Assistantship Policies & Benefits

If you accept a Graduate Assistantship at LSU, the following policies and guidelines apply. Additional information governing the assistantship program may be found in the General Catalog and University Policy Statements PS-21 and PS-85.

Types of Assistantships

Five types of assistantships are available. Students seeking funding of any type are encouraged to contact their respective academic department first. More than 2,000 Graduate Assistantships are awarded annually at LSU in over 70 academic departments and administrative units.

  • Teaching Assistant 1 (TA1): Assist with preparing examinations and class lectures, grading papers, maintenance of class records, and tutoring students outside formally scheduled classes. Does not include contact with students in scheduled meetings of classes and laboratories.
  • Teaching Assistant 2 (TA2): In addition to the duties of TA1, make presentations in laboratories or classrooms, conduct lectures, and lead discussion groups provided that the TA is neither the instructor of record nor has primary responsibility for assigning grades.
  • Teaching Assistant 3 (TA3): In addition to the duties of TA1 and TA2, teach classes for credit as the instructor of record and/or as the person primarily responsible for assigning grades.
  • Research Assistant (RA): Conduct research for an academic or administrative unit.
  • Service Assistant (SA): Possible tasks include assist the editors of scholarly journals housed at LSU, conduct analyses, assist with library services, and other academic/professional assignments.

Full-Time Enrollment and Good Standing

Students must maintain registration in a minimum of 9 semester hours in the fall or spring semester (with a minimum of 6 hours of graduate credit coursework). Full-time enrollment during summer term requires registration in a minimum of 6 semester hours (with a minimum of 3 hours of graduate credit coursework). You must be admitted and enrolled in good standing, maintaining at least a 3.00 grade-point average.



Appointments may be one-quarter (10 hours), one-third (15 hours), or one-half time (20 hours) and stipends vary accordingly. The minimum stipend for a 20-hour a week academic appointment is $10,800. Stipends are generally based on specific duties being performed, job skills, and educational background. All graduate assistantship stipends are considered as taxable income. Tax forms (W-4 and L-4 forms) must be filed within the first three days of employment, and students will receive an email to complete these documents online. Some countries have tax treaties with the U.S. in which all or some portion of earnings may be tax exempt. Questions about tax information should be directed to LSU's Office of Accounting Services.



Pay dates and frequency depend upon your appointment; see 2016-17 payroll calendars. If you have a fiscal-year contract (12-month assignment), you will be paid once a month on the last working day of each month. If you have an academic-year contract (9-month assignment), your appointment usually starts during orientation in the fall semester (August) and ends during commencement in the spring (May). You will be paid once a month, on or near the 21st, from September to May.


Tuition and Fees

One-half time assistantship appointments (20 hours) receive a full tuition exemption and, if applicable, an out-of-state fee waiver. You are responsible for paying student fees ($1330 for 9 graduate hours in Fall 2016). Graduate assistantships for 10 or 15 hours per week receive a waiver for out-of-state fees (if applicable) and are responsible for all tuition and in-state fees. To qualify for a nonresident fee and/or tuition exemption, you must be employed on an assistantship on or before the following dates: March 1st for spring, July 1st for summer, and October 1st for fall.


English Language

All international graduate students are evaluated in a 30-minute, one-on-one oral interview. In order to be employed as a TA2 or TA3, you must have completed ENGL 1051 or be exempted from the course based on your oral interview. This must be completed before the appointment begins, and it is usually scheduled during International Orientation. See the ESL Program for additional information.



The following benefits apply to you as a graduate assistant for the duration of your appointment:

  • 10% discount on supplies and book purchases at the Barnes and Noble on campus.
  • Elect to pay University tuition and fees by payroll deduction. This option allows you to have your total tuition bill deferred in full at the time of registration and paid over a four-month period in equal installments (two months during summer session).
  • Elect to defer half of your tuition by payroll deferment. This option allows you to defer a maximum of 50% of your tuition and fees at the time of registration and pay the remaining balance in full at a later time established by the University. There is a service charge of $15.
  • Non-resident students who hold assistantships are classified as residents for fee purposes only, and only for the duration of the assistantship appointment. For more information regarding residency status, see PM-31.