What is a graduate assistantship?

A graduate assistantship is a paid position for current graduate students at NMU. GAs, as they're commonly referred to, can hold administrative or teaching assistant roles. In addition to being paid for 20 hours/week during the academic year, GAs are also awarded a scholarship that covers their tuition and fees by the department in which they're employed. 




Graduate Assistant Benefits

  • Annual stipend of $11,236 (paid out bi-weekly while on-contract)
  • Full-tuition scholarships covering 100% of in-state tuition and fees (up to 8 credits/semester)
  • Complimentary faculty/staff parking pass
  • Access to the Vielmetti Health Center
  • University issued laptop
  • Academic year meal weekly autoload

Assistantships by Program

Teaching Assistantships are available to all students in the following programs:

  • Biology 
  • English (MA + MFA - Creative Writing)
  • Athletic Training
  • Exercise Science
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology

Administrative Assistantships are open to students in any program. The hiring department determines specific eligibility. The number of GAA positions varies by year.

Research Assistantships are available to students pursuing a research-based degree and only awarded to students who have coordinated with an NMU faculty member prior to admission.

Open Positions


2024-2025 Academic Year:

Department of Social Work
Graduate Administrative Assistant 
Job Description 
Application material requirements:
Cover Letter, Resume, and Graduate Assistant Application Form (linked below).

To Apply visit our posting on Handshake. 
Any questions please contact, Sarah Carlson, MSW Program Director. 
906.227. 2726, sarahcar@nmu.edu

Graduate Assistant Application Form - if requested by the hiring department

If you have questions about a posted position, contact the hiring department. 

If you have general questions about Graduate Assistantships contact: Sarah Amidon, Assistant Director of Graduate Student Affairs 906.227. 2405, scarson@nmu.edu

Graduate Assistant Position General Duties

All graduate assistants should read the graduate assistant handbook

Assistantship positions are often available weeks prior to the start of each semester. Contact the College of Graduate Studies and Research directly along with your Program Director for any upcoming vacancies. 

Duties of a graduate assistant are designed to complement the student’s graduate program and to advance the program of the assigning department. Duties assigned to the graduate assistant are subject to approval by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

The workload of a graduate assistant consists of up to 20 hours per week during the fall and winter semesters. Typical duties and responsibilities of graduate assistants may include:

  • Teaching/supervising a lecture or a laboratory section under the direction of a faculty member
  • Assisting in research projects for a department or individual faculty member
  • Grading papers and developing curriculum materials
  • Performing limited clerical duties
  • Special projects as assigned
Brooke Burlingame

Being able to obtain a graduate assistantship on campus solidified my decision to pursue a graduate degree. From this experience, I was able to gain knowledge and skills far beyond that of what was learned in the classroom. I also received support and encouragement from the staff I worked with and made connections that I know will carry on for years to come.

Brooke Burlingame, '17, '20

Higher Education and Student Affairs

Application and Position Overview

To apply for a graduate teaching assistantship, check with your academic department for their specific application procedures. To apply for a research or administrative graduate assistantship, see the open positions and required application materials and submit them to the hiring department. 

Graduate assistants are paid employees of the university. Their pay dates begin the first payday of the fall semester and end at the conclusion of the winter semester. As salaried employees, they have the same days off that faculty have during the year, which include holidays and semester breaks.

Note that accepting an NMU graduate assistantship makes you ineligible to work in any other position or additional hours on campus during your contracted dates.

Minimum Application Requirements

To be considered for a graduate assistantship position, you must follow the instructions of the department's posting in addition to meeting the conditions listed below.

You must:

  1. Be admitted to a master's level program without any conditions (graduate certificate and non-degree seeking students are not eligible for these positions)
  2. Have a 3.0 GPA or higher in all graduate-level coursework
  3. Follow any additional application instructions specified by the department
  4. Provide materials relevant to employment experience (such as resume, CV, etc.)

The department may require that you also provide:

  1. The graduate assistantship application
  2. Provide three letters of recommendation (These should be dedicated to the graduate assistant position specifically). 
  3. A cover letter detailing your reasons for seeking the position


Additional Information

  • GA Task Force Meeting Minutes
  • Graduate Student Worker positions (which are not graduate assistantships) will also be posted when available. See Career Services also for assistantships other employment opportunities. Note that the acceptance of a graduate assistantship makes you ineligible for most other NMU positions during your contracted dates.
  • International Students: International students are eligible for graduate assistantships once they are admitted to the university. They must abide by the rules and laws set out by their visa status. If a student is unsure about the guidelines of their visa, they should contact the International Education Services Office