Graduate Assistant


New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, NMSU does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation or protected veteran status in its program or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Inquiries may be directed to the Executive Director, Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, P.O. Box 30001, E. 1130 University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88003; 575.646.3635; 575.646.7802 (TTY)

NMSU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate form or to request an accommodation, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity, O’Loughlin House, 1130 E. University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88003; 575.646.3635; 575.646.7802 (TTY) One week advance notice is appreciated.

Overview of Graduate Assistants

About Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistantships are intended for short or long term employment with a predetermined end date. They are all exempt and compensated at a salaried rate. Eligibility requirements can be found in the Graduate Assistant Resources.

For additional Graduate Assistant information, please see the Graduate Assistant Resources.

Important! Employment Services will only guarantee on-time payment for those non-regular faculty, graduate assistants and student employees if the job is submitted by the payroll deadline, prior to the start date of the job. Submissions received after a non-regular faculty or GA has begun work are considered late submissions.

Conditions of Grad Assistants

Appointment Period

Graduate Assistantships are intended for short or long term employment with a predetermined end date. Departments should utilize the Processing Reference Sheet for Grad Assistants for current terms and hire dates. (Please see "Quick Links section for link to EPAF Processing Reference (GAs)")

Hours and FTE

Employment during the academic year is limited to 20 (.50 FTE) hours a week for graduate assistants regardless of the funding source. Students may seek other graduate assistantships as long as the combined employment does not exceed more than the 20 hours or .50 FTE. Departments wanting to hire students for more than the 20 hours a week (.50 FTE) must seek approval by the Graduate School. Graduate Assistants may not hold a regular hourly student, temporary faculty, temporary staff, or regular position at the same time as their salaried Assistantship appointment.  

Hiring Process

Optional Position Advertisement

Advertising is optional for Graduate Assistant employment. If you are want to recruit we encourage you to advertise through the Handshake system. For more information please visit Career Services.

Initiate the EPAF and Identify Position Number

You must first identify those employees who are new to NMSU. If the student does not have an Aggie ID assigned, submit the New Employee Data Form to establish an employment record in the banner system.

IPED requirements include reporting Graduate Assistantship in one of three primary categories (Teaching, Research, Other). In compliance with these requirements, there are five position numbers specific to these GA categories. Each of these categories requires selection of the appropriate level for pay (defined in the Graduate Assistant Employee Guidelines.

Position cross-reference for position number and account number
Position Type Position # Account #
Graduate Teaching Assistants- “Teaching Assistant” 917555 618600
Graduate Research Assistants- “Research Assistant” 917777 618600
Graduate Assistants- Other- “Grad Asst-Other” 917888 618600
Graduate Assistant Research-Fellow – “Grad Assist Fellow” 917444 618600
Research Assistant PSL- “Research Asst-PSL” (restricted to grad assists within PSL) 967999 618600

Offer of Employment

Graduate Assistants must be provided an offer letter per the collective bargaining agreementprior to starting employment with NMSU to ensure the employee is aware of the conditions of hire. The offer letter must be maintained in the department personnel file.

Background Check

A Sensitive Duties Checklist is to be completed by the hiring department and submitted when a hiring action is initiated with Employment Services. Depending on the answers to the Sensitive Duties Checklist, a Background Check Release Form is to be completed by hiring department. Please review the Background Check Process Flow.

Late Hire Form

Jobs for which the end date has passed and the job is complete, it must be processed on the Post Job Completion – Late Hiring Form. An example of this situation is when a job is held in the previous session but was never submitted for processing and compensation.

Onboarding New Hire

More forms and documents to assist you with the hiring process can be found on the New Employee webpage. Additionally, the Temporary Employee Onboarding Checklist may be used to assist departments with the orientation of new temp employees to the university.    

Eligibility Waiver

A student who fails to meet eligibility requirements, and who wishes to work for the University may request a waiver to pursue/continue university student employment. Waiver request must be routed through and signed by the student Academic Advisor, Department Head, Dean/VP prior to submitting to the Graduate School.  Waiver requests may be submitted via email to Kari Bellavita If a waiver has been obtained, please forward a scanned copy to  

Exception to FTE Waiver

The Guidelines on Employment of Graduate Assistants states that employment during the academic year is limited to 20 hours (.5 FTE). In order for the employee to work more than a .5 FTE, you may request an exception to policy by submitting a Waiver request Waiver requests are limited to rare circumstances that may be related to special cases or emergencies. The waiver must be submitted with enough time for approval routings and prior to requested FTE increase. Waiver requests may be submitted via email to: Kari Bellavita - (575)646-5746. The waiver must include the following information: Waiver requested must be addressed to the Graduate School; Waiver must be routed through the student’s Academic Advisor, Department Head and Dean/VP of College/Division; Detailed justification on why the student is being requested to work above 20 hours (25 hours maximum); Any special circumstances and Protocol for safety.  

Request for In-State Tuition after Census Date has passed

The Graduate School codes for in-state tuition up until census date for the fall and spring semesters. If a job loads after census date, The Graduate School will not process in-state tuition coding.  If the student needs to be coded for in-state tuition after census date, the department may route a memo from the Senior Administrator of the College/Division through the Graduate School to the Provost Office. The memo should outline/explain the delay in hiring and request coding for in-state tuition. If approved by the Provost Office the memo will be routed to the Registrar’s office to be coded for in-state tuition