School of Graduate Studies

Assistantships & Finances

The School of Graduate Studies has a commitment to financially support our students.

We offer several types of assistance including graduate assistantships, financial aid loans, grants and scholarships to support their educational goals.

Graduate Assistantship

While graduate assistantships are a way to fund your education, they also connect you with faculty, professionals in your field and other students.

They allow you to immerse yourself in projects relevant to your degrees and enhance your intellectual and professional development.

Graduate assistantships are highly competitive and not guaranteed. You should think about and treat your assistantship search as a job search.

A student must be enrolled full-time (8 graduate credits/6 doctoral credits) to be eligible and to receive a stipend and tuition remission.


We offer three types:

  • Research assistants participate in research-related tasks directed by faculty. They are generally sought through the student’s program department.
  • Teaching assistants participate in undergraduate instruction either by teaching or by providing support services such as laboratory assistance, or test and paper scoring/evaluation. They are generally sought through the student’s program department.
  • Program support assistants participate in the administration of either academic or non-academic departments. Duties are specific to an individual graduate program or service unit.

Find an Assistantship and Apply

As you look for an assistantship position, speak with your graduate program director about available positions and review the job listings at Career Center.

Applications are position-specific. Prepare a resume and cover letter at a minimum to distribute.

Admitted graduate students will need to:

Pre-admitted students will not yet have a Star ID but can view posted graduate assistant positions on a PDF document

Submit all application materials to the department or office to which you are applying.


Application deadlines vary with the position. Check with the department for specific dates. April 15 is the traditional deadline for graduate assistantships, so begin your search early.

Acceptance and Conditions

  • If you are offered a graduate assistantship, a letter will outline the length and conditions of your appointment as well as payroll forms that are needed if you have not worked at St. Cloud State University within the past two years.

  • To accept, follow the instructions in the letter for the online acceptance option. If you have problems with the online system, you may sign the letter and return it to the department.

  • The hiring department forwards the information to the School of Graduate Studies.

  • A graduate assistant must be registered for a minimum of eight graduate-level or six doctoral-level credits before the fifth day of each semester of the appointment.

  • Graduate assistantship appointments do not exceed one year, but may be renewed for a second year.

  • Renewal is not automatic. It depends on funding, work performance, academic progress, and departmental need. A new appointment would need to be prepared and approved by the student.

  • The department may terminate the graduate assistant at any time. Termination conditions may include:

    • Poor academic standing.
    • Lack of funds.
    • Nonperformance of duties.
    • Nonattendance.
    • Failure to fulfill requirements.
    • Violation of contract.
    • Interpersonal reasons.
  • Assistantships do not exceed two years unless permission is received in writing from the School of Graduate Studies.

  • A student may accept more than one on-campus position if the combined required hours of employment do not exceed 20 per week.

  • A contract cannot extend into the summer, however, a summer assistantship may be granted if the department has a need and the funding is available.

    • Summer graduate assistants are paid at an hourly rate.
    • Summer assistants must be enrolled in six graduate-level summer session credits.
    • Tuition remission is not available for summer credits.

Stipends, Health Insurance, Time Off

Stipend (salary)

  • $9,250 for a full-time 20 hour/week graduate assistant for the academic year.
  • $4,625 for a part-time 10 hour/week graduate assistant for the academic year.


  • Graduate assistants generally receive a paycheck every other week. The first check may not be available for about four weeks, so budget accordingly.
  • For additional information about the stipend payment, see the 2021-22 Handbook.


  • Neither health benefits nor health insurance come with your assistantship.
  • Assistants do not earn holiday, sick or vacation pay. However:
    • Full-time assistants will have hourly work assignments decreased 4 hours per day for each university-observed holiday or break.
    • Part-time assistants will have hourly work expectations pro-rated based on their normal work hours.
  • Arrangements to make up personal or sick time off should be made with your department.

Outside work

  • International students are not permitted to accept off-campus employment.
  • Domestic students are discouraged from accepting off-campus work if they hold a 20-hour assistantship due to the heavy course load required to maintain an assistantship.


Tuition and fees

  • All graduate assistants, both international and U.S. citizens, qualify for in-state tuition rates.
  • Graduate assistants must be registered as full-time students, 8 or more 500/600 level credits or 6 or more 700/800 level credits. 
  • Full-time graduate assistants enrolled in 9 or more credits will receive 9 credits of tuition remission. 
  • You cannot rollover unused tuition remission.
  • Undergraduate credits are not eligible for tuition remission even if they are prerequisites for graduate-level courses.
  • Fees and educational expenses for all credits (including those covered by tuition remission) and all tuition beyond the remission must be paid by the student after the tuition remission has been applied.
  • Appointed graduate assistants are exempt from the drop for non-payment process to facilitate the expected early registration.
  • Graduate assistant tuition remission does not cover additional tuition costs for online, off-campus or market-based tuition programs (ACR, MBA, MEM, MTQ, RAS, or Ed.D./Psy.D.).
  • For additional information regarding tuition remission, see the Graduate Assistant Handbook.

Remission rate (2021-22)

List of credits required and amount of tuition remission available by GA type
Program Required Work Hours Required Credits Remission Per Credit
Master's 20 8 $447.60* (9 credits)
Master's 10 8 $447.60* (6 credits)
Doctoral 20 6 $447.60* (9 credits)
Doctoral 10 6 $447.60* (6 credits)

*2021-22 tuition rate. 


  • Accept online as directed in your appointment letter or sign and return your employment contract and register for the required number of classes before the fifth class day of the semester.
  • If all is in order, the tuition remission will be placed on your tuition statement after the fifth class day of the semester.
  • Registration deadlines are strictly enforced.
  • Failure to register prior to the 10th day of the term, may result in the loss of the tuition remission benefit.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure the amount of tuition remission applied to your student account is accurate. If you should have 8 credits and were awarded 6, you will need to contact Graduate Studies within the first month of your GA appointment. 
  • You may have to pay tuition and receive a refund upon resolution if problems are not resolved by the deadline.

Orientation for Assistants

New graduate assistants (GAs) are expected to attend orientation as a condition of employment.

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

Graduate Assistant Professional Development

In addition to participating in orientation, graduate assistants may be asked to complete training sessions as required by the School of Graduate Studies or the assistantship location.

Talk with your supervisor about using work time to complete the sessions.

  • Preventing Harassment and Discrimination (Required)

    • Prevention of harassment, discrimination and sexual violence training is required annually. Graduate assistants will be notified by email. Timely completion is a condition of your employment.
  • Data Privacy/Security Awareness Workshop

    • Public Jobs, Private Data Training required for graduate assistants who work with student information. Available in D2L Brightspace during first two weeks of appointment or as directed by supervisor.

Recommended Student Employment series

  • QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Training

  • U-Choose: An evidence-based interactive presentation designed to help college students make informed choices about alcohol use

  • Bystander Intervention: A program that teaches participants skills to intervene and stop gender violence

Recommended Professional Development


Additional Funding Options


Financial Aid

Financial Services uses a variety of sources, including grants and loans, to help students fund their education.

Research Funds

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs provides 20-40 student research funds each year.

The funds support academic research and creative activity by undergraduate and graduate students under the direction of a faculty member.

Funds are awarded up to $1,500 per project through an application process. The average award is $750.