Graduate Assistantships


In exchange for service, an assistantship provides a monthly salary, tuition remission, and an institutional contribution toward the graduate assistant-only health insurance premium.

To qualify for appointment as a graduate assistant the student must:

  • Be a regularly admitted, conditionally admitted, or provisionally admitted graduate student at Oregon State University (i.e., not a graduate non-degree seeking, post baccalaureate student, Professional Science Master's, Graduate Certificate, PharmD or DVM student).
  • Be enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking graduate student at Oregon State University, registered for a minimum of 12 graduate credits each term (three credits during summer session). Audit registrations, course withdrawals, and enrollment in INTO-OSU may not be used to satisfy these minimum enrollment requirements.
  • Be making satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree.

Appointments adhere to the Graduate Assistant Appointment and Salary Guidelines as established by the Graduate School and the Coalition of Graduate Employee Collective Bargaining Agreement. Graduate assistants may be appointed on an academic term basis, an academic-year basis (nine months) or a full-year basis (12 months) at a minimum 0.4 FTE. The typical assistantship appointment in the Department is a 0.49 FTE, term based appointment. All graduate assistants are required to provide duties to OSU to justify their stipends as stated in their position descriptions.

To learn more information about OSU Graduate Assistantships and how they compare with OSU Graduate Fellowships, review this chart

Positions Available

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA)

A graduate research assistant aids a faculty member in conducting a research project. Appointments and stipends are based on training, ability, and experience. The funding used to support research assistants is drawn from external grants to principle investigator (i.e. Graduate Faculty) employed by the University. Students supported on research assistantships should stay in close contact with their Major Professor so that they understand the level and duration of their funding. 

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA)

Graduate Teaching Assistants can teach FWCS courses (FW) through Corvallis, HMSC or Ecampus campuses. Graduate students, in consultation with their major faculty member, may gain teaching experience or extend the period of time covered by research support through a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA). The GTA positions should not be considered a permanent source of funding.

GTA support comes in three forms:

  • Online courses assigned to the students of the Course Supervisors.
  • Online courses that have not been assigned to the students of a Course Supervisor (because he/she does not have a student who needs the support).
  • A limited number of on campus GTAs that are subsidized by Ecampus program revenues. These on campus GTAs can be “grader” positions for large courses or lab TAs. On campus GTAs are filled by review of qualified applicants, but require the GTA to be on campus for labs and office hours. 

Students in need of support who are qualified to assist with particular courses will be assigned first. We occasionally hire a student from Marine Resource Management, Environmental Science, or Zoology after all FW Master's and PhD students are supported. Graduate students cannot instruct graduate-level courses, and can only assist with “slash” courses if they do not have grading responsibilities for the graduate students in the class.

Graduate students can apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistant position by completing the GTA Application Form, and submitting a signed copy to the Associate Department Head, Bruce Dugger. The form should be filled out in consultation with the student’s major professor and requires their signature. GTAs are important positions that require careful evaluation and screening to assure that there is a good match between the course and the student; as such, we ask that students and their mentors do not submit a request as a “placeholder” if other sources of funding are likely to become available. Priority assignment will be given to students who apply at least one term prior to the need for support, and applications should be submitted no later than three weeks prior to the start of the term for which the student is hoping to teach.

PhD students who are interested in developing a course for teaching experience should discuss opportunities and time commitment needs with their major professor first, then meet with the Associate Department Head, Bruce Dugger.

To provide the opportunity of teaching assistantships to the largest number of graduate students, students that have assisted in a course three times will be considered as teaching assistants for that course, only when no other qualified graduate student is available. Teaching experience is considered by the faculty to be a significant part of a student's education. All graduate students, particularly PhD candidates, are encouraged and may be required to obtain teaching experience, providing that the student's research program is not affected adversely. This could involve giving one or two lectures in a course or being responsible for a portion of the laboratory work, or whatever mutually agreeable arrangement can be made.

Supervision of the Teaching Assistant will be by the instructor for the course. Instructors who share a Teaching Assistant will coordinate activities of the Teaching Assistant consistent with course requirements and the Assistant's availability. Problems encountered by the Assistant shall be discussed with the supervising instructor(s). If problems cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the Department Head shall be consulted by the parties concerned.