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Colleges, graduate programs, administrative offices, and research centers appoint graduate students as teaching (TA), research (RA), or graduate assistants (GA). Students apply for and obtain most assistantships through their graduate programs. The Human Resources Job Board has listings for assistantships that are open to the general graduate student population (see listings towards bottom of the above link).
Descriptions: At UIC, teaching assistantships, research assistantships and graduate assistantships are available. For information on available assistantships, contact the Director of Graduate Studies in the academic program.
Work Schedule: The weekly clock hours of service required of assistants are twenty for a half-time (50% FTE) appointment and the proportional fraction of time for other appointments.
Stipend: Minimum stipend amounts are established through collective bargaining. Departments may offer higher than the minimum. See Salary for Graduate Assistantships (includes eligibility criteria for the appointment to be qualified for a waiver of tuition certain fees) for the current year. Specifications for upcoming years may be viewed in the contract - see the link in the Teaching (TA) and Graduate (GA) Assistantship Labor Agreement section below. Even though Research Assistantship (RA) appointments are not under the contract, the minimum stipend applies to those positions as well.
Application for Graduate Appointment: Verify with the unit or academic program from which you are seeking an appointment if they require the Application for Graduate Appointment form. Many units and academic programs use their own form.
Waivers: Tuition and the some fees are waived for assistants if the appointment is between 25 and 67 percent for at least three-quarters of the term (91 calendar days in fall or spring semester, 41 calendar days during the summer session). To determine if an appointment meets the calendar-day requirement, see appointment duration ranges. The waiver does not cover any tuition differential that may be assessed, except for students registered in the following programs: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Physics, and Psychology.
See the tuition schedule for information on specific tuition rates. Graduate students who hold academic appointments as assistants for the spring semester and for whom tuition and service fees were waived in the spring are entitled to a waiver for the summer term immediately following if they do not hold a summer assistantship, provided they are registered for at least three hours during that summer term. Graduate students holding a summer assistantship must satisfy eligibiliy requirements for a waiver, as described in the previous paragraph, as well as the registration requirements specied below. Assistantship waivers cover the following charges:
- Full tuition, but note:
- does not cover tuition differential, if applicable
- disciplines under Liberal Arts and Sciences that have a differential will have it waived (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics, and Psychology)
- Service fee
- Health service fee
- Academic facilities maintenance fund assessment (AFMFA)
- Library and Information Technology Assessment (LITA)
- A portion of CampusCare Health Insurance, if the student chooses to be covered by the plan. This applies to Fall and Spring Semesters only (not in Summer terms), and does not apply to partner or dependent CampusCare packages:
- $199.50 waived in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016
- $250.00 waived in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017
- $275.00 waived in Fall 2017-Spring 2019
Assistantship waivers do not cover the following charges:
- General fee
- CTA transportation fee
- Student-to-student fee
- Sustainability fee
- Office of International Services student fees (international students only)
- The remainder of the cost of CampusCare coverage
For a complete tuition and fee schedule, please refer to the Office of Registration and Records.
There are a small number of programs (referred to as Full Cost Recovery Programs) whose students are NOT eligible for any type of tuition and fee waiver. Those programs are listed online here.
Taxation of Graduate Assistant & Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant Tuition Waivers: Please see Frequently Asked Questions.
Registration Requirements: At least eight (8) hours each semester. Registration in summer is not required to hold an assistantship. Some programs may require registration for more than eight hours per term and/or summer registration. Although the Graduate College does not require summer registration to hold a summer assistantship, a minimum of three hours registration is required to receive a summer tuition and (selected) fee waiver. Students receiving an assistantship must maintain a minimum registration through the end of the term in order to retain the waiver. A minimum of eight (8) hours in fall and spring is required for the waiver. (Note: This is different from the 12 hours required of Graduate College fellowship and allocated waivers.) Summer registration is optional for students with summer appointments, but a minimum three (3) hours in summer is required to receive the waiver. International students may have additional registration requirements. Generally:
- assistantship appointments of 50% require 08 hours in Fall and Spring semesters
- assistantship appointments less than 50% require 09 hours in Fall and Spring semesters
Summer registration is not required (see above). International students should confer with the Office of International Services for additional information.
Assistantship Offer Letter Templates: Hiring units must follow the assistantship offer letter template on the offer letters sent to students (Teaching Assistant (TA); Research Assistant (RA); Graduate Assistant (GA)). There are seperate templates TAs and GAs, and the templates are by academic year (must be followed, as the tuition differential listings change by academic year). RAs are not part of the GEO union, so information about the union should not be included in the RA offer letter.
Dental and Vision Insurance: Dental and vision benefits are provided by the University for all assistantship recipients with at least a 25% appointment. See the Grad Assistant Dental and Vision Benefits page on the UIC HR website for full details about eligibility and enrollment in these plans. In addition, Assistants who utilize CampusCare have dental and vision benefits through CampusCare (see the Benefits tab on the top of the CampusCare site).
Teaching (TA) and Graduate (GA) Assistantship Labor Agreement: Effective August 16, 2006, Teaching and Graduate Assistants at UIC have entered into an agreement by and between the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois and the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO). Administration of the agreement is handled by Office of Human Resources. Please refer to the current agreement (August 16, 2015 - August 15. 2018) to learn more about the rights and responsibilities contained therein. Please refer to the Human Resources web site for contact information. [The current agreement is in force until a new agreement is signed.]
Assistantships and Student Loans: An assistantship plus any loan or federal work-study eligibility cannot exceed the cost of attendance for the academic year. This is a federal rule. If applying for loans and/or work-study a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Conulst the Office of Student Financial Aid website for more information, or make an appointment to speak with a Financial Aid Counselor.
Questions About Waivers?: The Graduate College does not handle waivers attached to employment. First, are you registered for the correct number of hours? If yes: Did your department's HR person enter your appointment correctly? If yes: Contact Financial Aid.
Summer "roll-over" waivers must be entered manually and may not post until the second week of the Summer 2 session.