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Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are excellent opportunities for graduate students to engage with faculty and departments in rewarding interactions to help solve real world problems and/or further teaching, research, and creative activities.

Available Positions

Students can view available positions through the Graduate Assistantship Board.

GA Job Board

Eligibility, Requirements & Expectations

Graduate assistantships (GA) are available only to graduate students who have been formally accepted into a graduate degree or certificate program at SUNY Oswego as full-time students (9 credit hours each semester). 

A GA10 can expect to dedicate 10 hours per week to the assistantship, and a GA20 is typically about 20 hours per week. No timesheets are required. We encourage students and hiring agents to have conversations up front about the weekly commitment and expectations over academic breaks. The 10 or 20 hours are guidelines and may be “project-based” work.  The Graduate Assistantship is a mentored experience for the student and should not be thought of as an hourly job. A student may hold one GA20- or two GA10’s.  * Note: International students should always work with International Education to make sure they are in full compliance with their specific VISA requirement as it relates to their eligibility to work. 

A GA must be registered full time to be eligible for a Graduate Assistantships-that is 9 credits for graduate students. Exceptions may be made for those that are completing their last semester of coursework.

A GA must be compensated with both a stipend and tuition. Tuition scholarships can not be more than the student's bill for any given semester (not including fees).

Types of Graduate Assistantships

All Graduate Assistantships are either a  GA10 (typically about 10 hours per week) or a GA20  (typically about 20 hours per week). The 10 or 20 hours are guidelines and may be “project-based” work.  The Graduate Assistantship is a mentored experience for the student and should not be thought of as an hourly job. A student may hold one GA20- or two GA10’s. 

* Note: International students should always work with International Education to make sure they are in full compliance with their specific VISA requirement as it relates to their eligibility to work. 

Graduate Assistants’ activities are quite varied, therefore assistantships will be categorized into the four types described below.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

The duties of a Graduate Teaching Assistant are to conduct or support instruction. Assistants whose primary (i.e. greater than 50%) duties consist of the following types of activities:

  • Teaching classes
  • Providing artistic instruction
  • Grading student assignments
  • Proctoring exams
  • Leading lab or discussion groups in a course setting
  • Leading lab or discussion groups in a course
  • Developing academic instructional materials
  • Tutoring students
  • Accompanying/coaching musical or vocal performances
  • Maintaining office hours to provide instructional support
Graduate Research Assistant

The duties of a Graduate Research Assistant are to apply and master research concepts, practices, or methods of scholarship. Assistants whose primary (i.e. greater than 50%) duties consist of the following types of activities:

  • Conducting experiments
  • Presenting findings in a publication
  • Organizing or analyzing data
  • Collaborating with faculty in preparing publications
  • Overseeing work of other resident assistants
  • Other research activities
Graduate Assistant for Academic Support

The duties of a Graduate Assistant for Academic Support are to fulfill administrative functions. Assistants whose primary (i.e., greater than 50%) duties may consist of the following types of activities:

  • Advising, outreach and/or technical services
  • General office work/clerical/receptionist
  • Website management/assisting faculty with web pages
  • Network administration/end user support
  • Assisting with event management
  • Monitoring instructional and service labs (computer, video, etc.)
  • Social Media, Marketing and or non-research publications
  • Providing curricular and academic advice to students
Graduate Assistant - Pre-professional

Graduate Assistants — Pre-professional are appointed to positions in which their duties are directly related to their fields of study and in which they gain experience, practice, or guidance directly related to their career preparation.

  • Example: A Mental Health Counseling (area of study) student may be appointed by the Counseling Center (hiring unit).



Health Benefits

Graduate students receiving a stipend are also members of the GSEU which includes health benefits.

SummaryHealth Plan

Rights and Privileges

A GA is entitled to receive one employee parking sticker (permits parking in employee lots) and does not pay a registration fee. (Must identify as a graduate assistant when registering.)

College Store

A GA is entitled to a 10% discount off new textbooks purchased through the College Store. (Must identify as a graduate assistant to receive discount.)

Holiday Leave (Stipendiary GAs)

If there are no classes on a state holiday, then holidays are treated as holidays with pay and the GA is not required to make up the hours. If a GA is required to work on such holidays, the GA is entitled to compensatory time off.

Sick Leave (Stipendiary GAs)

Graduate assistants are eligible for sick leave. Students on assistantships will receive 5 days of sick leave per agreement year commencing with their second semester of employment. Such leave is not, however, "accrued" as with other employees; but is instead available in a "block" and the unused portion is not carried from agreement year to agreement year. This leave is for any occasion that the employee cannot fulfill obligation due to a temporary disability or death or illness in the immediate family. The employer is, of course, able to require medical verification of an illness.

Professional Development Awards

Graduate Assistants: Professional Development Awards (GSEU)

SUNY Oswego graduate assistants can receive funds once a semester for up to $1000 in reimbursements for professional development activities (when funds are available*). Professional development activities may include: 

  • Research
  • Curriculum development conference, workshop, or seminar attendance
  • Conference participation
  • grant proposal development
  • preparation of material for publication
  • artistic or creative endeavor
  • other job related professional development projects or activities

For instance, if you are attending a conference and pay for the flight and the conference fee, you can submit those receipts in your professional development application for reimbursement.


Forms for Current Graduate Assistants

Current Graduate Assistant Forms

The following forms and documents are relevant for current Graduate Assistants at Oswego.

How do I hire, re-hire, or change an existing Graduate Assistantship?

Hiring agents interested in supporting graduate students with a graduate assistantship are encouraged to think through the mentored experience, identify learning outcomes and include a compensation model that includes both a tuition scholarship and a stipend.



Every year hiring agents must complete a  GA Request form  for each new Graduate Assistant they would like to employ.

Hiring agents do not need to complete a Request Form if they are rehiring the same student from the previous semester. 

Some things to consider when completing a GA Request Form: 

  •     Please make sure to complete all of the questions, including Job description and Responsibilities. This important information should be provided to students in advance. Additionally, Graduate Studies will use this information to post your position on the Graduate Assistant Job Board, for promotional purposes.
  •     List any Learning Outcomes related to the GAs Academic Program:   A learning outcome is what you believe the student will learn through this mentored experience. Examples of learning outcomes may include, communication skills; teamwork; problem solving; leadership; interpersonal skills; adaptability; work ethic; time management and attention to detail. There is always something a GA will learn when working in any given department.  
  •     Summer Graduate Assistants should be requested on a separate GA Request form. Remember, Summer GAs should be taking 9 credits to be eligible.


If the position will be funded by the Division of Graduate Studies, there are preset amounts (GA 10:  $1359 tuition & $600 stipend per semester; GA 20:  $2718 tuition & $1200 stipend per semester). 

If the position is not funded by Graduate Studies, hiring agents can determine the amount for each category but must include funds for both a tuition scholarship AND stipend payment.



Once a hiring agent has selected the graduate student they would like to hire they complete an Appointment form through Interview Exchange.

 If you need access to Interview Exchange, you can get it by reaching out to the Human Resources Office.

Within Interview Exchange, Start a new form.

Select the office, Personnel Records, Graduate Assistant Appointment from the drop downs.

The student's name goes in the Title/Name section. Please put first name then last name.


Once you start this form, please be sure to:

  •     Put in the Banner ID (that is a student's 800 student ID number).
  •     Stipend: This is the amount they will get for the entire time they are employed. They will receive this in paycheck payments every two weeks. The tuition is listed on this form and you will need to include the tuition account number. 
  •     Effective begin date and end dates: you can list dates for Fall or Spring, or Fall through Spring but not through Summer.  If you want to hire a GA for the Summer semester, you should do that on a separate appointment form.  
  •     Previous individual in this position, if any: Please put in the person that served in this position the last time you filled it, if you did. 
  •     Account information: If you are paying 100% of the stipend out of one account, you will list it as 100%. Same for tuition. Be sure to put the account number to be charged. 
  •     You have to put in task routing. This is a great tool, because once you send this appointment form on for approval, you can continue to track it.

Step 3: Graduate Student Responsibilities

An electronic FERPA Acknowledgement form must be completed by all GA's.  Ferpa form 

Please ask your Graduate Assistant to complete this form as soon as they agree to take the position. 



What if the student no longer wants the GA opportunity after the hiring agent filled out the appointment form?

If a student has declined a GA any time after the appointment form was submitted, including after they have started working  the hiring agent will need to complete this form.

Appointment Status Updater

This information will go to the offices that need to be informed. This will also stop the stipend payments.

You will need to include:

  1. the student's name and ID #
  2. a statement that this student will no longer be employed as a graduate assistant for (your dept name) 
  3. the effective date.






Graduate Assistantship Handbook

The Graduate Assistantship Handbook outlines your responsibilities as a GA as well as the responsibilities of your supervisor. It includes information about appointment, GPA and course-load requirements, workload, performance concerns, and resignation.