All full-time, on-campus 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, you will need to fill out the assistantship application. Don't know if you need to fill out the application? Email Monica Rose, financial assistance coordinator in the Graduate School, at RoseMD@appstate.edu.
Want to learn more? Browse this page or jump right to the answer for a question by clicking on that question:
- What kinds of assistantships are there?
- Am I eligible to hold an assistantship?
- What is the compensation for an assistant?
- When do I get paid?
- How does the contract and training process work?
- What assistantships are available?
You can be classified in several ways depending on your duties. We keep these separate in order to report to the UNC System, which wants to know how assistantship funds are spent.
- Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). GTAs interact with students are part of their jobs. You might grade, tutor, assist in a classroom or teach a course. To be a GTA that teaches a course, you need to have completed 18 hours of graduate coursework in the discipline.
- Research Assistant (RA). RAs work with a faculty or staff member on academic or administrative research projects. In some cases, RAs might work with more than one faculty member on more than one project.
- Graduate Assistant (GA). GAs perform a variety of tasks, depending on their previous work experience and their specific GA assignments, usually in an administrative capacity.
- Graduate Research Associate (GRA). GRAs work closely with a faculty member on the faculty's research project. These awards a highly competitive, and are designed to support a graduate student for two years (four semesters) with a salary and a research expense fund. (PDF with more information.)
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. Non-degree and licensure 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 after that.
- 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. Courses must be graduate level courses or required prerequisite courses listed on the program of study. The only exception to the full-time rule is for students in the semester of graduation, in which case you can be enrolled in 6 hours instead of 9 to 12.
- performing academically to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
Assistantships are considered paid employment; you will be expected to work a certain number of 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). Your contract will be paid bi-monthly, and your check will be sent to your ASU Box or in some cases your home department. You can elect to receive direct deposit as well, and we highly recommend that. Your contract will be paid bi-monthly, and your check will be sent to your ASU Box. Salaries vary, but the minimum for a full assistantship during a semester is $4000; some programs pay more.
Important note: You still have to pay tuition and fees; these are not included in your assistantship compensation. Health benefits are not included in your assistantship compensation either, but all full-time students pay a health services fee that covers use of the on-campus clinic.
When hired for the entire term, you will be paid according to the schedule below if you sign your contract by the deadline. If you sign late, or you are not hired for the entire term, your pay schedule will vary. Please contact Monica Rose (RoseMD@appstate.edu) for more information.
- Fall: end of September; middle and end of October and November; middle of December
- Spring: middle and end of February, March, April
- Summer Session I: end of June
- Summer Session II: end of July
The first step is for the department hiring you to send the Graduate School the assistantship appointment form. We will check that you are eligible to hold an assistantship, and then we will email you (at your Appalachian email account (@appstate.edu) - check it often!) about how to set up an appointment to complete your paperwork and sign your contract.
Assistantships constitute employment at Appalachian. To become an employee you must complete the usual employment paperwork: W4 (Federal Tax withholding), NC4 (NC tax withholding), I9 (Federal proof of eligibility to work), etc.
This paperwork is filled out once on your very first employment at Appalachian. If you are a first-time graduate assistant, you should come to your contract signing appointment prepared to fill out these forms and show us proper identification. Usually, students bring:
- Passport (in which case you need nothing else) ***OR***
- Driver's License or other photo ID **AND** social security card or birth certificate (the first is a valid ID with a photo to verify you are you, and the second is to show that you have the right to work in the US).
If you cannot produce the proper ID, we cannot process your paperwork, and you will not be eligible to be paid.
The other requirement for employment for any graduate assistant is the Legal Issues Training, which must be completed 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 on-line, and there is a quiz for you to take at the end, which lets us know you completed the training.
Assistantships within your home departments
Departments with graduate programs have graduate assistantships available for a number of their full time students. You should contact your program director to inquire about availability. These assistantships are usually teaching related (GTA) or research related (RA), but sometimes a departmental graduate assistant will perform an administrative function (GA).
Assistantships in Student Development
The Division of Student Development funds many graduate assistantships, placing administrative (GA) assistants in the Career Development Center, the Center for Student Development and Leadership, Counseling and Psychological Services, Housing and Residence Life, Multicultural Student Development, Student Programs, Peer Career, and University Recreation. These assistantships require a separate application form (in addition to the application for admission to Graduate School). For more information regarding these assistantships go to www.assistantships.appstate.edu.
In addition to those offered by the academic departments and Student Development, assistantships are available throughout the University. See our Job Posting Page for recently advertised positions.
Other Employment Opportunities for Graduate Students
Some offices on campus offer other employment opportunities for graduate students. The Learning Assistance Program (LAP) has "Mentor Employment" for graduate students. For detailed information and the application please visit the LAP web page for Mentor Employment Opportunities.