Graduate Student Handbook

12.4 Terms of Appointment

Appointment terms in the CPH are usually as shown below. Deviations from this pattern may exist due to student situation, the funding source, or the nature of the project.               

  1. Appointments are usually for two terms (Autumn and Spring) however work patterns are determined locally and may vary due to the summer session. Summer appointments are not typical for Master’s students, many of whom will have practicum or administrative residency obligations.
  2. Students may be appointed at either the 25% or 50% level. The usual appointment will be at 50%, unless one of three conditions is met: (1) the appointment is a GRA, and the scale of the project does not require or permit a larger appointment; (2) the student’s schedule will not permit a 50% appointment without jeopardizing on-time graduation; or (3) the student requests a 25% appointment and the project responsibilities can be divided in a way that makes this possible.
  3. A graduate student holding a 50% appointment is expected to work an average of 20 hours per week . Each Graduate Associate and faculty supervisor should determine the expected work schedule at the beginning of each term, including whether the student is responsible for work during breaks between terms.
  4. The Graduate School stipulates that graduate associates may not be assigned to teach courses in which graduate students are enrolled and they may not be involved in any decision-making processes over other graduate students. Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA) assigned to graduate courses may assist in scoring homework and exams under the instructor’s supervision. The professor is responsible for assigning the final grade and responding to any questions or concerns about the grading. A description of the role of the GTA should be included in the syllabus.
  5. Every GA appointment is communicated via a Graduate Associate Appointment Document that outlines the terms of the appointment.
  6. Any GA who believes that the terms of his or her appointment are unfair or inappropriate (e.g., that more work is being required than is justified by a 25% appointment), or who has any other grievance arising out of the appointment, should first discuss this with the faculty supervisor. If resolution is not achieved, students should bring the matter to the GSC chair. Should the matter still not be resolved satisfactorily, the student may appeal to the Dean or to the Graduate Council [GSH 9.4].
  7. Summer Fee Authorization
    1. Any student who holds a 50% graduate appointment for autumn and spring terms is entitled to a summer session fee authorization.
    2.  Any student who holds a 25% graduate appointment for autumn and spring terms is entitled to a summer fee authorization at half the full fee authorization rate.
    3. A graduate student who elects not to enroll in the summer session immediately following his or her autumn and spring terms GA appointment may not defer the use of the summer session fee authorization [GSH E.1.2].

Additional information regarding the standard terms of appointment and the benefits available to GAs may be found in the Graduate School Handbook.