Funding Opportunities

Home / Current Students / Funding Opportunities / Graduate Appointments and Assistantships / The anatomy of your offer letter

The anatomy of your offer letter

Terms of Appointment

Communications such as e-mails and verbal conversations between faculty and students do not constitute official offers of appointment. A student cannot begin any duties associated with an appointment until the business manager, or other designee, of the appointing unit receives a signed offer letter.

Students should receive an appointment letter, a corresponding fact sheet, and a link to the graduate appointments onboarding website with specific details. Please review the information below detailing what should be included. If offers of appointment are missing any of the items listed, please contact the appointing unit directly for written clarification.

Appointment Letter

  • Appointment term(s) (i.e., fall, spring, academic year)

  • Appointment level (assistant or associate) and compensatory stipend

  • Tuition remission benefits

  • Instructions and deadline for acceptance of offer  

  • Health Insurance information if applicable

  • Any requirements specific to the unit that significantly deviate from the letter template must receive prior approval from the Graduate College and must be included in the Appointment Letter

 Unit Specific Information Sheet

  • Minimum credit hour enrollment required

  • Information about required orientations or trainings. This includes stipulations regarding language proficiency and the Teaching Assistants/Associates Development (TAD) program

  • Name of the faculty supervisor and form of supervision

  • Internal policies for holding appointments outside of academic unit, or holding teaching or consulting positions while enrolled

  • Performance review process and criteria (including minimum required GPA, if greater than 3.0), grievance procedures, conditions of reappointment, schedule expectations about the number of hours spent on duties/projects during the week, weekends and holiday breaks, along with policies regarding absences

  • Directions to the TA/RA Policies and Procedures Handbook

  • Academic unit’s right to rescind, modify or terminate offers (see “Termination before End of Appointment Period," “Involuntary Termination for Position Abandonment," and "Rescinded or Modified Offers” in the TA/RA handbook)

Website

  • Information about required orientations or trainings. This includes stipulations regarding language proficiency and the Teaching Assistants/Associates Development (TAD) program

  • Essential job functions of the TA/RA appointment, including specific duties and responsibilities of the assignment, and/or the nature of the project

  • Policies for international students whose primary language is not English; the academic unit should notify the student that the offer is dependent upon satisfactory fulfillment of the English-speaking skills policy

 If the appointment letter received by a student does not include the above information, the student should contact their appointing unit for written clarification.

Communications such as e-mails between faculty and students do not constitute official offers of appointment. Students should not begin an appointment as a TA/RA until they have received a formal appointment letter.

Review the TA/RA Policies and Procedures Handbook for additional information.