School of Graduate Studies

Graduate Assistantships

We are delighted that you plan to hire and supervise graduate assistants. The academically relevant experiences you give them contributes significantly to St. Cloud State's quality of education.

Departments and supervisors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this hiring and supervision information to create a mutually beneficial assistantship.


Our Online Hiring System

We store position descriptions, create graduate assistant appointments and complete the employment request and approval process in our online hiring system.

Login with your StarID and password.

If you would like system training, have questions or difficulties using the system, visit the School of Graduate Studies or call 320-308-2113.

Our instruction guide (PDF) may help.

2021-2022 Employment Dates

Graduate assistant employment dates generally reflect employment dates for University faculty.

Fall 2021: Aug. 17–Dec. 17
Spring 2022: Jan. 4–May 6

The dates are guidelines for assistants and employers. Departments and supervisors may choose other dates based on responsibilities.

Single term appointment dates may not overlap. For example, a summer appointment must end before the start of a fall appointment.

The last day to make/accept an assistantship offer for Fall 2021 is Friday, Sept. 3.

Late offers will be processed after Sept. 3 at the discretion of the School of Graduate Studies. If permitted, stipends will be pro-rated and the tuition remission will be reduced.

All graduate assistants are required to be enrolled full-time (a minimum of 8 graduate or 6 doctoral credits) to be eligible for an assistantship. Assistantships aim to support full-time enrollment and aid timely completion.

Posting a Position

Graduate assistantships open to graduate students from a variety of majors can be posted on Handshake (formerly Jobs for Huskies) Once you have entered your position description into the GA Online system, you can create and save a Word version that will allow you to copy and paste information into Handshake. For assistance with entering a PD into the GA Hiring system and generating the word document, see the GA System instruction guide.

To Post a Position using Handshake

Returning Users: Login
New Users: Click on “Sign Up For an Account” and select Employer. When doing a company search, enter in your department or SCSU. If you need assistance creating your account, contact Simon Bauer or Karen Hommerding

Hiring Graduate Assistants for Program Only positions

Consider posting positions in Handshake so they are visible to prospective and admitted students browsing our website and considering St. Cloud State. You can set position requirements such as major within Handshake using these directions and use Handshake to manage GA applications.

Positions available within a graduate program to program students only do not need to be posted broadly. If graduate assistant positions are awarded to students, departments should have a clear set of criteria used to award a position (e.g. new admitted graduate students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.7 or higher will be considered). If assistantships are available to any student in the program, the assistantship information should be posted clearly in the department or sent to all students via a program listserv or other communication.


New graduate assistants (GAs) are expected to attend orientation as a condition of employment. Please notifiy graduate assistants during the appointment stage.

Graduate Assistant Orientation  
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
5-7 p.m. 
Cascade Room, Atwood Memorial Center

Registration in advance for this meeting is required. 

This hybrid (in-person or synchronous online) session requires pre-registration. When you RSVP in Huskies Connect, please select if you will be attending in person in Atwood, online, or online at the Plymouth campus.

RSVP at HuskiesConnect

If you are attending individually online, you must register in Zoom as well. After registering in Zoom, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You will also receive a confirmation email containing event information. If you do not see the email, please check your Junk or Spam folder.

Register in Zoom (for individual online registration/attendance)

For in-person attendees -- we will be following the health and safety guidelines provided by the university, including masking, if required. We will have grab and go snacks and give-away items for participants. 
All new graduate assistants will be added to Graduate Assistant Orientation in D2L/Brightspace. A recording of the orientation session will be uploaded. Graduate assistants will complete a required quiz and evaluation following orientation.

Orientation goals

Graduate assistants who complete orientation will:

  • Be able to locate and articulate policies affecting graduate assistantship employment
  • Articulate the roles and responsibilities of graduate assistants on campus
  • Define and provide examples of professional behavior
  • Understand the role of the GA on campus and articulate the resources available

Supervisor Roles and Responsibilities

Graduate assistantships are a source of funding for graduate education and an opportunity to learn by working with faculty and professional staff in the academic environment.

For departments and supervisors, graduate assistants provide the opportunity to enhance our work whether it is doing more research or offering more classes, more services or more learning opportunities.

Developing a positive and productive supervisory relationship with your graduate assistant is one way to ensure this balance flows both ways.

Each supervisor brings unique style and skills to the supervisory relationship and each student brings unique skills, abilities and needs. The working relationship between the two will take time to build.

We offer these suggestions:

  • Meet with your graduate assistant to review the responsibilities of the position and your expectations. Include:
    • Professional conduct.
    • Department/office culture.
    • Work hours.
    • Productivity.
    • Expectations for work hours during semester breaks.
  • Introduce the graduate assistant to the people with whom they will be working and important contacts.
  • Identify resources available to the graduate assistant such as desk space, computers, printers, phones, mailbox, paper, pens, etc.
  • Discuss how you and your graduate assistant will communicate. Will it be via email, phone, weekly or bi-weekly meetings or a combination?
  • Establish boundaries for communication for both of you, i.e. what is the preferred method and how often.
  • Encourage skill development beyond your workplace through campus resources for graduate assistants, including the School of Graduate Studies' graduate assistant orientation, workshops offered on library research and workshops through Informedia Services (IMS) on software use.
  • Establish how the graduate assistant will know if they are successful. How will you provide feedback? When will it be provided and in what manner?
  • Departments are encouraged to develop their own evaluations related to the position responsibilities and professional or disciplinary expectations, or use our evaluation (PDF).

On occasion a graduate assistantship will not work out. The School of Graduate Studies will address complaints or assist with mediation.

Supervisors can terminate graduate assistants for cause as described in the handbook; or elect not to renew a contract.

Graduate assistants also may resign from positions. Graduate assistants must provide two weeks’ notice to the department.

Typical Questions


Who can access the system?

St. Cloud State employees can create position descriptions, make assistantship appointments and complete employment requests and approvals. Students can only accept an assistantship.

Can students new to St. Cloud State access the system to accept positions?

New students can activate their Star ID and get help, if needed.


I am the employment request initiator, should I appear on the list of approvers?

No. You will automatically be considered an approver. After selecting New Employment Request and identifying the student to be requested, you will be able to select the approval tab (see the instruction guide) and your name will appear on the "Request Created by" line and you can select the box to approve and move the appointment forward to the chairperson/director (if applicable) or directly to the dean or vice president responsible for your units budget.

How do I set up the approvers?

Our instruction guide (PDF) explains how approvers, including a chairperson or person responsible for the unit budget (if not the request initiator), and a dean or vice president, must be established for each department or unit hiring a graduate assistant, including grant and revenue accounts. If your area does not have an approver between the initiator and the dean/vice president, notify Melanie Guentzel and we can remove that step.

Requests and Proxies

How will my chairperson or dean/vice president know a request is waiting for approval?

The designated person responsible for the budget (whoever you entered as the approver) and the dean/vice president will receive email notification at 8 a.m. each Monday/Wednesday/Friday if approvals are pending. If the approval is time sensitive, you may wish to provide access to the system to the Responsible Person for the Budget or the dean or vice president. Our guide (PDF) offers instructions. Approvals can be completed anywhere with web access.

I have received a pending request email but when I login, I do not see requests? How do I find my requests?

Please verify that you are searching for requests in the correct fiscal year. Positions beginning after July 1 are pending for FY 2022. The system defaults to the current fiscal year. Try updating the fiscal year and searching. If this does not work, contact the School of Graduate Studies, 320-308-2113.

The system will allow a proxy for the dean or vice president or chairperson, should I set that up and who should that person be?

Deans, vice presidents and chairpersons can designate a proxy to review and approve GA employment requests. The proxy can be an associate dean or vice president, an office manager with access to the unit budget, or other employee designated by the dean/vice president or chairperson. If your dean/vice president or chairperson has not communicated a proxy to you, you should list the dean/vice president or chairperson as the approver.

Accounts and Costs

My department or grant account is not listed, how do I proceed?

Contact the School of Graduate Studies, 308-2113, or Melanie Guentzel with the six-digit account number to be added to the system. We will notify you when your account is available.

What is the cost of hiring a graduate assistant?

Total GA cost with tuition remission and stipend
GA Type Stipend Tuition** Total Cost
Full-time (9 credits) $9,250 $8,057 $17,307
Part-time (6 credits) $4,625 $5,372 $9,997

**Based on 2021-22 in-state tuition rate, not including taxes and fees.

Note: Master's and doctoral students receive tuition remission of 6 or 9 credits at the regular master's level rate (in-state at 500/600). Doctoral students will have the same cost and receive the same dollar amount of tuition remission as master's level students. 


Why do I need to include student learning outcomes in the position description?

Graduate assistantships support graduate student academic progress at St. Cloud State University and further the University's educational mission. Assistantships should provide professional and academic learning opportunities as well as space to apply knowledge gained through the academic program.

What are the steps in hiring a graduate assistant?

  1. Identify funds to hire graduate assistants.
    • Spring allocation made by School of Graduate Studies.
    • College, school or division funds allocated. May be Institutional Funds (M&E) or Revenue.**
    • Use grant** funds (must have been included in grant proposal, contact Sponsored Programs).
    • **Units or individuals using grant or revenue funds must also identify funds to cover the tuition remission for each term of the appointment.
  2. Enter a position description in the hiring system (or copy and update from a previous year), post position/recruit applicants.
  3. Identify graduate student(s) to hire.
  4. Set up approvers in the system (chairperson/director and dean/vice president).
  5. Enter appointment into system for each student for which there are funds available.
  6. Create appointment letter and email or mail to the selected student(s).
  7. Student will need to accept the position before any further steps can be completed.
  8. Create an Employment Request in the hiring system for each student accepting a graduate assistantship.
  9. Initiators approve the request.
  10. Send request to chairperson/director or person responsible for the budget (if applicable and not the initiator).
  11. Chairperson/director will send the request to the dean or vice president or Proxy for Approval. Requests list will show dean/vice president as the next step.
  12. Dean or vice president approves and submits to School of Graduate Studies. Requests list will show Graduate Studies as the next step.
  13. Graduate assistants new to St. Cloud State will need to complete hiring paperwork with the unit supervising the graduate assistant including the I-9, W-4, and MN W-4. The paperwork must be submitted by the student or the department to Student Payroll (AS 123).
  14. Information on hiring F-1 students for campus employment and applying for a Social Security number are available at the Center for International Studies. As the supervisor or supervising office, you will need to provide you new international graduate assistant the Verification of F-1 Student's Employment on Campus (PDF)
  15. Registered graduate students with completed hiring paperwork (I-9, W-4, MN W-4) are entered in the payroll system and marked as Complete in the graduate assistantship system.
  16. Students have the option to sign up for direct deposit for their stipend payments.

Why am I receiving a “Fiscal year assigned to the position does not match appointment year/term” error message when entering a new appointment for next fall?

The system is based on the fiscal year. If you did not save and attach a position description for the next fiscal year or if you forgot to change the year in the position description search box to the next fiscal year, you will have a discrepancy in fiscal years.