Graduate student assistant (GSA) positions

There are three types of positions available at the University of Michigan:

  • Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)
  • Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA)
  • Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA)

U-M Fraction Calculation Form: This form is designed to enable departments to assign employment fractions which are consistent with other departments and the University GEO Agreement, which governs the employment of Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants.

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) at the University of Michigan are considered members of the community of scholars. GSIs contribute to our teaching enterprise by working as partners with the faculty members who develop and supervise course offerings. A GSI time commitment varies by department and course, but in general offers a full tuition waiver, health and dental benefits, plus a monthly stipend. The graduate student must register for at least 6 hours of coursework and be qualified to do the work.  The school typically appoints around 25-32 GSIs in each Fall and Winter term. In addition, approximately 60 students per year obtain GSI/GSRA appointments in other units. Typically these units include:

  • Program in the Environment (PitE)
  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • UM Biological Station
  • Chemistry
  • Sociology
  • Romance Languages
  • College of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Center for Afroamerican and African Studies
  • Engineering

SEAS GSI Opportunities

  1. is enrolled in a SEAS degree program
  2. has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and better
  3. has not completed all of the required credits towards their SEAS MLA, MS, or PhD degree
  4. is making satisfactory progress toward completing all of their SEAS degree requirements in a timely manner (i.e., SEAS MS students' time limit is 2 years, SEAS MLA and dual degree students' time limit is 3 years, PhD students' time limit is 5 years); including approved extensions

Graduate Student Staff Assistant (GSSA)

Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSA) are hired to assist with administrative tasks. These opportunities are posted in conjunction with the GSI postings.

Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA)

Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA) are hired to work on externally funded research projects. Students must check with individual faculty for these opportunities. The graduate student must register for at least 6 hours of coursework and be qualified to do the research work. Each GSRA position provides a stipend, tuition waiver and GradCare health/dental benefits during the term of the appointment. Most GSRA appointments are for one term only.

Contact the SEAS Financial Aid Coordinator to start the GSRA appointment process.

How to Get Started

The GSI application, deadline, and selection process varies by department. Many departments post teaching and staff assistant opportunities on the UM Careers webpage.

Undergraduate environmental courses are offered through the Program in the Environment (PitE) within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A). Many of the GSIs in the undergraduate PitE courses are SEAS graduate students.

International students are eligible to apply for GSI, GSSA, and GSRA opportunities at the University of Michigan. English oral and written skills are a particularly important factor in finding a GSI position; therefore it is important your TOEFL score and written application are outstanding.

Students whose undergraduate education was at an institution in which the primary language was not English must pass the GSI OET (Oral English Test) administered by CaMLA (Cambridge English Language Assessment) in conjunction with ELI (English Language Institute).