Assistantships

Assistant­ship awards are usually made for the full academic year. Responsibilities vary among departments, but work must average no more than 20 hours per week and may include assisting teaching, grading papers, or teaching laboratory sec­tions, assisting with writing grants, and some research or administrative assistance related to the students’ academic programs, as examples. 

Assistant­ship salary payments may vary by school, department, or sponsored project and include: payment for providing teaching, research, or administrative assistance related to the awardees’ academic program. (Students providing total research support for a professor must be hired as Graduate Research Assistants.)

Awardees may not hold more than one assistantship (GA and/or GRA) concurrently or hold an assistantship in combination with an hourly wage job unless together they total no more than 20 hours per week.

Graduate Assistants (GAs) 

Graduate Assistants are graduate students appointed to carry out activities such as teaching, light research, or administrative duties directly related to their programs of study. Graduate Assistants are paid a monthly salary as compensation for their service to the university.  (They additionally may receive a tuition fellowship and/or stipend).

Include leading a discussion section, holding office hours, preparing or completing research for a course, tutoring and advising students, preparing and proctoring exams, teaching a course or laboratory section, writing grant proposals, or supporting the operation of a laboratory.  

GAs are appointed directly by departments, usually at the time of admission. Graduate assistantships are limited and some departments may not have GA positions. Graduate students are encouraged to inquire with their department about GA position availability. Students may also apply for assistantships outside of their respective department.

  • Newly-appointed GAs must complete the Graduate Teaching Assistantship Program (GTAP).
  • GAs must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • GAs may teach a course once they have served as a GA for one semester and completed the GTAP.

More details about the structure of salary payments, sick time and general award information are outlined on the website.

Domestic (U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident) students who enroll in the GW Student Health Plan will receive the mandatory rate. More information is provided here.

Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) 

Graduate Research Assistants are graduate students who are employed by the university to assist professors with their research.  

GRAs are paid a monthly salary as compensation for their service to the university.  (They additionally may receive a tuition fellowship and/or stipend).  Unlike GAs, GRAs do not go through the GTAP.

Research may involve either a sponsored project or on a non-sponsored project, such as writing a book in the student’s academic area.  In either case, graduate research assistants’ work should produce generalizable knowledge.

GRAs should be under the direction of a faculty mentor and research training for them is on a one-on-one basis with the mentor.  The research conducted should be at a high level with the research resulting in generalizable knowledge with the student a likely contributing author of a published paper, report, book, etc.

GRAs are appointed at the time of admission or selected by a faculty member. GRAs are limited and not available in all departments

More details about the structure of salary payments, sick time and general award information are outlined on the website.

Note that GRAs typically receive a salary only.