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Graduate Research Assistant Appointment Eligibility


To describe the eligibility requirements that govern GRA appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Applies to: 

Graduate Research Assistants appointed; GRA Appointing Officers

Policy Statement: 

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) are salaried student employees who perform research that is in their fields (or a closely related field) of study and is integral to the student’s education (e.g., dissertation topic). The duties performed are under the direct supervision of faculty or research professionals. The duties do not involve classroom instruction. 

GRA appointments must be approved by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (for all funds under the University of Kansas Center for Research [KUCR]), the Budget Office (for the professional schools’ state- and endowment-funded GRA positions), or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) for state- and endowment-funded GRA positions in CLAS.

In order to be eligible for a GRA appointment, a graduate student must meet all the following conditions:

  1. During the term of appointment, the student is admitted to and enrolled in a graduate degree program offered by the University of Kansas;
  2. During the term of appointment, the student is enrolled in no fewer than six (6) graduate credit hours per semester or other credit hours as required for the student’s graduate degree and as approved by the Dean’s Office of the student’s home academic school or College. [Note: GRAs on summer session appointments are not required to enroll; however, GRAs may do so at their own discretion and with full expectation of tuition support in accordance with the policy governing Benefits Available to Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants.] 
    1. Enrollment and Post Comps: Upon successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive examination and all other Graduate Studies and departmental requirements for candidacy to the doctoral degree, and upon completion of 18 post-comprehensive credit hours, the student may enroll in one (1) or more dissertation, thesis, or equivalent credit hours as approved by the student’s department, the student’s school or College, and the Office of Graduate Studies to qualify for a graduate research assistantship appointment. [Note: Candidates for the professional doctoral degrees may enroll in dissertation-equivalent hours as approved by Graduate Studies. For more detailed information about post-comprehensive enrollment, see the policy on Doctoral Candidacy.]

  3. During the term of appointment, the GRA must be in good academic standing and be making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree, as determined by the Office of Graduate Studies and the department in which the student is enrolled. A graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to remain in good academic standing. However, if a department judges that a graduate student whose GPA falls below 3.0 after the first semester at KU is nonetheless making satisfactory progress, the department may recommend to the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies that the student be allowed to keep the GRA position for one (1) additional semester.
  4. The student must successfully pass a background check established by the University.
  5. A student who has earned a graduate degree may not continue in a GRA appointment after the graduation date unless the student has just completed a master’s degree and is enrolled in a doctoral program in the same field or a closely related field or is a doctoral graduate who has been accepted into another graduate program. 

Enrollment Exception for GRAs

In certain master’s degree programs, students who are in the final semester may be able to complete the course and hours requirements for the degree while enrolling in fewer than six (6) hours. Such students may enroll in fewer than six (6) hours and still retain eligibility to hold a position as a GRA provided that the student will not be continuing in a doctoral program at the University of Kansas. The option of enrolling in fewer than six (6) hours during the final semester is available only to master’s students with GRA appointments. It is not available to master’s students with Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) or Graduate Assistant (GA) appointments.


Graduate Studies
213 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Effective on: 
Thursday, December 12, 2002
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
GRA Appointments, Graduate Research Assistants
Change History: 

07/18/2023: Updated links, corrected typos.
05/18/2022: Policy updated to remove summer 2022 or later stipulation.
10/11/2021: New Policy Published in the Policy Library.

Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 

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