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Requirements for Assistantship Letters

At a minimum, graduate student assistantship letters must include the following:

  • type of appointment (GRA, GTA, etc.) if known at time letter is prepared
  • month and year that appointment will start, length of appointment, and whether it is 9 or 12 months
  • hours of work expected each week and name of supervisor (if known)
  • amount of annual salary, amount paid monthly, and whether or not this will vary from year to year if known
  • number of credit hours the student is expected to take per semester: at least 6 credit hours for 50% assistantship, at least 9 for 25% assistantship
  • work assignment which should be as specific as possible
  • statement from sample offer letter referencing April 15 deadline (only applies to assistantships that begin in the fall semester)
  • statement that assistantship comes with a tuition and maintenance fee waiver and health insurance
  • statement that student is responsible for fees not covered by appointment
  • statement that the student must adhere to Student Code of Conduct in Hilltopics (you may also reference department graduate handbook)
  • statement that assistantship may be terminated for violations of the code of conduct or for poor job performance
  • statement that student must make adequate progress toward degree
  • statement from sample offer letter referencing responsibility for tuition costs
  • if applicable, statement that offer is contingent on continued funding (e.g., funding is from an external source and is not guaranteed beyond a certain point)
  • for students who are GTAs or GTAssoc, statement that the OPIc test is required for students whose native language is not English
  • signature from student (or separate contract as some departments require) accepting conditions

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Department heads will be required to verify Graduate Teaching Associates meet SACSCOC requirements for teaching.
  • A new letter should be prepared whenever there is a change to FTE or salary for the student.