14

·         March 13 - for pay period ending February 28

·         March 27 - For pay period ending March 13

·         April 10 - for pay period ending March 27

·         April 24 - for pay period ending April 10

·         May 8 - for pay period ending April 24

·         May 22 - For pay period ending May 8

Are graduate assistants required to work when the University is closed?

Graduate Assistants are NOT REQUIRED to work during University authorized breaks/days off (i.e. fall/spring break) unless the job description provided by the hiring department specifically indicates this as a stipulation. .

Do graduate assistants have to make up hours when the University closes due to inclement weather?

 Graduate Assistants are also NOT REQUIRED to make up work hours when the University closes due to inclement weather.

Are graduate assistants required to work during the week of final exams?

Yes, graduate assistants are required to work during the week of final exams, unless an alternate agreement is reached with the immediate supervisor.

I am unable to work all of my assigned hours in a week. What do I do?

Graduate assistants are employees of the university and are required to work all scheduled hours. Graduate assistants must notify their supervisors of any absences in advance and must make up any missed hours. Not reporting to your shift without notice is unacceptable and will be subject to review by the Office of Human Resources.

  Can I withdraw from classes while I am a graduate assistant?

Graduate assistants must be actively enrolled in the number of credits covered by their graduate assistantship contract. For example, students with 6 credit graduate assistantships must remain actively enrolled in 6 credits for the full term of the contract.

If you need to withdraw from a class that would take you below the credits required by your contract, please contact from your WCU e-mail account before submitting a course withdrawal form. If you need to withdraw from the University, please contact before submitting a term withdrawal form. Please note that withdrawing could result in a financial penalty up to and including the full tuition cost of the tuition waiver.

How do I obtain an employment verification?

Employment verifications are mainly completed by The Work Number (800) 660-3399, employer code 15972. Another option is to fax a request along with a signed release from the employee to the Payroll Office at (610) 436-3464.


To hire a graduate assistant, please submit the Request to Hire form through SharePoint.

Back to top of page.