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 (6 credits) and full-time (9-12 credits). Graduate assistants may be offered a position at eight 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

Students should communicate their interest directly to their program coordinator.

Listing of Program coordinators and contact information

For questions related to the graduate assistantship process, please contact the School of Graduate Studies and Research at

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 full-time enrollment (enrolled in 9-12 credits) or part-time enrollment (enrolled in 6 credits) 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. You will receive a series of three emails from the SGSR.

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. >

Email 1 of 3: The SGSR 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.

Email 2 of 3: The SGSR will confirm receipt of your signed Graduate Assistantship Agreement. You will receive an email from to your IUP email address. 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 (SP4164)
  • Act 151 - Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Form (CY113)
  • Act 114 - Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check (Criminal History Report)

For more information about the Background Investigations Policy, review the Office of Human Resources' website.

Email 3 of 3: The SGSR will send a final email clearing you to begin working as a graduate assistant.

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 through IUP Payroll Services in biweekly paychecks in accordance with the GA Payroll Calendar located on the Payroll Services Forms website. 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.

Graduate Assistant Stipend and Tuition Dollars

Graduate assistants are required to receive a stipend and tuition dollars towards their tuition account as specified in their Graduate Assistantship Agreement. Under no circumstances is a GA to receive only a stipend or only tuition dollars; they must receive both for the semester fall and/or spring term designed in the Graduate Assistantship Agreement. Summer tuition dollars can be included as part of a fall and or spring award, but there is no stipend money during summer. Stipends are paid on a bi-weekly basis through IUP student Payroll. Tuition dollars are applied to the student's tuition account, excluding fees, through the Office of Student Billing. In cases of external funding opportunities (e.g., grant or contract funding), exceptions to the above parameters can be considered. These would need to be discussed with and approved by the Associate Dean for Administration of the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Who Can I Contact?

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

For Onboarding and background check questions, please contact Human Resources at or 724-357-2431.

For Payroll related questions, please contact

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

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