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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter Nine

To facilitate graduate education, Washington State University has teaching, research, and staff assistantships available for qualified graduate students who are pursuing programs of study leading to advanced degrees at WSU. The assistantship provides a financial package that assists students in funding their graduate education.

A Teaching Assistantship (TA) is an appointment in which a graduate student’s primary duty is teaching or serving as a teaching assistant. TAs are available to qualified graduate students in academic departments. Students should contact their department/program to inquire about TA opportunities.

A Research Assistantship (RA) is an appointment in which a graduate student is engaged in research under a faculty member’s supervision. RAs are available in many departments and special programs. Students should contact their department/program to inquire about RA opportunities.

A Staff Assistantship (SA) is an appointment in which a graduate student engages in service that enhances his or her educational pursuits at WSU. These appointments require a letter of support from the student’s faculty advisor.

For further information, students should visit the Graduate School’s websites: and

Service Requirements for Assistantships

a. Graduate student appointments usually require half-time service. Appointments may, in some instances, be made for less than half-time at correspondingly reduced salaries (and tuition waivers).

b. Half-time service (0.50 FTE) requires an average of 20 hours of work per week during the term of the appointment. Fractional appointments (less than half-time), when permitted, require work on a proportionate basis.

c. During the term of the appointment, all graduate student service appointees are expected to be at work each normal workday, including periods when classes are not in session, with the exception of the legal holidays designated by the Board of Regents (see for official university holidays).

d. There is no annual leave or sick leave associated with assistantship appointments. For Short-term Parental Leave, see Chapter 5.A.6.c.

Fellowships or Traineeships are available in some departments and programs through grants from government agencies and other private sources. No service to the university is required of fellows or trainees. The departments and programs initiate these awards and inquiries should be directed to the relevant academic unit.

Students should contact the department in which the assistantship is desired. Some departments may require application materials or additional information.

A. Eligibility

B. Tuition Waivers

C. Required Training for Graduate Assistants

D. Academic Load for Graduate Assistants

E. Assistantship Stipends

F. Assistantship Offer, Appointment, Reappointment, and Evaluation and Certification of Effort

G. Termination of an Assistantship


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