• Home
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointment Eligibility

Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointment Eligibility


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

Applies to: 

Graduate Teaching Assistants, Appointing Officers

Policy Statement: 

The following eligibility requirements govern all graduate teaching assistant (GTA) appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Graduate Teaching Assistants are salaried student employees whose job duties consist primarily of direct involvement in classroom or laboratory instruction. The duties are performed under the supervision of faculty. The University also requires that a GTA’s teaching assignment be in the student's own field of study or one that is closely related. Out-of-field appointments require consultation with the student’s home academic unit and the explicit approval the Dean's Office of the student's home academic school or College.

In accordance with the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Kansas, the Kansas Board of Regents, and the Graduate Teaching Assistants' Coalition, American Federation of Teachers - Kansas (GTAC), in order to be eligible for a GTA appointment, a graduate student must meet all of 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: GTAs on summer session appointments may enroll but are not required to do so.]
    1. Enrollment and Medical Leave: Should the student be unable to enroll in six (6) graduate or other approved hours for reasons pertaining to medical condition or other hardship, that student may, with supporting documentation and the approval of the department of employment (and the department of study in cases in which the two are different), petition the Dean’s Office of the home academic school or College that this requirement be waived. Final approval rests with the Dean’s Office.
    2. 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 (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 Teaching Assistant 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. Short Course Appointments: During the term of appointment for short courses between the Fall and Spring semesters, including summer sessions, the student must be active in a graduate degree program and must have been enrolled in at least one (1) hour during the Fall semester or Spring semester.
  3. During the term of appointment, the GTA 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. [Note: Students who are on academic probation are not considered to be in good academic standing for the purpose of GTA appointments. When the reason for academic probation is a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 as a result of the first semester of graduate enrollment at KU, if a department judges that the graduate student is nonetheless making satisfactory progress, the department may recommend to the Dean of the student's home academic school or College that the student be allowed to keep the GTA position for one (1) additional semester despite being on academic probation.]
  4. The graduate student must satisfy any and all English proficiency criteria established by the Regents and/or the University. [Note: Prior to finalization of a GTA appointment, every prospective GTA must be interviewed to certify the student's spoken English competency. Interviews must be conducted by no fewer than three (3) institutional personnel, at least one (1) of whom should be a student. Non-native speakers of English must achieve a minimum score of 50 the SPEAK (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit), a score of 22 on the iBT (Internet-based TOEFL), or a 7 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). No exceptions are granted in cases where a student does not meet English proficiency criteria.]
  5. During the term of the appointment, the student's assigned responsibilities consist primarily of direct classroom or laboratory instruction.
  6. The student has satisfactorily completed all of the components of the orientation and training as specified in section 7 of the MOA within the timeframes established by the University.
  7. The department may require a GTA to be on campus to assume employment responsibilities up to five (5) weekdays (excluding weekends) prior to the first day of classes each semester. [Note: In accordance with Article 5, Section 1 of the MOA, “Individuals who are being reappointed as GTAs, regardless of whether the appointment is for an academic year or a shorter period, shall begin work on the first day of classes of each semester for which they are appointed, unless notified by the GTA’s department of earlier required assignments. Attendance at GTA orientation prior to the start of the semester is required as a condition of employment for any person who has not previously served as a GTA at the University of Kansas or for any returning GTA who has been identified as needing to attend GTA orientation.”]
  8. The student must successfully pass a background check established by the University.

In addition to the conditions of appointment set forth in the MOA, the University has established the following condition:

  • A student who has earned a graduate degree may not continue in a GTA 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

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

Human Resource Management
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045

Approved by: 
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Approved on: 
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Effective on: 
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
GTA Appointments, Graduate Teaching Assistants
Change History: 

08/29/2023: Updated IELTS score requirement to 7 in accordance with KBOR.
07/25/2023: Removed language pertaining to provisional admission, fixed broken links.
10/22/2020: Replaced Graduate Studies as an approval authority with the Dean of the student's home academic school or college.
06/25/2020: Changed Dean of Graduate Studies to Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
1/29/2020: Technical edit to update MOA links.
10/04/2018: Technical edits for consistency with renegotiated MOA.
06/08/2018: Technical edits for consistency with updated Post-Comp enrollment policy.
07/21/2017: Removed Doctoral and Master's Certification of Eligibility to Enroll in Fewer than Six Hours forms from Related Forms.
11/09/2016: Annual review and cleanup; technical edits to comply with gender neutralization initiative; process clarifications.
11/24/2015: Technical edits.
2/6/2015: Minor edits and statement added that allows the Dean of Graduate Studies to grant an exception when a student is admitted with provisional status.
10/21/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).
Minor formatting and content revisions were made in July 2014 to reflect appointment limits in the policy on Student Employee Eligibility Requirements and Appointment Limits.
Revised 2012 in order to adjust the minimum score on the TOEFL iBT; revision approved by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs October 24, 2012.
Revised 2011 to focus specifically on GTA appointment eligibility; revisions approved by the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs August 11, 2011.
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