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(3) General Graduate Assistantship Policies

Middle Georgia State University’s graduate assistantships are designed to provide students with valuable professional development opportunities while earning a graduate degree. The graduate assistantship involves the dual responsibilities of maintaining a satisfactory academic performance and of successfully performing the assigned duties.

Work assignments cannot exceed 19 hours per week. Students interested in seeking an assistantship may contact the Office of Graduate Admissions, the program chair, and/or dean of the college or school offering the graduate program in which they are enrolled. (For specific application instructions, see section 5 of this handbook, “Application Process.”) GAs may not volunteer “extra hours” while employed or be asked to work more time than what they can be paid. GAs are not allowed to work as a GA prior to (or after) their contracted dates. GAs must complete all required hiring documents with the Office of Human Resources prior to their first day of work.

If GAs feel at any time that their work responsibilities cannot be completed during the 19 hours, then they should express their concerns with their supervisor immediately to discuss alternative solutions. Working in excess of the 19 hour limit is not permissible.

All GAs are classified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Exempt work is performed by either (a) executives/administrators or (b) professionals, and is paid on a salaried basis regardless of the specific number of hours worked in a given week. GAs perform work at the professional level, utilizing content knowledge that requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and as a result are paid as exempt professionals. GAs may NOT be engaged in work that is primarily or materially clerical, service/maintenance, trades/skilled crafts, or technical/paraprofessional, since such work must be classified as non-exempt under the FLSA and must be paid on an hourly basis for all hours worked, including overtime, if applicable.

Assistantship appointments are made for one semester and are not automatically renewed. A request for graduate assistantship must be completed for each semester an assistantship is requested. Continuation depends upon availability of funds, level of enrollment, and program needs. Salaries are paid in accordance with the budget policies and payroll procedures of the university.

Assistantship appointments are made for a maximum of two years. Additional semesters must be recommended by the employing school or department and approved by the appropriate dean and the graduate coordinator.

The Graduate Assistantship Handbook does not represent a contract of employment. Graduate Assistants are employed on an at-will basis, meaning that employment is not guaranteed for a specific duration of time. The University has a right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause.