Graduate Assistantships

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:

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

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.