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Graduate Assistantships

A number of departments offer graduate assistantships. The primary goal of an assistantship is to facilitate progress toward the graduate degree by providing work experience in a profession under the supervision of a faculty or staff mentor.

Depending upon the needs of the academic unit, available funds and the qualifications of the individual graduate student, three types of graduate assistantships may be offered:

  • Teaching Assistantship
  • Research Assistantship
  • Administrative Assistantship

Graduate assistants who are appointed at 50% FTE (20 hours/week) are part-time benefits eligible.

Additional information about graduate assistantships is available on the Graduate Admissions' Assistantship and Employment section of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies website.

To apply for a graduate assistantship, contact the appropriate department.

New Graduate Assistant Hiring Process

Congratulations on being offered a graduate assistant position!

new graduate assistant hiring process: background check, onboarding online, IDs to HR, start work, complete training, benefits enrollment

Step 1: Background Check

Your department will provide you with a form authorizing a background check. After you fill it out, the department will submit it to Human Resources (normal turnaround time is up to two weeks).

Step 2: Complete Onboarding

After the background check results are returned, HR will email your SFA address with a list of tasks to be completed; this is onboarding. Complete each task, document or training included in the email.

Step 3: Submit IDs to HR

Please bring your original, unexpired IDs/documents* to the HR office in the Austin Building, Room 201, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Most student holidays are observed. For questions, call (936) 468-2304. International students may have to fulfill additional requirements; HR will notify you if this applies.

*View the List of Acceptable Documents (IDs). HR cannot accept copies or expired documents/IDs. You must present IDs/documents that establish both your identity and employment authorization.

Step 4: Start Work 

Your department will notify you when you may begin working; this will be after you have completed onboarding, submitted IDs to HR and your department has ensured the Electronic Personnel Action Form is complete and approved.

Step 5: Complete Training

You will receive notices via email regarding how to complete department-assigned training and mandatory compliance training (notices will arrive separately and at different times/dates).

Step 6: Complete Benefits Enrollment

You will receive a notice via email regarding benefits enrollment. There is a 30-day window from your official start date to make benefit selections. Please complete this task even if you decide to decline all offered benefits.

Employment Paperwork

Complete the following employment paperwork and return to Human Resources with proof of ID on or before your first day of work:


New Employee Orientation - New Employee Orientation includes a general orientation to the university (including an overview of the university's history, culture, traditions and policies), benefits orientation and enrollment, and Equal Employment Opportunity Training. Equal Employment Opportunity Training is a mandatory training for all employees on campus, including student assistants. This training must be completed within the first 30 days of employment. Employees must renew their EEO training every two years.

To schedule a New Employee Orientation, call Human Resources at 936.468.2304.


Q: Why has the EPAF process changed so much since SFA joined the UT system?

A: A major benefit of joining the UT System has been gaining access to additional services, programs and benefits. SFA must be capable of reporting accurate employment information in a timely manner, which means we had to make adjustments to our processes. We are confident these changes will ensure each employee can take advantage of the new programs and benefits to which they are entitled.

Q: Why does HR take so long to complete their portion of onboarding?

A: The background check, which can take up to three weeks (or as little as three days), is impacted by several factors, such as the number of counties or states in which the candidate has resided. Additionally, the HR employment team must complete a number of “behind the scenes” processes to ensure compliance with employment law and SFA policy. For example, the HR team must complete and verify the I-9 Form for each employee. We also use an online system, E-Verify, to confirm an individual’s identity and verify employment eligibility. In some cases, we must even verify an individual’s registration with Selective Service. Each of these processes takes time. We work diligently to process incoming hires as quickly as possible and review EPAFs multiple times a day.

Q: What if the graduate assistant has worked on campus before? 

A: If the graduate assistant was previously employed as a student assistant, we must still follow the same hiring process due to different hiring requirements. A new background check is required any time there is a break in service and six months has passed since the last screening. If the GA has worked on campus before (as a GA), send an email to with the student’s full name and CID number. The employment team will check to see if employment requirements have already been met and will respond.

Q: What if I need my graduate assistant to start work right away?

A: Contact the HR team for assistance if there is a justifiable business need for your graduate assistant to begin working as soon as possible. Oftentimes, starting “right away” is simply not possible. It is against policy to allow an individual to begin working when they have not fulfilled the employment requirements; we must adhere to employment laws and follow SFA employment policy.

Q: Can a graduate assistant hold other job appointments simultaneously?

A: It depends. They may serve as different types of graduate assistants within or outside of your department. All appointments combined should not exceed the maximum FTE of 0.50. Graduate assistants cannot serve as student assistants, staff or adjunct faculty.  

Q: Why must graduate assistants complete benefits enrollment?

A: Graduate assistants with an FTE of at least 0.50 are eligible for part-time employee benefits. A part of onboarding is completing benefits enrollment, even if the GA elects to decline all benefits offered.

Q: Where can I learn more about graduate assistant employment?

A: Contact HR with any questions, view HOP 04-204 or visit the SFA website to learn more about graduate assistantships


Human Resources
Fax: 936.468.1104

Physical Address:
1936 North Street
Austin Building
Room 201

Mailing Address:
Box 13039 SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962