Graduate Assistant/Associate Guidelines

GA Classifications, Salary, and Promotion

Graduate Assistants/Associates in Teaching & Research (GAs) are officially classified into three categories:

CategoryAcademic year pay
(0.50 Appointment)
Level I Graduate Assistant $18,000
Level II Graduate Assistant $18,400
Graduate Associate $18,800

The pay rates given here are current. Increases correspond to annual University budgetary guidelines.

 Graduate Assistant I

New GAs start as Graduate Assistant I.

Graduate Assistant II

To be promoted to Graduate Assistant II, a student must both

  1. complete the Qualifying Exam portion of the Ph.D. program and
  2. have satisfactory teaching or research performance.

Satisfactory teaching performance means that the GA received positive evaluations in all aspects of teaching responsibility. All teaching activities of GAs are under the supervision of an assigned member of the department. The supervisor will evaluate the performance of the GA and will submit a written report to the Graduate Committee and to the Undergraduate Committee. The evaluation is not considered confidential and may be discussed with the GA.

Satisfactory research performance is determined by the professor with whom the GA worked. We have additional information on satisfactory progress.

Graduate Associate

To be promoted to Graduate Associate, a student must both

  1. pass the comprehensive exam, and
  2. have satisfactory teaching or research performance.

Promotions will normally take place in August following achievement of milestones.


Appeals will follow the same procedure as outlined in the Satisfactory Progress section.


Duties of a Half-Time (50%) Graduate Assistant or Associate in Teaching (GA):

  1. First-year Graduate Assistant duties will include:
    1. Teaching four (4) units per semester or equivalent time spent on tutoring, grading, or proctoring examinations.
    2. Mandatory completion of the University's Teaching Assistant/Associate Training Online (TATO) as well as the Mathematics Department orientation of three half-days.
    3. Mandatory enrollment in MATH 596T.
  2. For Graduate Assistants/Associates in their second or later years, duties will include:
    1. Teaching nine (9) units per year or equivalent time spent on tutoring, grading, or proctoring examinations.


Units of Teaching are determined as follows:

  1. If the teaching assistant/associate has total responsibility for a class then each hour per week of teaching counts as one unit.
  2. Each hour per week spent in the tutoring room counts as 2/5 unit.
  3. Each hour per week spent grading counts as 1/3 unit for undergraduate courses, or 2/5 unit for graduate courses.
  4. For a student holding a Graduate Assistantship/Associateship in Teaching for a percentage of time other than 50%, the duties are assigned proportionately (e.g., the work load for a 25% GTA is half of that for a 50% GTA).


Conditions for a Graduate Assistant or Associate in Teaching (GA):

Employment as a GA is contingent upon the following:

  1. Maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average in your graduate courses;
  2. Successful completion of at least nine units of credit towards your degree program during each semester of this appointment;
  3. Satisfactory evaluation of your performance as a teaching assistant;
  4. If you have passed the Qualifying Examination at the PhD level, that you make satisfactory progress towards identifying an advisor, forming your Oral Comprehensive Examination Committee, and preparing for your Oral Comprehensive Exam;
  5. If you have already completed your Oral Comprehensive Exam, that you have identified a dissertation topic and are making good progress on your dissertation research;
  6. While employed as a GA, students may not hold other employment at the University of Arizona or elsewhere which involves 10 hours per week or more without prior, written approval from the Associate Head for the Graduate Program.