Assistantship structure and definition
All graduate assistantships have a service obligation for which the student receives a stipend. Stipends vary according to program and degree level (doctoral and master’s). Graduate assistantships are for the 15-week semester or the academic year and are either a full-time appointment, which requires 20 hours per week service obligation, OR a half-time appointment, which requires 10 hours per week service obligation.
An accompanying tuition reduction, which has no service obligation, is awarded to the student for graduate coursework.
Assistantship tuition reduction
Tuition reductions are equal to the full amount of tuition (excluding any special charges) for each semester during the term of the appointment, up to the maximum number of credits per semester identified in the signed agreement. All graduate students holding an assistantship or fellowship awarded through Oakland University are charged in-state rates during the awarded enrollment period.
- A tuition reduction is provided for graduate courses or research that contributes directly to the satisfaction of degree requirements.
- In circumstances where undergraduate courses are substituted on an approved Plan of Study, no more than 12 credits will be allowed per graduate policy.
- Each semester a tuition reduction will be credited to the student’s account according to the percentage of the assistantship: 8 credit tuition reduction = full-time offer 4 credit tuition reduction = half-time offer
- Any tuition reduction benefits (credits), which are not used during the term in which the student holds the appointment are lost.
- Assistantship agreements are subject to cancellation if the student does not meet the minimum enrollment requirement.
Graduate Assistants (GA) at Oakland University are under the direct supervision of the department, program, or unit that offers the appointment. The department determines the GA assignment, supervises his or her work, and recommends him or her for reappointment and promotion to various compensation levels. The department is the primary source of information for the details of the assistantship. Within the academic or non-academic unit, the GA work assignment is determined by the faculty member or director assigned to supervise the GA’s particular course, laboratory session, or research project.
Assistantship eligibility and requirements
To be awarded an assistantship, the following are required:
- Students must have full standing admission status to a specific graduate degree program.
- Students with a limited standing admission status may be considered for an appointment if the conditional requirements can be met within the first semester of the award enrollment period. An assistantship award will be terminated should the conditional requirements not be satisfied.
- Students must be in good academic standing.
- All students with graduate assistantships are expected to maintain a full-time enrollment status at Oakland University during the semester(s) for which they are appointed.
- Graduate Assistants must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.0 AND show satisfactory progress toward completing degree requirements.
- Students may not hold other employment positions during the term of appointment, either at Oakland or elsewhere, without prior written permission from their adviser and Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
- Students must apply through Handshake.
Applying for graduate assistantships
Graduate Study and Career Services have been working together to improve the hiring of Graduate Assistants (GA) through Handshake. Students must apply in Handshake to any open positions they are interested in.
Graduate assistantship time limit policy
Graduate Assistantship positions, funded by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, are limited to two years for master’s degree students and four years for doctoral students. If units wish to continue supporting a student beyond this time, it requires position funding from the school or college.
Council of Graduate Schools resolution
Oakland University subscribes to the Resolution adopted by the Council of Graduate Schools which, among other provisions, states students are under no obligation to respond to assistantship offers prior to April 15. In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15.
An acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept an offer from another institution. In order to accept an assistantship offer at another institution after April 15, prospective graduate assistants must first obtain a written release from any other institution to which a previous commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.