Graduate Associates

A graduate student’s principal objective is to earn a graduate degree. Appointment as a GA contributes to that objective by providing an apprenticeship experience along with financial support. This apprenticeship complements formal instruction and gives the student practical, personal experience that can be gained only by performing instructional, research, or administrative activities. It is expected that GA responsibilities will not interfere with a student’s reasonable progress toward completion of the graduate degree.

The three graduate associate titles are: graduate administrative associate (GAA), graduate research associate (GRA), and graduate teaching associate (GTA).

GTAs are eligible to compete for the Graduate School's Graduate Associate Teaching Award (GATA), Ohio State's highest recognition of the excellent teaching provided by GTAs.


Specific GA responsibilities are determined by the appointing units. These may include teaching classes, recitations, and labs; advising and counseling students; grading papers; gathering and analyzing data; writing reports; and assisting faculty members and administrators.

Appointments and communication

Graduate Associate & Fellow Appointments

All graduate associates must receive clear, complete, and written information about the terms and conditions of their appointments. Regular, clear communication between graduate associates and their advisors and supervisors is critical to establishing and maintaining a positive and productive environment.

All GA-appointing units are required to use the Graduate School's standard GA Appointment Document (PDF) for new and continuing GA appointments. Individualized offer letters are also an important part of the graduate student recruitment process. Offer letters should reflect the particular culture and values of the appointing unit and should refer to the GA Appointment Document.

Instructions for GA Appointment Document

Graduate Compensation and Benefits Committee annual report

Payroll Deduction form


Responsibility for monitoring of eligibility for GA appointments is the joint responsibility of the dean of the Graduate School and the graduate studies committee.


Terms of appointment, reappointment, termination

Appointing unit responsibilities

Grievances, GAs

Grievance procedures

Benefits information

Leaves of absence


For more information, see Section 9 of the Graduate School Handbook. For questions or concerns, contact the Graduate School at (614) 292-6031.

Need help?

Contact staff members in the Graduate School using the staff directory, or call (614) 292-6031.

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