Preparing Appointment Documents


Please use the standard employment dates: 9/1 to 1/15; 1/16 - 5/31; 6/1 - 7/15; or 7/16 - 8/31.
These dates do not change from year to year.

Use the following checklist to determine if a graduate student is qualified to hold employment as a Teaching Assistant, Assistant Instructor, Graduate Research Assistant, Academic Assistant, Assistant (Graduate) or Tutor (Graduate). Requests for exceptions to these requirements must be made individually and in writing to Associate Dean Neikirk in the Graduate School. All such requests require the approval of the graduate adviser in the student's major program. Mainframe applications to check the rules are in italics. A student must:

  • Be a degree-seeking graduate student without existing admissions conditions imposed by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies. Persons registered as "non-degree (graduate) students" or "In absentia" and non-students are ineligible for appointment to these titles. *NRRECS-SG
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or better. *NRRECS-SG, for new students, or *GSADM-GS50 or *NRRECS-SB, for current students.
  • Be registered for at least 9 semester hours that can be counted toward the graduate degree in the long session and 3 semester hours during a summer term. This total does not include enrollment in university extension courses or ISR (Independent Study & Research). *NRRECS-RX
  • Be making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree. *NRRECS-SH
  • Have no more than two grades of X (temporary incomplete) or one grade of X and one grade of I (permanent incomplete). *NRRECS-SH (For further information, see Tips.)
  • Not be appointed as a TA, AI, GRA, AA or A(G),Tutor(G), alone or in combination, for more than 20 hours during the first two long-session semesters of graduate study at UT. *NRRECS-SH (to determine number of semesters) *DEFINE-AL1 (to determine hours appointed)
  • Not be appointed for more than 30 hours in a long-session semester as a TA, AI, GRA, AA or A(G), ,Tutor(G), alone or in combination, if they are in the third semester of graduate study or beyond. (See information below regarding teaching appointments for international students.) *NRRECS-SH (to determine number of semesters) *DEFINE-AL1 (to determine hours appointed)
  • Have held no more than 14 long-session semesters of employment as a TA, AI, GRA, AA, or A(G), ,Tutor(G), alone or in combination. *EASI-Grad School Progress-Funding or *DEFINE-AL1 (Type "73" for the "Year" to be sure you see all previous appointments.) Note: The computer audit checks the number of semesters automatically for you and will give you a message if the student is over the limit. (See further information on Fourteen-semester rule and Guidelines for departmental staff.)

Additional or Special Requirements for Assistant Instructors

  • Have a master's degree or an equivalent level of achievement in graduate study (30 hours including 18 hours of credit in the subject to be taught) and professional accomplishment. *NRRECS-SD or *NRRECS-SH
  • Have credit for 398T plus one semester of employment as a Teaching Assistant. *NRRECS-SH and *DEFINE AL1
    Have one year of teaching experience at an accredited college or school - letter of verification from former employer must accompany request for exception. If an exception has been approved: *GSADM-GS65.

AIs are employed to meet the instructional needs at the undergraduate level, primarily in the lower-division areas. Approval for an AI to teach an upper-division course may be requested through a petition to the Graduate Dean and must be approved before the AI is assigned to the upper-division course.

Additional Requirements for International Students

  • Have English language certification to be appointed as a TA or AI with student contact. Michael Smith, the director of English as a Second Language (ESL) Services in the International Office and his staff administer ITA/IAI certification. They can be reached at or fax 512-471-2482.
  • Note: United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations limit international students on J-1 and F-1 visas to appointments of no more than 20 hours during long-session semesters. (International students may be employed up to 40 hours during the summer and during semester breaks and spring breaks.) Students may go to the International Office for information on exceptions to this INS regulation. The rule that allows graduate students to work 30 hours after their first two long session semesters does not relieve international students or the university of the responsibility for complying with INS regulations. **Appointment for more than 20 hours may not begin before the date indicated on the I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status)**.

Some helpful tips

  • All persons with student appointments during the long semesters must be registered for full-time (nine hours), including the student's final semester at UT.
  • The duties performed by a student in connection with a GRA appointment must relate to the student's degree requirements, and must be performed under the supervision of a faculty member, the director of a research center, or their designates. See Simplified Appointment of Graduate Research Assistants, April 24, 2000. All future initial appointments to the GRA title must include the following statement in the remarks portion of the appointment form:

    "The duties performed by this student in connection with this appointment relate to the student's degree requirements, and will be performed under the supervision of a faculty member, the director of a research center, or their designates."
  • The rules concerning graduate student Incompletes changed in fall 1997. All graduate students now have just one long-session semester to finish an Incomplete. If this deadline is not met, the symbol X is converted to the symbol I (permanent incomplete). Once an X has been converted to an I, it cannot be changed. Appointees may have no more than two grades of X or one X and one I. Two Is are not allowed.
  • It is illegal to withhold pay from employees who are performing their duties. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the employer to verify employees' eligibility and correct problems or request exceptions before allowing them to work. If students are not in compliance with the rules and exceptions are not warranted, they must not be allowed to work.
  • Students who were admitted conditionally must have their conditions removed once they have been met. To do this, the graduate adviser must send a petition to Assistant Dean Pat Ellison listing the conditions and the date they were satisfied and requesting their removal. Until that is done you will be unable to process an appointment.
  • Students must be making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree in order to hold a TA, AI, GRA, AA or A(G), Tutor(G) appointment and may not continue such employment after receiving their terminal degree. Undergraduate students, post docs, students registered in absentia, or students in any type of non-degree seeking status are ineligible for this kind of employment.
  • Students must have taken 398T before their first semester of employment as an AI. Certain departments have permission to enroll students concurrently because of the nature of their 398T course, but this arrangement requires prior approval from Associate Dean Kahn. To request an exception by virtue of previous teaching experience, you must send a petition to the Office of Graduate Studies along with a letter or other evidence from the student's former employer verifying teaching experience, as instructor of record, for at least one year. If the student has taken a course similar in content to our 398T, a petition must be sent by the graduate adviser along with a copy of the transcript with the course and grade highlighted.
  • The title, Teaching Assistant - No Student Contact (0062), may be used only for international students who have not completed English certification and are not yet approved for student contact. This job title was added solely to keep track of students in this category and may not be used for any other reason. You may check the certification status for international students on *GSADM-GS80.
  • You may audit a student appointment by going to *DEFINE-AH4 and filling in the requested information or by typing "VER" in the appointment document itself. It is helpful to run the audit a month or so before the appointment is made to determine if there are problems that can be taken care of ahead of time.


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