A graduate assistantship provides financial support for a graduate student for a set period of time during which the student is expected to pursue activities towards the advanced degree.
Academic departments make over 1,700 assistantship appointments per academic year.
Most assistantships include tuition remission during the semester of appointment and some include tuition remission for the summer.
Assistantships are competitively awarded and typically require 13 to 20 hours of service per week. Graduate assistants are required to register during the fall and spring semesters if employed during that time, but not in the summer.
Eligibility is limited to students who are enrolling in graduate degree-granting programs; non-degree students are not eligible.
For an international student, eligibility for a teaching assistantship also requires successful completion of the Institute for International Teaching Assistants, a concentrated 90-hour program held the last week in July and the first week in August. (Exemptions may be granted based on prior English-language experience. See ITA page for details.)
How to be considered
Contact the graduate chair of your department.
To hold a graduate assistantship a student must be admitted for a specific graduate degree objective and enrolled for credit during the fall and spring semesters. Non-degree students are not eligible.
Graduate assistants are not required to register for courses during the summer term. Graduate assistants employed in summer without summer enrollment are subject to FICA and Medicare taxes; fees for recreation center usage; limited access to libraries and health center fees.
International graduate students who wish to be employed as teaching assistants at Nebraska must attend the International Teaching Assistant Institute. The summer institute, a concentrated 90-hour program, is held the last week of July and the first week in August.
Tuition remission of up to 12 hours per semester is provided as a benefit of eligible assistantship employment.
Students holding eligible assistantships are provided basic individual student health insurance coverage at reduced cost to the student. The student health insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses to a maximum of $250,000 per policy year.
If a student resigns or the assistantship is terminated during the semester before 4 full months of service have been completed, all tuition benefits will be lost. The student is then responsible for paying the total tuition cost and health insurance premium.
To be eligible for benefits, an assistantship needs to meet all of the following criteria:
- The appointment is continuous for 4 full months within the semester.
- The stipend meets the minimum requirement set by the Office of Graduate Studies.
- The assistantship or combination of assistantships in one or more departments totals at least 13.33 hours and no more than 20 hours per week.
Forms and Documents
- Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships, 2019-20 (updated 2019-02-12)
- Guidelines for Graduate Assistantships, 2018-19 (updated 2018-01-23)
- Award Offer Letters: Procedures & Template Letters for assistantships and fellowships
- GA Performance Evaluation Rubric Templates: GTA Eval, GRA Eval