Assistantships | LSU Graduate School

Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships at LSU

There are many reasons to become a graduate assistant, not the least of which is that an assistantship will provide necessary financial support for your education. In exchange for service, an assistantship provides a monthly stipend and a non-resident fee waiver. Some assistantships include full tuition exemption. 

Teaching assistantships (TAs) may include leading a discussion, delivering lectures, grading papers, or supervising a laboratory. Research assistantships (RAs) typically assist in conducting research projects. Service assistantships (SAs) will include, but are not limited to,  conducting data analysis, assisting in library services, and other academic/professional assignments.

Many teaching assistants teach introductory undergraduate courses or assist faculty in the delivery of upper division and graduate courses. This requires not only a mastery of the course content, but it also challenges your ability to communicate ideas clearly (a skill that is central to success in your graduate studies and professional life). For many students planning a career in academia, a TA position is an excellent training ground. There is a new Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop for new TAs offered each fall. The workshop offers support and other resources for teaching, enhance your effectiveness as an instructor, and help you get off to a great start in the classroom. Additional details will be provided at a later date. 

Teaching Assistant 1 (TA1)- GA duties do not include contact with students in scheduled meetings of classes and laboratories. GAs working under this category work in support of instructional programs, including such tasks as preparing examinations, grading papers, assisting in preparation of lectures, maintaining class records, and tutoring students outside of formal class and laboratory settings.

Teaching Assistant 2 (TA2)- GA duties comprise all of those listed under TA1 but may also include such assignments as making presentations in laboratories or classrooms, conducting lectures, and leading discussion groups provided that the GA is neither the instructor of record nor has primary responsibility for assigning grades.

Teaching Assistant 3 (TA3)- GA duties comprise all of those listed under TA1 and TA2 but also include teaching classes for credit as the instructor of record and/or as the person with primary responsibility for assigning course grades.

Research Assistant (RA)- GAs working under this category will assist in conducting research.

Service Assistant (SA)- GA duties will include, but are not limited to, assisting scholarly journals housed at LSU, conducting data analysis, assisting in library services, and other academic/professional assignments.


There is a new Graduate Teaching Assistant Workshop for new TAs offered each fall. Additional details will be provided at a later date.

  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 semester hours in the fall or spring semester (a minimum of six hours for graduate credit), or a minimum of 6 semester hours in the summer term (a minimum of 3 hours for graduate credit).
  • Students admitted and enrolled in good academic standing, maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.

A full assistantship requires a student to work for 20 hours per week on average. Students may or may not be required to report to work during school breaks. Departments may also offer partial assistantships.

In addition to assistantships awarded by departments, there are other university administrative units that employ graduate assistants. We will post open positions when they become available on our website and students will be notified via email.

The details of the assistantship compensation package offered at LSU are as follows

  • monthly stipend (paid monthly according to the university's salary payroll schedule)
  • non-resident tuition fee waiver (if eligibility requirements are met)
  • full tuition exemption (if eligibility requirements are met)*

* Not applicable to all assistantships. Consult with department offering the assistantship.


Tuition and Non-Resident Fee Exemption Requirements

  • Student must be employed on an assistantship on or before the following dates
    • Spring Semester: March 1
    • Summer Semester: July 1
    • Fall Semester: October 1
  • 50% effort assistantship appointment (20 hours)
    • receives a full tuition exemption and a non-resident tuition fee waiver (if eligibility requirements are met).
    • Student is responsible for paying additional fees. 
  • 25% effort assistantship appointment (10 hours)
    • receives a non-resident tuition fee waiver (if eligibility requirements are met).
    • Student is responsible for paying additional fees & tuition.

The following benefits apply to you as a graduate assistant for the duration of your appointment:

  • 10% discount on supplies and book purchases at the Barnes and Noble on campus.
  • Elect to pay University tuition and fees by payroll deduction. This option allows you to have your total tuition bill deferred in full at the time of registration and paid over a four-month period in equal installments (two months during summer session).
  • Elect to defer half of your tuition by payroll deferment. This option allows you to defer a maximum of 50% of your tuition and fees at the time of registration and pay the remaining balance in full at a later time established by the University. There is a service charge of $15.
  • Non-resident students who hold assistantships are classified as residents for fee purposes only, and only for the duration of the assistantship appointment.

Departments determine the stipend amount based on the student's qualifications and experience, academic standing, the type of appointment, and availability of funds. The minimum annual stipend amounts for a 25% effort (10 hours) appointment and a 50% effort (20 hours) appointment are below.

  • 25% effort appointment is $5,400.
  • 50% effort appointment is $10,800.

Tax Information

All graduate assistantship stipends are considered as taxable income.

  • Tax forms (W-4 and L-4 forms) must be filed within the first three days of employment, and students will receive an email to complete these documents online.
  • Some countries have tax treaties with the US in which all or some portion of earnings may be tax exempt.
  • Questions about tax information should be directed to LSU's Office of Accounting Services.

Pay Schedule

  • All Graduate Assistants are paid once a month on the last business day of the month.
  • If you have an academic-year contract (9 month graduate assistantship), your appointment will start mid-August and end mid-May. The specific dates of your contract will come from the offer letter from your employing department.

The CGS Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants

Louisiana State University, as a member of the Council of Graduate Schools' Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants, must comply with its terms. Please read the Resolution carefully so that all parties understand the expectations implicit in agreements for financial support. In brief, the resolution states "students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution." The Resolution also states "...acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made."

English Language Requirement

A graduate assistantship offer is contingent upon receiving and maintaining valid visa status. International students holding teaching positions must meet the University’s language requirements. Some colleges/departments require international students with graduate assistantships to demonstrate additional English proficiency. You will get more information at International Student Orientation and from your department. 

  • All international graduate students are evaluated in a 30-minute, one-on-one oral interview.
  • In order to be employed as a TA2 or TA3, you must have completed English 1051 or be exempted from the course based on your oral interview.
  • This must be completed before the appointment begins, and it is usually scheduled during International Orientation. 
  • For more information about ESL Programs, you can visit the English as a Second Language (ESL) Spoken English Program for International Graduate Assistants website or contact the ESL coordinator below: 
    • Albert S. Camp
      Allen Hall, 260-J
      Phone: 225-578-3041
      Email: acamp2@lsu.edu

Additional information about assistantship regulations can be found in the General Catalog and in LSU's Policy Statements PS-21: Graduate Assistantships and PS-85: Preparation of Teaching Assistants.