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Graduate Assistantship

Benefits & Tuition Remission

Graduate Assistants (GAs) at the University of Maryland  are eligible for up to 10 credits of tuition per semester, enrollment in the university health care programs, Credit Union membership, Faculty Club membership, priority housing in graduate apartments, use of certain facilities, and receive a financial stipend.
To see the UMD Policy on Benefits for Graduate Assistants, visit

For a detailed review of the policies, visit the Graduate School Catalog at

All graduate assistants fall into one of three steps. Step I is for first-year graduate assistants only; Step II is for second-year assistants, as well as those students, new or continuing, holding a master’s degree; and Step III is for doctoral students officially advanced to candidacy. Graduate Assistants may work full (20 hr/wk) or half (10 hr/wk) time and are appointed for either a 12-month, 9.5-month, or 9-month period, after which their contracts may be reviewed for renewal if and when appropriate.
Learn more about steps and stipends at

UMCP encourages and supports University faculty, staff and retirees, both on the College Park campus and within the University System of Maryland (USM), to make use of the opportunity to enroll in academic courses. Tuition remission benefits are also available for the spouse and dependents of regular status and retired faculty and staff members.
To learn more about tuition remission, visit University Human Resources at

Graduate Assistants on a full- or half-time appointment may enroll in the university employee health benefits program. The personnel coordinator in the student’s department should be able to provide appropriate forms. GAs must enroll within 60 days of their initial employment to be eligible for a health care program. GAs may enroll their spouses and children under this program.
Any graduate student who is ineligible for the employee health care program may enroll in the student health insurance program offered by the University Health Center.
For more information, call the University Health Center Insurance Office at 301-314-8165 or visit

Graduate Assistants working full-time on 12-month appointments may have time-away from their duties. A full time (20 hours per week), 12-month assistantship carries the expectation that the GA will be allowed ten workdays (40 hours) of collegially supported absence. This time away from duties must be taken during the current appointment. It may not be accumulated or transferred. It does not include time when the University is closed.  Because colleagues must perform the GA’s responsibilities during an absence, reasonable notice and prior approval by the GA’s supervisor are required. Time-away from duty may be used for such purpose as the GA elects and is, therefore, distinct and separate from allowable absences for illness, maternity, or adoption. If a Graduate Assistant becomes ill, time away from duties should initially be supported collegially. Occasional, short-term absences on account of illness generally will not require the use of the allowable “time-away from duty” days.
Learn more about Policies for Graduate Assistantships at


Graduate student GA's, TA's, RA's can potentially save hundreds of dollars a year from their Metrorail and Metrobus commuting costs by using a pre-tax payroll benefit called SmartBenefits. SmartBenefits allows up to $100 each month to be deducted pre-tax from a University paycheck. This $100 can be provided in the form of Metrocheks (paper Metro pass with a magnetic strip) or automatically credited each month to a reusable plastic SmarTrip Card.

Sign up for SmartBenefits and receive a SmarTrip card free of charge through the Department of Transportation Services. SmarTrip cards can also be purchased through various Metro locations including all stations that offer parking.

Note: All fees for parking at Metro stations must be paid using a SmarTrip card.

Finding a Graduate Assistantship

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Graduate Assistants (GAs) are, first and foremost, graduate students pursuing an education. The opportunity to work closely with faculty members and undergraduate students in teaching, research, or administrative environments is an integral part of that education. Graduate students who hold assistantships benefit educationally and professionally. They gain further expertise in their field; enhance their research skills and develop pedagogical skills; acquire experience in leadership, interpersonal effectiveness, and performance evaluation; acquire academic administrative experience; and enjoy collegial collaborations with advisors that may result in joint publications and other professional activities. Skills learned in assistantships prepare students not only for the academy, but also for corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Assistantships also provide graduate students with the financial resources necessary to pursue their degrees. This financial support—stipend, tuition remission, and benefits—is part of the University’s commitment to the success of our graduate students.

The official title of Graduate Assistant is used in all university documents, but, in general practice, Graduate Assistants are referred to either as Graduate Teaching Assistants (TAs), Graduate Research Assistants (RAs), or Graduate Administrative Assistants (AAs). Additionally, a small number of Graduate Assistants serve as resident life counselors. Qualified graduate students often move between these kinds of appointments during their graduate education.
Learn more about the kinds of assistantships available at UMD at

There is no centralized posting of all available assistanships on campus; however, many are listed on the University Human Resources website at To see a list of every graduate assistanship position advertised on Careers4Terps(C4T), visit

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