Graduate Assistantships at Shippensburg University


Summer and fall 2020 Graduate Assistantships, Student Life Graduate Assistantships, and Student Payroll Positions are now accepting applications.  

 Shippensburg University provides financial assistance to graduate students through graduate assistantships, graduate residence director appointments, student loans, and student payroll positions (SPPs).

Graduate assistant appointments can provide you with the opportunity to participate in professionally-related activities with faculty and administrators. These assignments can extend your learning experience beyond the classroom and enhance your professional development.

Graduate assistant appointments are awarded on a competitive basis without regard to financial need. They provide a tuition waiver as well as compensation for work performed. SPP appointments are also awarded on a competitive basis with priority given to graduate students. SPPs do NOT provide tuition waivers.

Program Requirements

Type of Position Beginning and Ending Dates Tuition Waiver Allocated Hours
Spring 2020 Graduate Positions Jan 6 – May 8 9 graduate credits 250 hours
Spring 2020 Student Payroll Positions Jan 6 – May 8 No Waiver 250 hours
Spring 2020 SLGA Positions Jan 6 – May 8 9 graduate credits 400 hours
Summer 2020 Graduate Positions May 9 – Aug 14 1 graduate course (3 or 4 credits) 150 hours
Summer 2020 Student Payroll Positions May 9 – Aug 14 No waiver 150 hours
Summer 2020 SLGA Positions May 9 – Aug 14 3 graduate credits 250 hours
Fall 2020 GA Positions Aug 15 – Dec 18 9 graduate credits 250 hours
Fall 2020 Student Payroll Positions Aug 15 – Dec 18 No waiver 250 hours
Fall 2020 SLGA Positions Aug 15 – Dec 18 9 graduate credits 400 hours


To be eligible to receive a graduate assistant appointment, you must be admitted into a graduate degree program. Non-degree students, or those working towards certification without a degree, are not eligible.  Provisionally-admitted students are not permitted to work as graduate assistants during the provisional semester. 

Graduate assistants must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative QPA and must not have earned more than two grades of "C" or lower in any course taken while a graduate student.

Students may not hold graduate assistant positions for more than 2 years, defined for this purpose as 4 regular semesters and 1 summer session. Students in degree programs that require more than 33 credits may hold positions for more than 2 years.

Students may not be appointed as graduate assistants while working towards their second Shippensburg University master's degree.

Part-time assistantship status may be available for the fall and spring semesters for students enrolled in 6, 7, or 8 graduate credits. This status must be pre-approved. Contact the Graduate Office at (717) 477-1148 for more information.

Exceptions to these eligibility requirements may only be made upon written recommendation of the student's academic department, endorsed by the student's college dean, and with the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

To be eligible to receive an SPP appointment, an individual must be a student at Ship. Priority will be given to graduate students.

Application Procedures

Apply for open positions as soon as they are listed online. Applications will be accepted and appointments may be made through the end of the sixth week of the semester as long as there is a position vacant (see also Late Appointments section).

Appointment Process

Lists of available graduate assistantships and student payroll positions are available online. You may wish to contact some of these departments directly to express interest in their positions. You should also work with your academic department to identify potential positions.

Departments that hire students will review the applications that have been submitted and consult with academic departments to identify candidates. They may contact you and conduct an interview before making a final decision. If you are selected, the department will make a verbal offer and ask for your acceptance before making the formal recommendation for appointment.

After the appointment is submitted online by the department, the Office of Graduate Studies will verify your eligibility and then send an official letter of appointment. You will then be required to sign a memorandum of understanding and return it to the Office of Graduate Studies. If you have not worked for the university before, you will need to fill out appropriate payroll forms.

Tuition Waiver

When an appointment is formally made, the Student Accounts Office will be notified and instructed to process a tuition waiver or a refund if you have already paid tuition. Graduate assistants are responsible for all fees, including late registration, health services, educational services, student union, and graduation. Please note: students in SPPs do not receive tuition waivers as part of the position remuneration.

Academic Load

During the academic year, all full-time graduate assistants must register for and complete 9 credit hours of graduate course work each semester. Students may be eligible for part-time GA status when requested in advance by contacting their GA supervisor and the Graduate Dean's Office. During the summer sessions, all graduate assistants must register for and complete a total of 3 credit hours of graduate course work during any of the summer sessions.

Work and Compensation

Students are compensated for the work they do on an hourly basis. The hourly scale is determined by the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

During each semester, students are required to work 250 hours (approximately 15 hours per week). During the summer, students are required to work 150 hours.

Graduate assistants must work at least 90% of the required hours in order to qualify for the tuition waiver. Assistants working less than this amount will be required to pay for a portion of tuition on the following schedule:

  • 80% - 89% hours worked, 10% of tuition repaid
  • 70% - 79% hours, 20% tuition
  • 60% - 69% hours, 30% tuition
  • 50% - 59% hours, 40% tuition
  • Less than 50% hours worked, 50% of tuition

Employee Benefits

With the exception of the tuition waiver and compensation for work performed (including social security and workers' compensation payments), students do not receive any of the benefits provided to regular university employees. Students do not receive health benefits, sick leave, or any paid holidays or vacations, and they are not eligible for "STAFF" parking stickers for their vehicles.

Late Appointments

Students may be appointed through the end of the sixth week of a semester. Up to the end of the first week of classes, you will receive the full tuition waiver as long as you work the required number of hours.

After the first week of classes, the tuition waiver will be prorated based on the following schedule:

  • Through the end of the second week, 90%
  • Third week, 80%
  • Fourth week, 70%
  • Fifth week, 60%
  • Sixth week, 50%.

Students accepting a late appointment may work the full number of hours. The number of hours required (see Work and Compensation section above), however, will be based on the percentage of tuition received times the full number of hours. For example, a student who accepts a position during the third week of the semester will be required to work 200 hours, or 80% times 250 hours.

Students accepting an assistantship after the drop/add period must be registered for the appropriate number of credit hours (see Academic Load section above).

Changing an Appointment

If you would like to resign from one assistant position in order to accept a different one, you must have written permission from the department you originally accepted. If the department chooses not to give this permission, you may not accept the other appointment. You may not circumvent this requirement by resigning from one position and then accepting another appointment.

To give permission to change positions, the department that made the original appointment should send written authorization to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Resignation or Dismissal

Students may resign from their positions during the course of a semester. Any hours worked prior to resignation must be recorded on the student payroll and paid to the student.

Graduate assistants who resign will have their tuition waiver prorated based on the number of hours actually worked. For example, if a graduate assistant works 50 hours and then resigns, only 20% (50/250) of the tuition will be waived. The student will then be billed for the remaining 80%. Students who withdraw from classes and no longer meet the academic load requirements will be dismissed from their assistantships. Compensation and tuition waiver policies are the same as those for a resignation.

At the discretion of the department chair or other authorized individual, a student may be dismissed from his or her position. The chair must notify the student and the Dean of Graduate Studies in writing of the decision and the reasons for it. Compensation and tuition waiver policies are the same as those for a resignation.

Please contact the Graduate Office if you have any questions at (717) 477-1148 or