Graduate Assistant Supervisor FAQs

The minimum salary for a graduate assistant is determined by the CGE Agreement.

“The minimum full-time equivalent salary is $4040 effective September 1, 2020.”

(Include chart from Article 11-Salary in CGE)


The minimum FTE for a graduate assistant is determined by the CGE Agreement.

“Effective September 1, 2023, Graduate Employees will be appointed to a minimum FTE of 0.40.”

The minimum FTE for a graduate student is .40 FTE as of September 1, 2023.


Graduate assistants are capped at a maximum FTE of .49 in their assistantship position. The combined maximum of graduate assistants across all positions is 24 hours. See Maximum Student Hours Pilot.

Reappointments must have a salary increase of at least 4.0% upon reappointment within the same employing unit, per the CGE agreement as of September 2023.


It is the expectation that a graduate assistant will be appointed for the full academic year or fiscal year, depending on appointment basis. However, there are situations where that may not be possible. For example, a research grant only has enough funding left to provide a stipend and tuition remission for Fall Term. In exceptional situations where a shortened appointment supports the business need and is appropriate, the reason for the shortened appointment will be noted on the graduate employee’s appointment letter.

No, Graduate Assistant appointments must adhere to the following term dates:

Fall: September 16th to December 15th

Winter: December 16th to March 15th

Spring: March 16th to June 15th

Summer: June 16th to September 15th

In order to accommodate the appointment changes without financial hardship or undue burden to the graduate student, it requires that all graduate assistantships follow the same appointment calendars (i.e, the academic calendar dates). In conjunction with the Coalition of Graduate Employees, OSU has agreed that appointment dates for graduate assistants will follow the academic term dates.

If a unit wants to employ the graduate assistant prior to the first day of the academic term, the student would be hired into an hourly graduate project assistant position.

There are several reasons why this would not be appropriate or recommended:

  • Starting an assistantship early could mean that the student is now eligible for health insurance and other benefits they would not normally be eligible for in the month of September.
  • Offering added benefits to some graduate assistants and not all graduate assistants creates inequities.
  • Providing an additional month of health insurance puts added, and possibly unexpected, financial burden on the unit or grant paying the costs of the assistantship.
  • Non-traditional dates may require “special handling” and manual tracking by several different university units and offices. This increases the risk of errors, which could have unintended financial and other impacts to the students and units involved.
  • Dates of assistantships follow the calendar dates set for academic term appointments. If an assistantship for Fall Term begins during Summer Session appointment dates, it would technically be a Summer Term appointment and all the rules applying to graduate assistantships would then be applied to the Summer Term portion of the appointment.

For example: If a unit offered an assistantship that started September 1 and ended June 15, the portion of the assistantship between September 1 and September 15 would be considered Summer Term. To qualify for a Summer Term appointment, the student would have to be accepted into a graduate degree program, registered for 3- credits, and meet the minimum work requirement of 208 hours in a term, as of September 2023.

There may be unique exceptions considered for starting an assistantship early. Exceptions will be reviewed and may be granted on a case-by-case basis. To request an exception, please send an email to [email protected].

To pay for additional work beyond the end of the assistantship, the graduate student could be appointed to an hourly graduate project assistant position from June 16 – June 30.

If the student is graduating Spring Term but the work will continue beyond June 30, contact the HR team in your service center to discuss other employment options.

The graduate student should be appointed as a Graduate Research Assistant on the grant. Work with your BC Payroll to process the cost of benefits (tuition, fees and health insurance) to the departmental cost share index.

Graduate assistants can work in hourly student positions or more than one graduate assistant appointment so long as they do not exceed the 24 hours student maximum combined across all positions. 

Departments can share a graduate assistant that is appointed to one position. It must be made clear in writing to the student what the expectations are regarding duties, hours, and the assigned supervisor will responsible for ensuring the student does not exceed their assigned FTE.

Yes. Funding can be split from multiple indexes in various ways. (i.e. One index can provide funding for the work itself and another can provide funding of tuition remission. Multiple indexes can be split at varying percentages totaling 100% together). If using Indexes that don’t support tuition remission, please consult with your BC Payroll first regarding index cost share options.

Graduate assistant appointments are submitted in Benny Hire under the Liaison Dashboard tab. Most departments have an assigned liaison that can enter appointments. If your department does not, reach out to [email protected] .

To make a change to an appointment, first find the appointment in the “Active Appointments” section at the bottom of the Liaison tab. You can search for the appointment using the students name or ID. After finding the appointment, click on the “Request Change” button on the far right. A pop-up box will appear with the appointment information. A Change Type and Change Effective date must be selected before edits to the appointment can be made. After editing the appointment, you MUST enter a note in the notes section detailing what change was made. The “Submit Changes for Review” button will be greyed out and disabled until a note is added.

The rate at which an appointment is processed can vary, depending on how quickly BC Payroll can perform their initial Financial Review, how long it takes for the offer letter to be signed, and also how long the student takes to complete their new hire paperwork if they are a first-time student employee. If you have any questions as to where a student is at in the process, please reach out to [email protected] 

Please keep in mind that processing time can be greatly extended during time of high volume. (i.e. Start of Fall term.)

Per the CBA Agreement, graduate assistants must receive their offer letter at least 30 days before the start date of their appointment during the academic year, and 45 days before the start of a summer term appointment.

It is recommended that graduate appointments are entered at least 1-2 weeks prior to the above deadlines to ensure offer letters are sent out in a timely manner. 

If the appointment can be entered sooner, please do so. Appointments cannot be entered for dates further than 3 terms past the current term. (Fiscal-year appointments are the exception to this.) If you do need to submit a future dated appointment that Benny Hire won’t allow, please contact the HR Grad Assistant team for assistance.

The hourly student position (Graduate Project Assistant) is best utilized for work that is less than the full scope of a student’s graduate assistantship, short-term, when the student does not have any summer enrollment, or as a last means of employment if the department is unable to provide funding for a graduate assistantship. Per the CGE agreement, Section 5 – Hourly Work.

“Employing units must use Graduate Employee appointments rather than hourly positions where appropriate and supported by budget. Recognizing that there are a variety of scenarios where faculty members or units have the resources and interest in appropriately providing support to graduate students that is less than that of a Graduate Employee appointment, the University and the Union agree that hourly positions can be used in circumstances that include (but are not limited to):

  • Work which is of limited duration (grading, tutoring, field assistance, etc.) or the work is unrelated to instructional or research duties normally performed by Graduate Employees (whether in the department of a Graduate Employee or in another department).
  • A position which is to supplement an appointment supported by a funding source other than Education and General funds that does not provide a stipend equal to that of a Graduate Employee’s stipend in the unit.
  • Summer session employment of graduate students. Hourly positions will not be used to substitute for Graduate Employee appointments when the work and the resources are sufficient for such an appointment.”

FAQs regarding Hourly Graduate Project Assistants can be reviewed on the page Employing Graduate Students Over Summer Session .

Please review the resource: Employing Graduate Students Over Summer Session

If you have a question that is not listed here, please review the CGE Agreement. Further inquiries can be directed to [email protected]