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Graduate Student Assistantships

Graduate Student Assistantships include Graduate Student Instructors, Graduate Student Staff Assistants, and Graduate Student Research Assistants. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours in the Fall/Winter semesters in order to hold these positions.

LSA prefers graduate students limit employment in any given semester to a maximum of 26 standard hours per week (a total of 65% effort from all sources). In the event a graduate student wishes to exceed this preferred hours per week cap, the Department in which the graduate student is pursuing his/her degree must first request and be granted an exception by the Dean's Office.

Also, keep in mind that visa restrictions prohibit international students from working more than 20 hours per week. See the International Center for more information.

GSIs (Graduate Student Instructors)

Graduate Student Instructors allow graduate students to share their academic discipline expertise with LSA undergraduate students. They are employed to teach in classrooms and office hours. For the specific duties on a GSI, please see the GEO Contract, Article I.B.5.

LSA requires that Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) have at least 20 hours of pedagogy training in order to prepare for teaching undergraduate students but many students have many more hours of preparation. Students whose undergraduate education was not conducted exclusively in English are given training and testing opportunities in order to teach in Michigan’s dynamic classrooms.

Please see our Policy for Training & Testing Prospective GSIs in LSA for more information.

GSSAs (Graduate Student Staff Assistants)

Graduate Student Staff Assistants are administrative in nature and academically relevant to the student’s degree program. For a specific definition of a GSSA, please see the GEO Contract, Article I.B.6.

GSRAs (Graduate Student Research Assistants)

Graduate Student Research Assistants perform research relevant to their degree programs, usually in conjunction with a faculty member. GSRAs are not governed by the GEO contract. For more information about GSRA appointments, please see the Academic HR website.

Graduate Students Teaching as Instructor of Record

Requests by departments for students to serve as instructor of record should review the information on our website before proceeding.  Please keep in mind that in the few cases in which we allow graduate students to teach as instructor of record, the college does not allow graduate students to evaluate the work of other graduate students nor do we allow graduate students as instructor of record to supervise other graduate students serving as GSIs.

Hiring of GSAs in LSA

For LSA departments and programs that want to hire GSIs or GSSAs, please note that these assistantships are governed by the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) contract. Departments are allocated a section budget by the Dean’s Office which provides the funding to support GSA’s stipend, health insurance, and tuition waiver expenses

  • For questions about department section budgets, please contact LSA Budget (shared resource box) email:
  • For information on the process to hire GSAs, please contact LSA Academic HR, email:


More information is on the U-M Academic HR website

Information about posting a position can be found within the U-M/GEO contract