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GSA and Intern Policies and Procedures

Graduate Services Assistant

A Graduate Services Assistant (GSA) performs tasks within a specified unit in order to gain working knowledge and develop career-specific skills. Students provide professional-level support, performing various administrative tasks/projects that contribute to the mission of the unit. A student will be responsible to an administrator or professional member of the unit who will supervise and train the student.

Graduate Intern

A Graduate Intern (GI) collaborates with an assigned company or organization external to the university in order to gain working knowledge and develop career-specific skills appropriate to the student’s area of study. The student will provide professional-level support to an assigned organization, assisting with projects, research and analysis, procedural studies, and planning.

Important Information regarding your appointment

Work Limits

The primary purpose of a GSA or GI position is to assist the student in successfully gaining working knowledge and developing career-specific skills; therefore, students may not work more than 50% FTE (20 hours per week) during the Fall and Spring semesters in all positions combined. GSAs and GIs may work up to 100% FTE (40 hours per week) during semester breaks and Summer semester appointments. However, GSAs and GIs may not average more than 62.5% FTE (25 hours per week) during the year, as measured by the Affordable Care Act (October through September). Graduate students will be terminated from their appointment if they exceed this limit and will not be eligible for reappointment for 26 weeks.

Intellectual Property Policies

Data, including but not limited to lab notes, results of analyses, research notes, research data reports, and research notebooks, comprise a category of intellectual property covered by The Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) policy 6–908 (select Chapter 6, item 6–908), and the ownership of intellectual property is determined by that policy. ASU maintains ownership of research data pursuant to ABOR policy 6–908 and maintains ownership of materials under this policy. Certain types of materials may be licensed by ASU in a fashion similar to intellectual property or as part of an intellectual property licensing transaction. For purposes of this policy, materials are included in the definition of intellectual property and are subject to the provisions of that policy. ABOR policy 6–908 provides universities the discretion to retain ownership in intellectual property, to enter into agreements with industry sponsors to grant exclusive or nonexclusive licenses, or, when appropriate, to assign title to intellectual property.


There are several specific policies referenced in the TA/RA Handbook with which you should familiarize yourself, and ensure you have a clear understanding.

The TA/RA Handbook provides an overview of ASU policies and further information about your rights and responsibilities as a GSA/GI. It is important that you understand all of the information in the handbook, so please review it as soon as possible and contact if you have any questions. It is recommended that you print a copy of the handbook for your reference.

While many of the general policies and expectations of TAs and RAs also apply to GSAs and GIs, GSAs and GIs are not bound by the same eligibility requirements as TAs and RAs and do not receive the same benefits as TA­s and RAs (e.g., tuition remission).

The TA/RA handbook describes the general roles and responsibilities of GSAs and GIs as well as policies regarding their supervision and evaluation. The appointing unit is responsible for notifying each student of additional expectations.

Program Handbook

Your graduate program should provide you a Program Handbook that provides an overview of policies and further information about your rights and responsibilities specific to your program. It is important that you understand all of the information in the handbook, so please review it as soon as possible and contact the graduate support coordinator in your program if you have any questions. Please contact your academic unit to get a link to the handbook.

Credit Hour and GPA Requirement

To remain qualified for this award appointment, you must be enrolled in a minimum of one (or more if unit requires it) non-audit credit hours each during Fall and Spring semester appointments and one credit hour for Summer semester appointments.

In addition, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA (or higher if determined by your academic unit) during your appointment.

Continued Eligibility

Keep in mind that your appointment is conditional based on remaining in good academic standing. [Examples of other details which can be included: have submitted complete materials as part of the annual review process, have strong evaluations from their supervisor, and must be on track and making good progress towards degree completion].

Your unit also has the right to rescind, modify, or terminate their offer at any time due to unsatisfactory work performance as defined by ASU, the academic unit, or the Graduate College.

If your appointment is terminated for any of these reasons, the remainder of your stipend will be canceled. If you are unable to continue the appointment for other reasons before the ninth week of the semester, you will also lose any remaining stipend.

If you choose not to enroll in a degree program, change your program, or withdraw at any point in time, your appointment becomes null and void. Funding is typically revoked for students that are placed on probation. Funding beyond your appointment letter is not guaranteed, and it is expected that students in the graduate program seek additional opportunities for funding. Additionally, GSA stipend rates may vary from year to year, but the rate in your award letter stands regardless of any changes.

Appointment Details

Your appointment letter should include details about to whom you will report and how to contact them. In addition it should provide, at a minimum, tentative assignment details including course name and number if applicable.

No later than one week prior to start of appointment, your unit will provide you with the specific duties, responsibilities, and nature of the assignment.

Your appointment letter may include other applicable items, such as schedule expectations about the number of hours spent on duties/projects during the week, weekends and holiday breaks, along with policies regarding absences. If this information is not included in your appointment letter, it is your responsibility to contact your unit.

Training and Orientations

Before undertaking your responsibilities, you are required to complete the following training modules:

Please plan to attend your unit's orientation (specific details should be provided in your appointment letter).

Confidentiality of Student Information

As a GSA or GI, you may have direct or indirect access to confidential records and sensitive information. You must agree not to use any information from any of these records for any purpose other than those expressly set forth by your supervisor. Understand that if you improperly disclose or use information, your student employment will immediately terminate.

In addition, you may be subject to disciplinary action under the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions under the Code may include suspension or expulsion from the university. Policies referenced can be found online at

Changes to Appointment Status and Additional Employment

It’s critical that you notify administrators if you need to terminate your position at any time. If you are offered and would like to accept additional employment opportunities at Arizona State University, it must not exceed the combined total FTE, 62.5%, for all jobs, and you must receive approval (prior to accepting a second job offer) from your advisor (or committee chair), the Director of your unit, and from the Graduate College during this GSA or GI appointment.

The TA/RA Handbook and The Affordable Care Act (ACA) TA/RA guidelines contain details about workload.