Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointment Eligibility
To describe the eligibility requirements that govern GTA appointments at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Graduate Teaching Assistants, Appointing Officers
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 of Graduate Studies or the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
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:
- During the term of appointment, the person is admitted to and enrolled in a graduate degree program offered by the University of Kansas;
- 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 Graduate Studies or the Dean's Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as appropriate. [Note: GTAs on summer session appointments may enroll but are not required to do so.]
- Enrollment and Medical Leave: Should the person be unable to enroll in six (6) graduate or other approved hours for reasons of 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 Office of Graduate Studies or the Dean’s Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as appropriate that this requirement be waived. Final approval rests with the Office of Graduate Studies or the Dean’s Office of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as appropriate.
- 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.]
- Short Course Appointments: During the term of appointment for short courses between the Fall and Spring semesters, including summer sessions, the person must be active in a graduate degree program and must have been enrolled in at least one hour during the Fall semester or Spring semester.
- During the term of appointment, the GTA must be in academic good 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 admitted to a degree program on probationary or provisional status are not considered to be in academic good standing for the purpose of GTA appointments. Exceptions may be granted by the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies under extraordinary circumstances. No exceptions are granted in cases where a provisionally admitted student does not meet English proficiency criteria.] 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 or the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that the student be allowed to keep the GTA position for one additional semester.
- 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 institutional personnel, at least one 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 an 8 on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). No exceptions are granted in cases where a student does not meet English proficiency criteria.]
- During the term of the appointment, the student's assigned responsibilities consist primarily of direct classroom or laboratory instruction.
- 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.
- The department may require a graduate teaching assistant to be on campus to assume employment responsibilities up to five weekdays (excluding weekend days) 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.”]
- 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.
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
06/25/2020: Changed Dean of Graduate Studies to Vice Provost of Graduate Studies.
1/29/2020: Technical edit to update MOA links -- ARG
10/04/2018: Technical edits for consistency with renegotiated MOA -- ARG
06/08/2018: Technical edits for consistency with updated Post-Comp enrollment policy -- ARG
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. - ARG
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.