About the Graduate Assistant Program
A limited number of Graduate Assistantships are available at Fitchburg State. Current and entering graduate students are eligible for these positions that waive both tuition and fees for fifteen semester hours of graduate course work and also provide a stipend. Qualified students must apply and secure a position with the Department before securing final approval from the Dean of School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education.
Graduate Assistant Types
Graduate Assistant- Administrative
Graduate Assistants (GA) provide academic and program support to academic, administrative or service units of the university. GA responsibilities may be administrative in nature and consist of duties not directly related to teaching or research (such as program planning, working with student groups, and assisting with the administrative duties of an office).
Graduate Assistant– Academic Program/Research
Graduate Assistants provide support in the department with research related work, program support or assisting with lab set-up and equipment maintenance, classroom set-up and other program related research or administrative work.
Students seeking appointments to graduate assistant positions must be accepted to a graduate degree program. Newly accepted graduate students must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better. Current graduate students must have a graduate GPA of 3.5 or better. Two letters of recommendation attesting to their work history are required.
Graduate Assistantships currently available for 2020/2021
Please email the graduate assistantship application (PDF), cover letter, resume and references to the department contact.
Once a Position with a Department has been Secured
Your application (including the following documents) should be forwarded to the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education Office for the Dean's final review.
- Completed graduate assistantship application (PDF)
- Recommendation from the Department
- Current resume
- Two letters of recommendation in reference to candidate's work history (letters from prior employers/managers)
- Unofficial transcript (available on Web4 or email the Office of the Registrar)
- Departments may require a CORI background check. The following form would need to be filled out.
Stipend and Award
20 Hour a Week Option
Graduate assistants hired to work 20 hours a week and are paid $10,800.00 for the academic year beginning August/September –June 30th. (If assistant is graduating in May their last day cannot be after graduate commencement.) Assistants in this role must work 20 hours per week for 40 weeks in order to earn the full stipend.
The appointment and award include a tuition and fees waiver for 12 semester hours of graduate work to be completed within the academic year of the appointment. Tuition and fees waivers cannot be carried over to subsequent years.
10 Hour a Week Option
Graduate Assistants hired to work part-time work 10 hours a week and are paid $5,400 for the academic year. Part-time assistants also receive a tuition and fees waiver for 6 semester hours of graduate work to be completed within the academic year of the appointment.
Tuition and fees waivers do not apply to Undergraduate Courses, Independent Studies, Directed Studies, Field Work, or other special scheduling courses.
Exceptions may be made regarding length of appointments, if so, awards will be prorated. Graduate assistants are not entitled to any fringe benefits including vacation, sick leave or unemployment compensation, at the end of their contract.
Academic Requirements to Maintain Assistantship
Graduate assistants must carry a minimum load of 6 semester hours of graduate work per semester (Fall & Spring) in their program, which is considered full-time. Under load or over load must be petitioned to the Dean of the School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education.
The student petition must be approved by the student’s academic advisor and the Dean of the School of Graduate, Online, and Continuing Education.
Graduate assistants must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in their academic work.
Graduate Assistant Working Hours
Graduate assistants are required to work 20 hours per week or 10 hours a week depending on the position they have secured. During official school breaks students must petition (Student Petition Form (PDF) to request permission for extended hours. Hours will vary by department and position. See your department supervisor for more details.
Graduate assistants are not allowed to secure a second position on campus.
Standards of Conduct
Standards of conduct are guidelines for all Graduate Assistants to follow in order to create a safe, comfortable, and productive work environment that sets forth a model worthy of emulation by students. All staff members are expected to carry out their assigned responsibilities with conscientious concern. The following paragraphs describe the workplace etiquette that is expected of staff members by the Fitchburg State University Administration.
It is expected that all Graduate Assistants of Fitchburg State will contribute to making the working climate one that is characterized by respectful interactions, cooperation among department personnel, open and constructive communication, and trust. Graduate Assistants will speak kindly with one another and acknowledge each other’s talents and skills, although each individual may have a different means of achieving the same goal. Graduate Assistants will work collaboratively toward common goals, support each other, and be accepting of each other’s ideas. Graduate Assistants will be prompt when working with each other, and above all else, treat others as they would want to be treated.
Fitchburg State University is committed to providing a work environment free from harassment of any nature, including, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, marital or parental status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or veteran status or any other type of harassment.
Harassment is unwanted verbal, physical, or visual conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, marital or parental status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or veteran status. Any Graduate Assistant that has witnessed, experienced or has knowledge of any act of harassment has an obligation to report this to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources & Payroll Services/Affirmative Action Officer, located in the office of human resources at ext. 3172. Please also visit this resource for more information.
The university will act to protect its Graduate Assistants from physical and/or psychological abuse (defined as the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress). Any Graduate Assistant who is threatened with harm should notify University Police if there is an immediate threat at ext. 3111. If there is not an immediate threat, contact the Office of Human Resources at ext. 3172 and/or your immediate supervisor. A written report of any serious incidents shall be given to the President and to the Vice President of the area.
No Graduate Assistant is expected to tolerate violent actions from other Graduate Assistants, students, faculty, administrators, or any person with whom they come into contact throughout their employment. Graduate Assistants should report any incident of violence to human resources, their immediate supervisor, or university police.
Taking Time Off (Sick Time or Vacation)
Graduate Assistants should contact their supervisor directly if they need to request time off for sickness or personal reasons. Graduate Assistants are not eligible for paid leave.
Graduate Assistants are not eligible for paid leave.
There are 11 paid holidays. Holidays that fall on a Saturday are to be observed on a Saturday. Holidays that fall on a Sunday are to be observed on the Monday immediately following. For a current listing of holiday dates, please visit www.mass.gov/hrd or stop by the Office of Human Resources and Payroll Services.
Graduate Assistants are also not required to work over the winter or spring breaks.
- Human Resources and Payroll Services
978-665-3172 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- University Police
- Environmental Health and Safety Officer
- School of Graduate, Online and Continuing Education