• Home
  • Graduate Research Assistant Appointment Eligibility (Spring 2022 or earlier)

Graduate Research Assistant Appointment Eligibility (Spring 2022 or earlier)


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

Applies to: 

Graduate Research Assistants appointed Spring 2022 or earlier, GRA Appointing Officers

Policy Statement: 

The following eligibility requirements govern all graduate research assistant (GRA) appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence:

Graduate Research Assistants 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 Research and KUCR), the Budget Office (for the professional schools’ state- and endowment-funded GRA positions), or the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (for state- and endowment-funded GRA positions in CLAS).

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

  1. During the term of appointment, the person is admitted to and enrolled in a graduate degree program offered by the University of Kansas;
  2. During the fall or spring semester, the student is enrolled in no fewer than six credit hours required for the student's graduate degree. During the summer session, the GRA must be enrolled in coursework related to the student's graduate program. The number of hours must be determined by the student’s advisor and must reflect as accurately as possible the student’s demand on faculty time and University facilities. Generally, an enrollment of three credit hours is appropriate for the summer session.
    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 eighteen post-comprehensive credit hours, the student may enroll in one 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 academic good standing and be making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree, as determined by Graduate Studies and the department in which the student is enrolled. [Note: Students who are admitted to a degree program on provisional status are not considered to be in academic good standing for the purpose of GRA appointments. Exceptions may be granted by the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies under extraordinary circumstances.] A graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 to remain in academic good 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 GRA position for one additional semester.]
  4. The person 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 hours. Such students may enroll in fewer than six hours and still retain eligibility to hold a position as a Graduate Research Assistant (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 hours during the final semester is available only to master's students with GRA appointments. It is not available to master's students with GTA or GA appointments. 


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

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dean's Office
200 Strong Hall
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045

Human Resources
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
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: 

10/11/2021: Updated to include end dates for policy.
06/25/2020: Changed Dean of Graduate Studies to Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
07/21/2017: Removed Certification Forms for Doctoral and Master's students under Related Forms.
11/09/2016: Technical Edits for compliance with gender neutralization initiative; annual cleanup and process clarification. - ARG
02/09/2015: Minor edit by Graduate Studies to reflect the change from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies to the Office of Research
02/06/2015: Minor edits made by Graduate Studies.
11/25/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
08/05/2014: Minor edits were made in August 2014 to reflect appointment limits in the Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits policy.
08/11/2011: Revised 2011 to focus specifically on GRA appointment eligibility; revisions approved by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.
12/12/2002: Originally disseminated and posted by the Provost on December 12, 2002, as part of a memorandum to deans, directors, and chairs and other administrators and staff regarding GRA and GTA eligibility.

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