Benefits of Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships

Graduate assistantships are jobs that provide students with a support role within a university. Typically, graduate assistants are pursuing a postgraduate degree. They earn a stipend and work under the supervision of a professor. They have a number of benefits, including health insurance and a pension plan.

Working for a professor

Graduate assistantships often require graduate students to perform a variety of duties for a professor. These duties may include teaching, grading, and lab assistance. They may also require decision-making skills. While there is little direct link between the types of tasks performed as a graduate assistant and the types of jobs that grad students eventually pursue, assistantships may provide valuable experience that will transfer to other fields.

Assistantships usually offer financial assistance, such as fee waivers and health insurance. They also provide hands-on experience that is vital to a graduate student’s CV. In addition, they offer the opportunity to work with experts in their fields and network with others in the field. These contacts can be useful after graduation, as references can be found through professional networks.


Graduate assistants help faculty members and students with a wide variety of administrative tasks associated with the graduate program. These duties may not necessarily be related to research or teaching. They may be involved in preparing or maintaining lab equipment, developing and grading exams, or setting up displays during lectures. Graduate assistants also assist in research projects.

Graduate assistants must meet certain standards. Their supervisors must review their performance, and the student’s performance must be evaluated in writing. The supervisor must provide this evaluation to the student and to the chair or director of their program. In addition, these evaluations must include areas for improvement. Students may request an appeal if they feel they did not perform their job satisfactorily.


Graduate assistants receive a monthly stipend that can range from $15,560 to $22,500 depending on the graduate program. These stipends are issued through the payroll office of Marquette University on a bi-weekly basis, and students are encouraged to set up direct deposit to receive them directly in their bank account. Instructions for this can be found online.

The amount of stipends that students receive will vary widely between universities and departments, although most graduate assistants are paid for the entire academic year, and the stipend is intended to cover living expenses. The amount of stipends that graduate assistants receive will be based on the amount of university tuition and special program fees they’ll incur.

SUNY Student Employee Health Plan

If you are pursuing graduate assistantships at SUNY New Paltz, you will have the option to enroll in the SEHP. To enroll, you must complete an enrollment form and submit it to the university’s Human Resources office. Once your application is approved, your health insurance coverage will begin.

This plan is available to graduate assistants on F-1 visas and J-1 visas. The cost of the plan is paid by the employer. Graduate assistants are eligible to enroll in the SEHP when they receive an annual stipend of $4,422 or more.

Unpaid parental leave

Graduate assistantships can provide unpaid parental leave in certain situations. For example, a new parent who has miscarried may take leave without paying back the assistantship. This policy is intended to support work-life integration and allows new parents to spend quality time with their child. It is important to note that Graduate assistants must continue to fulfill their duties during the leave period and should discuss their plans with their major advisor and assistantship supervisor.

Graduate assistants who wish to take unpaid parental leave should be aware that the University of Iowa does not adjust time-to-degree clocks for new parents. However, graduate assistants who hold Research Assistantships or Teaching Assistantships may be eligible to take additional unpaid leave. To find out more about these policies and how to apply for them, students should contact their home department’s Human Resources Representative. In addition, graduate students can take advantage of a Parental Leave ICON course. This course is available through Self Service and under My Training.


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