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Grad Assistants

Hiring Graduate Assistants Heading link

Graduate Assistants are graduate students who are employed at the University. There are three types of graduate assistants:

Graduate Assistants

Duties include, but are not limited to, duties primarily in support of administrative functions, such as: clerical support (copying course materials, general office work/clerical/receptionist, correspondence, and supervising reading room); technical/support services; webmaster/assisting faculty with web pages, network administration/end user support, equipment management, monitoring instructional and service labs (computer, video, etc.); translation; routine support for publications (record keeping, writing copy for university or department newsletters or non-research publications, correspondence, etc.); advising/providing curricular and academic advice to students, providing support to advisors); and outreach duties (recruiting students, publicizing programs and activities to campus and public constituencies, and working with/assisting with event management).

Research Assistants

For tax purposes, research activities may include, but are not limited to, the following examples of applying and mastering research concepts, practices, or methods of scholarship: conducting experiments; organizing or analyzing data; presenting findings; collaborating with others in preparing publications; and conducting institutional research for an academic or administrative unit.

Teaching Assistants

Duties include, but are not limited to, duties primarily in support of instruction and educational services such as: leading discussion sections; leading class discussions; holding lectures; the design of course materials; exam preparation; proctoring and grading assignments or exams; holding office hours; note-taking; meeting special needs of students with disabilities; and/or any other educational activity or service provided.

Advertising Heading link

While many colleges may post internally, units may also post openings via the Hiretouch system and have their vacancy posted on the UIC HR Job Board.

Eligibility Requirement

The registration requirement for a student to hold a graduate assistantship is at least eight (8) hours each semester.


Graduate Assistants with a title of Graduate Assistant or Grad Teaching Assistant and have a total FTE between 25% and 67% are covered by the GEO Contract.

Offer letter Templates

Hiring units must follow the assistantship offer letter templates available on the UIC HR website for Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants that are covered by the GEO contract.

There are also recommended template letters available for graduate research assistants and graduate hourly appointments.

Tuition Waiver

Tuition (excluding differentials) & Selected Fee Waiver Eligibility: Must meet registration requirements throughout the term and hold an assistantship between 25% and 67% for a minimum of 91 continuous calendar days during the period beginning a week before instruction and the last day of finals during Fall or Spring semester and for 41 continuous calendar days during the summer term service period. A 25%-67% time appointment must be maintained for the duration of the assistantship to be eligible for a tuition and selected fee waiver. Increasing the assistantship above 67% or decreasing it below 25% will cause loss of the waiver. The only exceptions are appointments during the break between Fall and Spring semesters, as well as during the Spring break.


Summer 2023 Heading link

Summer Term (2023)

05/16/2023 – 08/15/2023 Service Dates
05/15/2023 – Start of Session I term

06/09/2023 – Session I Last day of Finals

06/12/2023 – Start of Session II term

08/04/2023 – Session II Last day of Finals
Example of 41-day appointments:05/16/2023 – 06/25/2023

06/12/2023 – 07/22/2023

06/25/2023 – 08/04/2023

06/25/2023 – 08/15/2023

Academic Year 2023-2024 Heading link

Fall Semester (2023)08/14/2023 - Week before instruction begins

08/21/2023 - Start of academic term

12/08/2023 - Last day of finals
Example of 91-day appointments:08/16/2023 – 11/14/2023

08/21/2023 – 11/19/2023

09/05/2023 – 12/04/2023

09/09/2023 - 12/08/2023
Spring Semester (2024)01/01/2024 - Week before instruction begins

01/08/2024 - Start of academic term

05/03/2024 - Last day of finals
Example of 91-day appointments:01/01/2024 – 03/31/2024

01/08/2024 – 04/07/2024

01/16/2024 – 04/15/2024

02/03/2024 – 05/03/2024
Summer Term (2024)

05/16/2024 - 08/15/2024 Service Dates
05/13/2024 – Start of Session I term

06/07/2024 – Session I Last day of Finals

06/10/2024 – Start of Session II term

08/02/2024 – Session II Last day of Finals
Example of 41-day appointments:05/16/2024 - 06/25/2024

06/10/2024 – 07/20/2024

06/23/2024 - 08/02/2024

06/23/2024 – 08/15/2024

More detailed information regarding Graduate Assistantships can be found on the Graduate College website

Tuition waivers will cover the cost of the full tuition except for those graduate programs that have tuition differentials. Please see Admission and Records for a current listing of Tuition and Fees breakdown.

Note: Those who received an assistantship tuition waiver in the Spring semester, but do not have an assistantship in the summer, will be eligible for the summer auto waiver. A student with a summer assistantship must meet the criteria for a summer waiver regardless of whether or not they held a Spring appointment.


Taxability of Certain Assistantship Tuition and Service Fee Waivers

In compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 127, $5,250 per calendar year in tuition and service fee waivers associated with GA and/or PGA appointments is excluded from taxable income. Please see the University Payroll and Benefits website for more information.

Pre-doctoral fellowships

Graduate students may also hold Pre-doctoral Fellowships which are zero percent, non-benefit eligible appointments awarded to Graduate students, who have yet to earn their Doctorate or terminal degree.

Minima for Graduate Appointments

Processing Graduate Reappointments

Steps for processing Graduate reappointments can be found in the HR Front End Graduate Reappointment job aid.