Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships set you apart in graduate school. You gain real world experience and add to your resume by working alongside accomplished faculty. Whether in a lab, a classroom, or off campus, you can learn, teach, and conduct exciting research all while earning a stipend to support yourself through graduate school.

A variety of assistantship opportunities are available to graduate students, and all are offered through individual colleges and departments. Check with your department to see what assistantships are available to you.

Graduate Instructor

A graduate instructor is a graduate student who is assigned to teach one or more courses for an entire semester and is the official instructor of record. Graduate instructor positions are awarded through departments. Teaching loads and salaries vary.

Graduate Teaching Assistant

A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) is a graduate student assigned to assist one or more faculty with instruction. A GTA may lecture in a course occasionally, tutor students, or assist in some other teaching capacity, such as teaching a lab or recitation session under faculty supervision.

Graduate teaching assistantships are granted through departments and students must be nominated by someone in the department to be eligible for a teaching assistantship. Teaching loads and salaries vary.

Graduate Research Assistant

A research assistant is a graduate student assigned to work under faculty guidance on one or more research projects. Research assistantships are granted through departments. Students must be nominated by someone in the department to be eligible for a research assistantship. Salaries and workloads vary.


To be eligible for a 20 hour/week (0.5 FTE) assistantship, you must be a full-time graduate student.

Students are considered full time if they:

International students will be considered for graduate assistantship positions if they demonstrate adequate proficiency in English communication as determined by Utah State University’s Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) and have completed the required teaching assistant trainings.

Conditions & Stipulations

Graduate Student Health Insurance

As university employees, all graduate students on a 0.5 FTE assistantship are required to have health insurance. Utah State University automatically enrolls students on a 0.5 assistantship in a subsidized health insurance plan. Students may request to waive out of the subsidized graduate insurance if they have their own insurance coverage that has been approved by the Student Health Services. Students who do not opt out by the deadline will be required to pay the premiums for the duration of the plan. Please contact your GPC or the Student Health and Wellness Center at for more information.

Hour Limitations

Students with a 20 hour/week (0.5 FTE) graduate assistantship are limited to this one on-campus job. If you would like an exception to work an additional job on campus, you will need to submit a 20+ hours work request.

Credit Limit

Graduate students with assistantships cannot register for more than 12 credits per semester.*

*Research assistants working on projects for faculty that will also be used for their thesis or dissertation may register for 4 research or thesis credits above the 12-credit limit.

Required Training

All graduate students with assistantships are required to participate in an online training sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies prior to beginning the assistantship. The training helps students gain the techniques and skills to be effective instructors in the university environment. The training for international students also aids international students in understanding the American university culture and in improving communication skills.

Graduate research assistants may be required to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research Training depending on their funding and degree.

Department Pay Requirements

For students with a .5 FTE assistantship, the minimum pay is $675/month.
For students with a .25 FTE assistantship, the minimum pay is $400/month.

This pay requirement is determined by the Graduate Council. Any questions can be directed to the grad school business manager.

Notice of Non-Discrimination
USU is committed to a learning and working environment free from discrimination. See USU’s notice of non-discrimination.