Conditions for Student Employment


To be employed as a Teaching Assistant (TA), Assistant Instructor (AI), Graduate Research Assistant, Tutor (Graduate), Academic Assistant, or Assistant (Graduate), a nominee must:

  • be a degree-seeking graduate student who is making satisfactory progress toward a graduate degree without existing conditional admission requirements imposed by the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies,
  • remain registered for at least nine semester hours of course work in the long semesters (enrollment in three semester hours of course work is required for students holding summer appointments). This does not include enrollment in University Extension courses or ISR (Independent Study & Research), and
  • maintain at least a 3.0 graduate grade-point average.

In addition, nominees must not have more than

  • two grades of X (temporary incomplete), or
  • one grade of X and one grade of I (permanent incomplete).

In addition, students seeking an appointment as an Assistant Instructor (AI) must also meet the following requirements:

  • He/she must 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.
  • He/she must have credit for 398T plus one semester of employment as a Teaching Assistant

    Have one year of teaching experience at an accredited college or school. (A letter of verification from the former employer must be submitted to the Graduate School.)

Note:    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.

Graduate students registered in Option III degree programs are not eligible for employment in a student job title, academic or nonacademic, at UT Austin.

Graduate students may be employed in the above titles for up to 14 long semesters only.

20/30 Hour Limit

Pursuing a graduate degree while otherwise employed can be very challenging since graduate study requires a significant commitment in time and energy. A graduate student should consider carefully their work/study balance when selecting hours of enrollment and hours of employment. A general guide to striking such a balance is that the number of hours worked per week plus three times the number of semester credit hours of graduate enrollment should not exceed 57. Regardless, it is important that a graduate student consult with both their academic advisor and work supervisor when determining the balance between graduate study and employment.

Employment in a student job title at UT Austin, academic or non-academic, may not exceed twenty hours per week during the first two long semesters (fall/spring) of graduate study at the university, and thirty hours per week during the subsequent semesters, including summer (for exceptions, see Guidelines for Summer Employment for Graduate Student Employees). The following exceptions apply: During a long session in which they are enrolled, graduate students may be employed up to a maximum of 40 hours per week during the 5 days of spring break, winter break (after the last day of finals), and the end of the spring semester (after the last day of finals). Contact Karen Sacratini for more details. International students have additional requirements listed below.

International students may work up to 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. Full-time employment (21-40 hours per week) is allowed only during vacation periods for enrolled and continuing students. International students who will be employed as a TA/AI must have:

  • English language certification and
  • attended the International TA/AI Orientation if appointed as a TA or AI with student contact. See for more information.

Please contact your department if you do not meet all of the above requirements. Exception requests for any appointments not meeting employment criteria should be submitted by your program's graduate adviser, individually and in writing to the Graduate School. Exceptions may be granted in extenuating circumstances, but note that no exceptions are allowed for some policies, such as the 3.0 GPA requirement for TAs and the registration requirement for a minimum of 9 hours in the long semesters.

Inquiries regarding exceptions should be directed to Karen Sacratini in the Graduate School.


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