Most Iowa State doctoral students and many of our master's students are appointed to graduate assistantships (GAs). These teaching, research, and administrative appointments are made by departments, graduate programs, research institutes, and other university units. Policies concerning GAs can be found in the Graduate College Handbook.
Graduate Assistant Insurance Benefits
Graduate assistants with a teaching, research, or administrative assistantship are enrolled for self-only coverage in Iowa State’s Student and Scholar Health Insurance Program with no premium cost.GA Insurance Benefits PDF
While rare, injuries can sometimes happen as graduate assistants complete their research, teaching, and other duties. This page outlines what to do in case of injury, and how medical expenses may be covered.
Graduate assistants must:
- Be admitted to a degree program.
- Be registered as a student.
- Devote a specified number of hours per week to the duties assigned.
In addition, teaching assistants (and other graduate students who have teaching responsibilities) who are not native speakers of American English must take International TA Program tests of oral proficiency before being assigned teaching duties. If test results are below level one, the student must take at least one communication class.
Stipends dispersed to GAs are determined by the appointing department, program, or unit, which must provide at least the minimum amounts set for the university. The stipend is subject to income tax withholding requirements.
Tuition and Fee Reduction, and Other Benefits
- Tuition: Graduate assistants with an appointment of one-quarter time or more for at least three months during a semester, or for at least four weeks during a summer term, are assessed resident tuition for that term. Spouses of graduate assistants are also assessed tuition at the resident rate. Contact the Registrar's Office for the spousal tuition benefit.
- Tuition Scholarship: Graduate assistants who are on appointment for at least three months
each semester, or least four weeks during the summer, receive a Graduate
Scholarship for a portion of resident tuition unless they:
- do not fulfill the appointment and leave before the required appointment duration is complete,
- are on academic probation, or
- hold a fellowship or traineeship that provides funds for tuition and fee payments.
GAs appointed at a half-time or greater fraction who are pursuing doctoral or certain professional master's degrees (M.Arch., M.L.A., and M.F.A.), will receive a scholarship award of 100% of the in-state tuition. Master's students appointed at a half-time or greater fraction will receive a 50% tuition scholarship award.
- Computer fee reduction: GAs are assessed half of the required computer fee for the academic year.
- Health insurance: GAs on an appointment at least three months during a semester receive single-student health insurance coverage, which includes a prescription drug plan at no charge (additional coverage for a spouse, children, and dental is available for additional premiums). Visit sship.hr.iastate.edu for information on how to enroll, costs, and specific plan information.
GA support may be provided for limited periods of time (as briefly as one month of a summer). Many graduate students are appointed throughout their graduate programs via a sequence of appointments, each of which may be for a duration of up to one year. International students with a visa should coordinate their GA appointments with the International Students & Scholars Office on the fourth floor of the Memorial Union, Suite 4530.➤