Graduate School > Publications > Administration of Graduate Assistantships

Enrollment Requirements


The academic policy of the university requires that when a student serves as a Graduate Assistant, he or she must enroll as a full-time student; however "full-time" means from 1 to 12 hours of graduate level work, depending upon the obligations of each assistantship. Minimum full-time enrollment loads for Graduate Assistants vary depending on the assistantship award. Maximum course loads are also suggested for each FTE assignment, however each department is responsible for setting a maximum limit for each student. Please note the implications of enrollment for less than 3 hours for tax deductions - see later sections. Based on a full-time Equivalency (FTE) award of 1.00 FTE as representing a 40-hour workweek, FTE assignments and enrollment minimums and maximums are represented in the following table:


Hours required

Maximum hours


0.50 (20 hours)



0.25 (10 hours)



The number of hours worked by a student must take account of any other on-campus appointment and also any off-campus employment. When determining their number of hours students should be asked to sign a declaration confirming whether or not they have any other employment. Students may not work more than a combined total of 20 hours per week.

In special circumstances where a student is enrolling in classes for a minimum number of hours in order to complete his thesis or dissertation and is expected to graduate in that semester, then the student may be allowed to enroll in one hour of thesis or 3 hours of dissertation research. However, this concession is only available upon formal application to the Dean of the Graduate School where the student has submitted his paper and the Dean has signed by the last date to register a course. Also, students should be aware that reducing their enrolled hours below the minimum levels required for each level of FTE might impact their full-time status for taxation and federal financial aid. For further information, please see the Graduate School policy Minimum Registration Requirement or enquire at the university’s student financial aid office  

Different enrollment requirements apply for interim and summer semesters. See section Interim and Summer Terms.

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