2,902: Procedures for Issuing Contracts for Graduate Assistants

Last Revised: December 2014

  1. The standard application form for a graduate assistant must be filled out completely.
  2. The contract will be prepared by the department. Department chairs, department heads, primary investigators (PI) or their equivalent are designated to sign for the appointing authority for Graduate Assistant Terms of Employment as the appointing authority for their organizational units or in the case of PI’s, for the grant accounts for which they are responsible. For Personnel Action Forms (PAF’s), the authority may be delegated to the individual responsible for the account from which the student is paid. Once signed by the appointing authority and the student, it will be forwarded to Human Resources.
  3. All graduate assistants who teach at the University of Nevada, Reno are required to satisfy the requirements of TA training (i.e. GRAD 701), attend the orientation and complete sexual harassment prevention and FERPA training during their first semester. Graduate assistants with substantial prior teaching experience who wish an exception to mandatory attendance at the orientation may file a request with the Dean of the Graduate School. The following departments/programs conduct an approved TA orientation program and students teaching for these programs are exempt from the Grad 701 course requirement: Intensive English Language Center, English, Chemistry, Core Humanities, Foreign Languages and Literatures.
  4. Students on probationary status, prescribed programs, and graduate special status for the masters and provisional for the doctorate are not eligible for graduate assistantships.
  5. A graduate assistant may be provided with grant-in-aid (GIA) and GIA is customary except in those cases where grant funding does not permit payment of tuition. The GIA is proportional to the semester FTE of the graduate assistant’s contract.
  6. The office responsible for the funding is responsible for generating the grant-in-aid form, regardless of funding source.
  7. Human Resources will run reports of students that are below the 6 credit minimum enrollment. Departments will be notified of students below the minimum. If the enrollment level is not resolved prior to the last drop/add date, the students will be released from their assistantship including their tuition, insurance and non-resident tuition benefits.
  8. Graduate assistants taking more than 12 credits or working more than 50% during the semester require an overload memo approved by the Graduate School Dean.
  9. Strict criteria must be observed in the selection and appointment of graduate assistants. They should be selected on the basis of both their scholarly records and promise of achieving success in graduate study and their maturity or experience.
  10. International students serving as Teaching Assistants must meet a two-part testing requirement. Both Part A and Part B must be satisfactorily completed.
    Requirement Part A - TestScoreRequirement Part B - TestScore
    TOEFL paper version 550 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better
    TOEFL computer version 213 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better
    TOEFL Internet-based version (iBT) 79/80 or better TOEFL internet based – speaking section OR Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 24 or better/50 or better
    International Language Testing System (IELTS) 7 or better Speak Test or Test of Spoken English (TSE) 50 or better
  11. What constitutes a superior academic record has not been defined formally, but since a minimum grade point average of 2.75 is necessary for admission to graduate standing, most departmental chairs and deans observe this minimum. In addition, international teaching assistants must score at least 550 on the TOEFL exam to be eligible for a teaching assistantship and a score of 50 or better on the Speak Test or apply the substitutions permitted above. This testing policy is not required for international students that have received an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution or when the student is originating from the following English-speaking countries: Australia, Bahamas, British Guyana, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, St. Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago, and United Kingdom.