• Home
  • Graduate Assistant Appointment Eligibility

Graduate Assistant Appointment Eligibility


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

Applies to: 

Graduate Assistants, including Residential Graduate Assistants, and Appointing Officers

Policy Statement: 

The following eligibility requirements govern all Graduate Assistant (GA) and Residential Graduate Assistant (hereafter referred to as Graduate Assistant or GA) appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence:

Graduate Assistants are active student employees (either salaried or hourly, as determined by Human Resource Management) who hold a position that furthers the professional and/or academic development of the graduate student. The duties performed are professional in nature and under the direct supervision of faculty, academic professionals, or administrators. While the duties may involve classroom instruction or research integral to the student’s degree program or dissertation, those activities are not the primary focus of the job. The Graduate Assistant's job duties should not include grading student work, developing course content, or taking responsibility for a course or section as Instructor of Record. Graduate Assistants who engage in classroom instruction should spend no more than 10% of their work time doing so. The Graduate Assistant's responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, administrative and professional internships. The Vice Provost of Graduate Studies must approve GA appointments. [Note: Graduate Assistant positions are a distinct category of graduate student support. This category does not include Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, or student-hourly positions held by graduate students.]

In order to be eligible for a GA appointment, a graduate student must meet all of the following criteria:

  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 fall and/or spring semesters in which the graduate student holds a GA appointment, the student must be enrolled in no fewer than six (6) credit hours required for the student's graduate degree. GAs on summer session appointments may enroll but are not required to do so.

a. 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 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.]

  1. During the term of appointment, the GA must be in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree, as determined by 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 of Graduate Studies that the student be allowed to keep the GA position for one (1) additional semester.
  2. The student must successfully pass a background check established by the University.
  3. A student who has earned a graduate degree may not continue in a GA 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 the student is a doctoral graduate who has been accepted into another graduate program.

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

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Effective on: 
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
GA Appointments, Graduate Assistants
Change History: 

07/18/2023: Removed language pertaining to provisional acceptance, updated links.
11/28/2022: Updated to clarify Graduate Assistants include Residential Graduate Assistants; Updated approver from Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs to Provost.
06/25/2020: Changed Dean of Graduate Studies to Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
04/23/2018: Removed ' unless they are doctoral candidates, who are required to be continuously enrolled' -- belated update to align with last year's approved changes to doctoral candidacy policy.
07/21/2017: Removed Certification of Eligilibity to Enroll in Few than Six Hours (Doctoral) form from Related Forms.
11/29/2016: Policy Revision approved 10/25/2016 by Stuart Day - ARG
11/09/2016: Technical edits for process clarification. - ARG
06/08/2016: Technical edits to comply with gender neutralization decision and guidelines. - ARG
02/06/2015: Minor edits were made by Graduate Studies.
July 2014: Made minor edits to reflect appointment limits in the Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits policy.
This policy, which parallels to the extent appropriate the policies on appointment eligibility for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), was developed by Graduate Studies and was approved by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs on August 11, 2011.

Personnel: Student Employees Categories: 

Can't Find What You're Looking For?
Policy Library Search
KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times