Graduate Assistants

What is a Graduate Assistantship?

A graduate assistantship is an employment opportunity designed for/offered to prospective or currently enrolled graduate students to provide degree-related, experiential learning and/or work. The major goals of a graduate assistantship are two-fold: 1) to promote a student's progress towards completion of a graduate degree; and 2) to provide additional resources to accomplish the mission of the University. This opportunity may also serve as an invaluable means of financial assistance and/or support throughout the duration of a graduate student's course of study.  

Graduate assistantships fall into one of the following primary categories: Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant.

I am interested in pursuing employment as a graduate assistant. What are the minimum eligibility requirements for program participation?

Individuals interested in employment as a Graduate Assistant must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree;
  • Full admission to a graduate degree program;
  • Current enrollment in at least six (6) or nine (9) semester hours (or equivalent thesis/dissertation research) depending upon the type of assistantship; and
  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, or completion of at least six (6) hours of graduate degree work with a GPA of 3.0 or better.


I meet the minimum eligibility requirements as indicated above and have been offered a graduate assistantship. What are my next steps?

If you are a recently hired graduate assistant, and have never worked on campus in any capacity, you must: 

  • Sign, and return, your graduate assistantship contract within all established deadlines;
  • Attend a graduate assistant orientation program;
  • Complete all required employment paperwork with the Human Resources department or International Student/Scholar Offices (Foreign National Graduate Assistants) no later than your first day of employment.


If you are a returning graduate assistant, in addition to the timely submission of your signed contract, you must:   

  • Work no more than twenty (20) hours in any given week in either your assistantship, or your assistantship and any other on-campus student employment assignment;
  • Participate in all required evaluation processes and maintain satisfactory work performances;
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 and make satisfactory progress towards completion of a graduate degree thorugh UNC Charlotte or other approved inter-institutional degree program. 


Note: The aforementioned requirements for 'returning' graduate assistants also pertain to 'new' graduate assistants.

I have recently started work as a graduate assistant. When will I be paid?

Graduate assistants are paid semi-monthly stipends on the 15th (or last business day prior to the 15th) and the last business day of each month. Graduate assistants are not required to complete monthly timesheets.

I am currently working as a graduate assistant. May I also work as a Student Temporary Wage employee? 

Yes - provided the total hours worked (combined between both positions) do not exceed twenty (20) hours in any given week. The student employee is responsible for ensuring strict adherence to this requirement. 

Where can I obtain more information regarding graduate assistantships?

For more information regarding your designation as a prospective, or current, graduate student and/or graduate assistant, please visit the UNC Charlotte Graduate School website. You may also reach their offices at: 704-687-5503 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM (EST), Monday - Friday.