Graduate Assistantship Process

  • Graduate assistantships at IUP are selectively awarded to highly qualified graduate students. A graduate assistant (GA) is a student employee supported by funds in the form of a stipend and tuition dollars.

    Graduate assistantships are available for students enrolled part-time and full-time. Graduate assistants may be offered a position at 8 hours, 10 hours, or 20 hours per week during the academic term and may be awarded for one term (fall or spring) or for two terms (fall and spring). All graduate assistants receive a stipend and tuition dollars.

    How to Apply for a Graduate Assistantship

    As of February 2016, newly admitted students communicate their interest in earning a graduate assistantship award through their admissions application. Students admitted prior to February 2016 should communicate their interest directly to their program coordinator.

    Listing of Program coordinators and contact information

    Some graduate programs utilize a program-specific graduate assistantship application process. Please communicate graduate assistantship inquiries to your program coordinator.

    The School of Graduate Studies and Research does not distribute general paper or electronic student applications for graduate assistantships.

    The School of Graduate Studies and Research does not maintain a list of graduate assistantship opportunities.

    For questions related to the graduate assistantship question on your admissions application, please contact Graduate Admissions at 724-357-2222.    

    Graduate Assistantship Eligibility

    To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, students must:

    • Be fully matriculated into a degree-seeking IUP graduate program. Students enrolled in certificate or Graduate Early Admission programs are not eligible for a graduate assistantship.
    • Maintain enrollment (part-time or full-time) as agreed upon at the time of graduate assistantship agreement signature.
    • Your program may have additional eligibility criteria. Please contact your program coordinator to learn more.
    • Achieve and remain in good academic standing as per the Good Academic Standing Policy per the Graduate Catalog. This is a baseline requirement. Please consult with your program coordinator if more stringent GPA requirements are in place for your program.

    What’s Next?

    Your program coordinator will contact you if you are being offered a graduate assistantship. After this initial contact, you can expect the School of Graduate Studies and Research to begin the awarding process—please check your IUP email account regularly.

    SGSR email 1: The School of Graduate Studies and Research will email your offer in the form of a Graduate Assistantship Agreement and position overview. The agreement will outline terms and conditions and will state a deadline by which you must return your agreement with your signature. The position overview will outline the tasks and duties of the position.

    SGSR email 2: The School of Graduate Studies and Research will confirm receipt of your signed Graduate Assistantship Agreement. You will receive an email from to your campus email address with a subject of "Activate Your Neogov PE user account." This email contains an activation link valid only for five days. Follow the link to activate your account to begin the process of obtaining three background clearances. The required clearances related to PA Act 135 and IUP’s background investigation checking policy are:

    • Act 34 - Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Background Check (SP4‐164)
    • Act 151 - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY‐113)
    • Act 114 - Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report)

    SGSR email 3: The School of Graduate Studies and Research will send a final email clearing you to begin working as a graduate assistant. This email will include a checklist of tasks to complete before your first day of work as a graduate assistant.

    All email correspondence will go to your IUP email account from Please make sure your IUP email account is active and you are frequently checking your email immediately after admission into a graduate program.    

    What Can I Expect?

    You can expect opportunities to advance your professional preparation while enhancing your academic experience. Academics and scholarly achievement are the top priority. As such, graduate assistantships are rewarding and beneficial educational experiences that include prospects for supporting instruction, research, networking, programming, providing valuable university services and resources, as well as learning new skills and improving others.

    Graduate assistants are guided and supervised by scholarly faculty and university staff dedicated to providing a valuable learning experience. At the same time, graduate assistants are beneficial to the functioning of academic and student service units.

    Stipends are disbursed to graduate assistants in biweekly paychecks. Tuition dollars are applied to your student account toward tuition payment balances. The stipend and tuition dollar amounts are determined by graduate programs and are communicated upon graduate assistantship offer as stated within the Graduate Assistantship Agreement.

    Graduate assistants are not required to work during university authorized breaks/days off or during finals week. All this information and more can be found in the Graduate Assistant Handbook

    Who Can I Contact?

    For questions about graduate assistantship opportunities and offers, please contact your program coordinator.

    For questions about how a graduate assistantship may affect your financial aid award, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

    For all other graduate assistantship inquiries, please contact the School of Graduate Studies and Research.