Graduate Assistantships

All full-time, on-campus degree-seeking students are eligible for assistantships within their home departments and in other offices on campus.

If you did not indicate that you were interested in an assistantship when you applied or did not indicate that you were interested in assistantships outside of your home department, you will need to send an email to requesting that your application be updated accordingly to reflect your interests.

Faculty/staff - Interested in posting a new assistantship? Complete this form to have it added to the list of available assistantships.


In order to be considered for a graduate assistantship, you must be...

  • Enrolled in a graduate degree program on campus in Boone. If you are not a degree-seeking student, you are not eligible. Students enrolled in certificate programs who are not also enrolled in a degree program are not eligible. Online, non-degree, and licensure-only students are not eligible.
  • Admitted without provision. If you were admitted provisionally, you are not eligible for graduate assistantships during your first semester, but you may hold one in subsequent semesters if you are in good academic standing.
  • A full-time graduate student, enrolled for 9 to 12 semester hours during the fall/spring semester or enrolled for 2 to 6 semester hours during the summer term. Summer assistantships require that the student be enrolled for a minimum of 2 semester hours, which must either be concurrent enrollment in the same summer term as their assistantship, or coursework completed in the prior summer term (i.e., enrolled in first summer session and assistantship in second summer session).
    • Students hired in the summer as a GTF (instructor of record) are exempt from the 2 hour minimum enrollment requirement. This exemption does NOT apply to GTAs.
    • Courses must be graduate level courses or required prerequisite courses listed on the program of study.
    • The only exception to the full-time rule for assistantships is for students in the semester of graduation, in which case you can be enrolled in 6 hours instead of 9 to 12, provided you have applied to graduate.
      • Note: this exception ONLY applies to graduate assistantships. Financial aid, scholarships, and student health insurance all define full-time enrollment as 9+ hours.
  • Performing academically to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Types of Assistantships

You can be classified in several ways depending on your duties. Positions are kept separate in order to report to the UNC System how assistantship funds are spent. Note that each type of assistantship has its own Appointment Form and different timesheet requirements. NOTE: Appointment Forms are to be initiated by University personnel, NOT by the student.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTFA/GTA) - These positions interact with students as part of their jobs. You might grade, tutor, assist in a classroom or teach a course.
    • A Graduate Teaching Faculty Associate serves as Instructor of Record and may be granted faculty access to course files.To be a GTFA that teaches a course, you need to have completed 18 hours of graduate coursework in the discipline.
    • A Graduate Teaching Assistant serves as classroom support to faculty and do not require faculty access to course files.
  • Graduate Research Assistant (GRA/GORA) - A GRA works with a faculty or staff member on academic or administrative research projects. In some cases, a GRA might work with more than one faculty member on more than one project. A GORA position is research based but funded via a GRANT and must be routed through Special Funds Accounting for approval.
  • Graduate Research Assistant Mentee (GRAM) - A GRAM works closely with a faculty member on the faculty's research project. These awards are highly competitive and are designed to support a graduate student for two years (four semesters). See GRAM page for more information. NOTE: Award is for two years, but a GRAM Appointment form must be submitted for each term.
  • Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA) - A GAA performs a variety of tasks, depending on their previous work experience and their specific assignment(s), usually in an administrative capacity.

Accepting an Offer

  1. When you are offered a position you will need to work with the department hiring you to complete the assistantship appointment form. The OFFICE initiates the form detailing the duties, supervisor, funding source, etc. You must be enrolled for the required numbers of hours for the department to be able to submit an appointment form request.
  2. You will receive an email with the electronic document for you to read, initial, and sign your acceptance. Once you accept all terms, your form will then be routed for all other approvals. Once complete, the Graduate School will review for processing.
  3. (*if necessary) Assistantships constitute employment at Appalachian State University. Employment paperwork is filled out once on your very first employment as a graduate assistant at App State. Students who have not held employment at App State within the last 365 days must complete tax forms (NC-4 or NC-4EZ and W4), I-9 form, and the E-Verify printout prior to working ANY hours. These forms must be completed in the Office of Human Resource. New hires will be contacted directly by Human Resources via email to complete the hiring process. This paperwork includes:
    • I-9 (proof that you are eligible to work in the US) with official, original IDs
      • For US citizens, the official, original IDs traditionally supplied are a passport OR both a driver's license and social security card.
      • Permanent residents must supply their Permanent Residency card (green card) and social security card for their official, original IDs.
      • International students (non-resident aliens) must supply their passport and all visa documents for their official, original IDs. In addition, international students will need to present their social security card to the Office of Human Resources once obtained. The Office of International Education and Development (OIED) will assist international students with applying for and obtaining a social security card.
    • Tax forms for North Carolina (NC4) and the Federal government (W4). You might want to get some advice on the number of exemptions you should claim on these forms before you come over. If you are claimed on someone else's taxes, you would enter 0. If you are not, you can claim yourself (1) or more if you have dependents.
    • Appointment form addendum for new assistantships (FERPA, Social Security, Selective Service)
    • Statement of Confidentiality form (this form is also a part of your Electronic Appointment Form)
  4. Once all employment paperwork and appointment forms have been received and completed your current student record is reviewed. Provided all eligibility requirements are met, our office will then submit your position to payroll.

Compensation and Hours

Assistantships are considered paid employment; you will be expected to work up to 300 hours over the course of the semester or term depending on whether your assistantship is full (20 hours per week times the number of weeks) or half (10 hours). Graduate Assistants are limited to a maximum of 20 hours of university employment.

As a graduate assistant, you will be paid bi-monthly. Your check can be mailed to you; however, we strongly encourage you to elect to receive direct deposit. Salaries vary, but the minimum hourly rate for an hourly-paid assistantship (GAA, GRA, GORA, and GRAM) during the academic year is $15.83 per hour. Some programs pay more, and the hourly rate for summer assistantships may vary.

  • Teaching positions do not submit online electronic timesheets; however, a hard copy should be kept on file in the department for auditing purposes. Teaching positions are paid in "equal installment amounts" based on total salary amount and appointment time period.
  • All Research or Administrative positions MUST submit an online electronic timesheet to a supervisor for approval every two weeks. GRA, GRAM, GORA, and GAA positions are paid based upon timesheet entry for hours actually worked. Failure to submit electronic timesheets will result in paycheck delays. The hiring department is responsible for instructing you on when and how to submit your timesheet.The department must keep a timesheet copy on file for auditing purposes.

Important note: You still have to pay tuition and fees; these are not included in your assistantship compensation. Health insurance is also not included in your assistantship compensation, but all full-time students pay a health services fee that covers use of the on-campus clinic.


All graduate assistants must complete the Legal Issues Training once each year in order to continue payment beyond your first pay check. This training is not onerous; most students have told us it takes them 30 to 60 minutes total. The training is online, and there is a quiz for you to take at the end, which lets us know you completed the training. If you have questions about the training, please contact Monica Rose at