Feb 25, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IV. Graduate Student Appointments (Including Fellowships) and Funding

A. Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Lecturer, Graduate Research Assistant, and Graduate Administrative/Professional Appointments

  1. Policy
    Regulations concerning the employment of graduate students are designed to allow students to earn income, receive benefits, and obtain valuable professional experience, to enhance the University’s efforts in teaching and research, and to make certain that the balance between work and study is appropriate.  (See the Statement of Principle endorsed by the Graduate Council in Section IX-E .)

    Only students who have been admitted to a graduate degree program or to teacher license study are eligible for graduate appointments.  Students holding graduate appointments must be registered for at least three credit hours of graduate-level course and/or research work each session in which they receive a salary. (See Section V-C  for registration guidelines.)

    Detailed matters of duties and compensation are the province of the department heads and academic deans.  However, practices must fall within the regulatory frame approved by the University, as shown in Appendix A  . Salary requests falling outside the normal range require that justification be submitted to the Graduate School.   Prior approval is required, and approval may be granted on a case-by-case basis. (See Executive Memorandum No. C-23.)

    At the Calumet, Fort Wayne, and North Central campuses a graduate student is appointed as a Graduate Aide. For more information, see Graduate Student Employment Manual.

  2. Definitions and Procedures

    There are two basic classifications of employment for students who are eligible for a graduate appointment: 1) graduate staff performing teaching, research, academic counseling, or other activities directly supporting teaching and research under close faculty supervision; and 2) graduate administrative/professionals performing administrative or other duties not directly related to teaching or research.

    Appointments in both classifications are made on a Personnel Action Form (PA form). Appointments may be for either an academic or a fiscal year or for a single session. Basic appointments must be on a 25.00, 50.00, 75.00, or 100.00 CUL basis. A combination of appointments is possible, as specified in Appendix A  .

    Based on demonstrated excellence in teaching as a graduate teaching assistant, a doctoral candidate may be appointed as a graduate lecturer. The responsibilities of the graduate lecturer are similar to those of the graduate teaching assistant but at a more senior level.  These appointments are made at the discretion of a department head or in a manner consistent with the governance of a particular academic unit.  To be eligible for a graduate lecturer appointment, a student must have passed the preliminary examination. In addition, a graduate lecturer must have completed all courses listed on the plan of study, be enrolled in a minimum of three credit hours of 69900, and have served as a graduate teaching assistant for at least four academic sessions prior to appointment as a graduate lecturer.  A graduate lecturer may not teach a 50000- or 60000-level course.

    Monthly minimum salaries for graduate lecturers, graduate teaching assistants, graduate research assistants, and graduate administrative/professional staff are reviewed and approved annually for the upcoming fiscal year.  After approval, the dean of the Graduate School informs the chancellors, academic deans, department heads, and academic business administrators of the established minimum salaries. (See Appendix A  for current minimum salaries.)

  3. International Student Employment

    The employment of international students is governed by federal regulations.  Prior to employing international students, departments should obtain detailed regulations from the Office of International Students and Scholars.

    It is University policy that all graduate teaching assistants whose native language is not English must demonstrate adequate oral English proficiency before being assigned duties involving direct instruction of students.  (Detailed information is available from the Office of Oral English Proficiency.

  4. Graduate Student Employees Fringe Benefits and Privileges

    See the Graduate Student Employment Manual. 

B. Fellowships

Many Purdue University graduate students are awarded fellowships each year, either by the University or by external agencies.  Fellowships are governed by policies established in cooperation with particular funding agencies.  In general, fellowship recipients must be registered as full-time students for each session in which they receive a stipend, including summer sessions (i.e., a minimum of eight credit hours during the fall session and during the spring session and six credit hours during the summer session).

A fellow is not obligated to provide services to the University unless required to do so by the agency granting the fellowship.  However, many granting agencies permit holders of their fellowships to accept limited University employment to supplement their fellowship stipends.  Usually, the maximum is a 25.00 CUL graduate staff appointment. 

Detailed regulations relating to the acceptance of graduate fellowship grants and to their administration may be found in Executive Memorandum No. A‑199, Acceptance of Gifts, Grants, and Loans by Purdue University, dated March 1, 1961, and its addendum, dated November 1, 1984.

For more information, see the Graduate School Fellowships Manual.

C. Council of Graduate Schools’ Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants

Purdue University is a member of the Association of American Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).  Along with other members of these associations, Purdue subscribes to the resolution stated below and has agreed that a copy of the resolution will accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer. Employment correspondence from departments must include portions of the CGS policy statement as indicated below:


Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. There has been a change in our process for students who want to withdraw from an offer of acceptance of financial support, starting with Fall 2020 admissions.  In this case, the applicant must first inform the program that they are withdrawing or resigning from the offer of financial support that they previously had accepted.  Starting in Fall 2020, applicants are no longer required to obtain a formal release from the program whose offer they accepted, either before or after the April 15 deadline. Once they have informed the program that they are withdrawing their acceptance of the offer, they then can accept any other offers. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer.

D. Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel

Graduate staff leave, greater than 22 working days, that is necessary to further research, participate in instructional opportunities, or engagement activities must be requested and approved prior to departure using the Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change in Duty Form. This includes research-related travel to laboratory, teaching-related travel to another college or university, engagement-related travel to a community, or professional development opportunities unavailable at the University. The RLA form must be approved prior to departure. (See Graduate School Policies and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs, Section V-E , for further information.)

E. Change of Duty Station

Change of Duty Station leave should be requested by a graduate staff employee when personal reasons require his/her relocation from a primary work location, usually on one of the Purdue campuses. While on Change of Duty Station leave, graduate staff are expected to continue to perform their work duties. If the relocation is 22 working days or more, an approved Request and Leave Action for Sabbatical, Research/Instructional/Engagement Travel, Outside Activity Leave or Change in Duty Station (RLA Form) is required for the Change of Duty Station request prior to departure. (See Graduate School Policies and Procedures for Administering Graduate Student Programs, Section V-E , for further information.)

The Graduate School is not approving COVID-related Change of Duty Station requests beyond August 13, 2021. Change of Duty Station requests after that date with COVID-related requests for remote work will need to be processed through FMLA. After August 13, 2021 Change of Duty Station requests will only be approved for work that must be conducted at another location as opposed to COVID or preference.  If research credits (69800 or 69900) are being taken during the time away from campus, a Graduate School Form 19 (Request for Off-campus Ph.D. or Master’s Research) will also need to be completed

F. Federal Loans

Federal loans require graduate students to be enrolled at least half time (at least four credits during the Fall and Spring and at least three credits during the Summer) in graduate-level course work (50000-level or higher).  

If students are required to take undergraduate courses to gain admittance to the Graduate School, they are eligible for fifth year undergraduate federal loan limits for up to twelve months. For undergraduate prerequisite enrollment half time is 6 credit hours and full time is 12 credits.  After twelve months they must be in graduate-level courses or pay for any undergraduate-level work by other means.