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Frequently Asked Questions

General QuestionsWork Hour Questions  |  Helpful Contacts

General Questions

Q:  How do I apply for a position?

A:  Graduate Assistantships are available only to master's degree students and are awarded to students who are obtaining their first master's degree. You can apply for available positions at under System Access, Apply for GA Positions.

Q:  What are the types of graduate employment?
  • Academic Graduate Assistant (GA):

    • Receive up to a 12 credit per semester tuition waiver

    • Required to work 250 hours during the semester 

    • Paid $10.00 per hour taxable, received in a biweekly check

  • Student Life Graduate Assistants (SLGA):

    • Receive up to a 12 credit per semester tuition waiver 

    • Required to work 350-400 hours during the semester

    • Paid $10.00 an hour, taxable, received in a biweekly check

  • Student Payroll Positions (SPP) are ineligible for a tuition waiver:

    • Paid $7.25 an hour, taxable, received in a biweekly check

    • May work up to 250 hours during the semester
Q:  How many credits are waived?

A:  Some programs are on an accelerated schedule where 12 credits are the norm for the department: Applied Psych, Business (MBA), Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Strategic Communication.  All other programs receive 9 credit waivers during fall/spring semester and 3 for summer.

Q:  How many positions may I apply for?

A:  Our hiring software will let you apply for up to ten positions.  We recommend applying for multiple positions to increase your chances of obtaining a position.  Students may not hold two SPP position at the same time.

Q:  Can I apply for a position before I have been admitted to the Graduate School?

A:  No, only students who have been admitted to the Graduate School will have access to our GA employment portal located through their "myship" portal.

Q:  What does a tuition waiver cover?

A:  Tuition waivers cover tuition for courses mandated by your program of study, but tuition waivers do not cover fees and other Graduate School associated costs.  

Q:  Can I use my tuition waiver for summer and winter classes?

A:  You can carry forward three credits of a fall semester tuition waiver to pay for a winter class, but the same does not hold true for the summer session because of different funding sources.   

Q:  If I am hired for a position, do I retain that position for the academic year?

A:  Yes, assuming a student remains in good academic standing and meets the threshold of satisfactory performance as a graduate assistant, all assistantships will be for two consecutive semesters.

Q:  Is there a graduate housing option?

A:  Yes, it is separate from a graduate assistantship. 

Each semester, there are a limited number of opportunities across campus for Graduate students living in Mowrey Hall to help pay for their housing. These work options, approximately 8-10 hours a week, provide a waiver that covers Mowrey Hall housing costs each semester that the work is completed.

In the fall and spring, students must complete 120 hours each semester, and in the summer, students must complete 45 hours per summer term. 

Please visit graduate housing here: 

Work Hour Questions

Q: Once I become a graduate assistant, when can I start working?

A:  You commit to working a specific number of hours during the semester based on your position, but you and your supervisor may agree to a mutually agreeable work schedule.  All positions are for on campus work, unless otherwise stated.

Q:  Is there a maximum number of hours graduate assistants can work per week?

A:  Obtaining an advanced degree is challenging; therefore, it is not recommended for any graduate student to work more than 20 hours per week.  

Q:  How should I document my work time?

A:  Your supervisor will work with you to document your hours in eTime.

Helpful Contacts

Graduate Employment:, 717-477-1148

Student Accounts:, 717-477-1211

Financial Aid:, 717-477-1131

Payroll Forms and e-Time:  Student Payroll, 717-477-1142

Background Checks and Clearances:, 717-477-1324

Graduate Catalog is available at

  • Graduate Assistantship and SPP information is located under the Student Matters section of the catalog.