The Graduate College

Procedures for Financial Awards

As part of its drive to enhance research and graduate education, North Carolina A&T has established a number of financial support opportunities for outstanding graduate students.

Financial support is available to graduate students who have been admitted to a graduate degree program at N.C. A&T, maintain full-time status, are in good academic standing and are making satisfactory progress toward their degrees. Graduate students who have completed their course work requirements and are working on their thesis or dissertation with less than a full-time course load may be eligible for support in their final semester.

Financial support for graduate students allows them to partially or fully meet their cost of education through assistantships, fellowships, scholarships or loans. An assistantship is a form of paid apprenticeship and contributes to the student’s professional development; detailed discussion on assistantships follows below. Fellowships and scholarships normally do not require work in return and are governed by the conditions set forth by the funding authority.

All awards are highly competitive. A student may receive at most one of these awards in a given year. All nominations (in priority order) must be submitted by the academic department/college to the Graduate College by Feb. 15 for the fall semester and Sept. 15 for the spring semester.

Awards Information

All forms of payments will be indicated on a single contract form and processed through the Graduate College. Revised contracts will supersede all previous contracts so that at any time there is only one active contract.

All financial support recommendations should be indicated on the Graduate Assistantship Contract (GAC). Data from the GAC will be imported and maintained on the “Financial Support Spreadsheet (FSS)” for monitoring and reporting purposes. Please download the GAC.

Academic departments are expected to have a documented procedure based on the guidelines presented here for identifying students who will receive an assistantship, fellowship, scholarship or other awards. The procedure must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate College after each revision.

Academic units are expected to use the following criteria to select new GRAs and GTAs prior to initial enrollment in the academic program.

GRA: Prior GPA, GRE scores, awards, honors; full-time status; evidence of research experience and promise; work under the supervision of a faculty member.

GTA: Prior GPA, GRE scores, awards, honors; full-time status; completion of GTA training; If international student: TOEFL sub-score of at least 18 in Listening, Reading, Writing, at least 26 in Speaking; Either (i) master’s in the teaching discipline or (ii) 18 graduate semester hours in the teaching discipline and direct supervision by a faculty member experienced in the teaching discipline.

All graduate assistants are required to undergo training as specified by the Graduate College. The Graduate Assistant Training Program is built around a set of Core Competencies that relate to the type of assistantship. The training is conducted in three phases and is intended to equip graduate assistants with the essential knowledge and skills required to effectively transition from student to paraprofessional.

GRAs will be required to undergo training in Title IX, research ethics and misconduct, responsible authorship, conflict of interest, mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships, data sharing and ownership, intellectual property ownership and patents policy, publication and peer review, research involving human or animal subjects, and societal impacts. All GRAs are also required to receive lab safety training (laser safety, chemical hazard safety, etc.). To keep the GRA appointment, the initial GRA training must be completed during the first week of the semester. In addition, GRAs will be required to attend specified training sessions throughout the academic year.

GTAs will be required to undergo training in Title IX, learner development, learning differences, instructional strategies, content knowledge, application of content, planning for instruction, learning environments, assessment, and ethical practice. Before assuming teaching duties, a non-native, non-primary-English-speaking GTA must also be certified as proficient in oral and written English. To keep the GTA appointment, the initial GTA training must be completed during the first week of the semester. In addition, GTAs will be required to attend specified training sessions throughout the academic year.

The first phase of training is an online module that covers general policies and procedures that apply to all Graduate Assistants. The training is self-paced but must be completed fully and the final quiz must be passed during the first week of the semester.

The second phase of training is an in-person introductory workshop. This workshop includes general information for all Graduate Assistants as well as breakout sessions for Research Assistants and Teaching Assistants. This training must be completed by the posted deadline.

Phase 3 will consist of three supplementary workshops that must be completed and verified by the posted deadline.

For detailed information regarding training, please see Graduate Assistant Training.

A Graduate Assistant's teaching, research, and administrative activities are subject to the ethical precepts and codes of the academic profession, the laws of the State of North Carolina regarding its employees, the laws of the United States, and University policies governing institutional obligations. Violation of any of these requirements constitutes a basis for disciplinary action in accordance with procedures set forth in the University's policies. In their interactions with students, faculty, and all other members of the university community, GAs are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism, ethics, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness.

An assistantship necessitates periodic assessment and feedback regarding a student’s performance. Each department is responsible for the review and evaluation of Graduate Assistants and may include written assessment of work by faculty supervisor, classroom visitation by designated faculty members, and written student evaluations. The evaluations must be submitted to the Graduate College at the end of each semester.

All GTAs and GRAs should be evaluated at the end of each semester. Evaluations should be completed and submitted to the Graduate College by Dec 1 in the fall and May 1 in the spring.

Continuation of graduate assistantship support from year-to-year or semester-to-semester is not guaranteed. Academic units will use the following criteria to reappoint GRAs and GTAs:

  • Academic standing
  • Satisfactory progress towards degree completion
  • Full-time status
  • Completion of required training
  • Prior semester’s evaluation
  • Availability of resources

A graduate assistantship may be terminated before the expiration of its designated term due to loss of funding, for cause, for academic delinquency, by written notice, and by voluntary mutual agreement.

  • Loss of Funding: A graduate assistantship may be terminated due to a loss, reduction, or reallocation in appropriation, grant, contract, gift, or other funds with which to support the appointment.
  • Cause: The following are examples of sufficient cause for removal: incompetence, inefficiency, wanton carelessness or neglect of duty, violation of research ethics, violation of safety protocols, insubordination, and repeated or extended absence.
  • Academic Delinquency: Not making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree or is otherwise not in good academic standing.
  • Voluntary Agreement: With the agreement of the University, an appointment may be terminated by the voluntary written resignation of the GA.

If an assistantship is terminated for any reason in the middle of the semester, in-state tuition and any out-of-state differential tuition remission will be prorated.

The Assistantship Committee of the Graduate Council considers the appeals of termination of graduate assistantships.

Before filing an appeal, a graduate student is expected to attempt to resolve the termination issue with the hiring faculty member and/or department chairperson and dean of the academic unit in which the assistantship is assigned. A graduate student who is unable to resolve issues with the hiring faculty member and/or department chairperson has thirty (30) calendar days from the date of termination, or thirty (30) calendar days after the adverse decision at the department or college level to file an appeal with the dean of the Graduate College. Graduate students are responsible for submitting a written appeal with the required documentation to the dean of the Graduate College so that they are postmarked or hand-delivered by the deadline date. If a request for appeal is not postmarked or hand-delivered by this deadline, it will not be considered. The decisions of the Assistantship & Fellowship Committee are final and do not set precedent; each case is considered on its own facts and merits.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University provides equal employment opportunities for all persons regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, veteran status, political affiliation, genetic information, sexual orientation or sexual identity. An announcement describing the position should be posted on a website available to students thereby allowing all students to learn of the opportunity and to apply for an assistantship.

In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements, the University's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO/AA) Statement and EEO/AA certification in the Federal Government’s System for Award Management (, financial compensation to graduate students must be treated the same under like circumstances. This principle requires the University and its academic units to hire graduate students doing similar kinds of work through the same mechanism at similar rates, including pay scales and tuition charges. Equal compensation is mandated by the following: the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Therefore, the University must pay equal compensation to Graduate Assistants who perform jobs that require substantially equal skills, effort and responsibilities, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the University.

Departments should develop and monitor their procedures for consistency to ensure that individuals are paid in accordance with published pay scales and in accordance with the legal requirements cited above. Graduate Assistants, fellows and scholars in similar disciplines and at the same stage in their career will receive the same stipend. For example, all GRAs with similar skills, effort, and responsibilities in a Ph.D. program in the same discipline shall be paid the same.

For the 2018-19 academic year, graduate assistants will be subject to the following compensation rates:

GAA: Doctoral student: $16 - $22 per hour in the Student Assistant V position. A salary of $5,000 - $6,000 per semester would be appropriate for someone working 20 hours per week. Master’s student: $13 - $18 per hour in the Student Assistant IV position. A salary of $3,600 - $5,000 per semester would be appropriate for someone working 20 hours per week. GAAs may be appointed at 5, 10 or 15 hours per week also with semester salaries prorated accordingly.

GTA: Doctoral student: $12,500 stipend (flat rate) + in-state tuition. Master’s student: $10,000 stipend (flat rate) + in-state tuition.

GRA: Doctoral student: $12,500 stipend (minimum) + in-state tuition. Master’s student: $10,000 stipend (minimum) + in-state tuition.

Each college or academic discipline may set a higher stipend rate for GRAs in consultation with the Graduate College. The Graduate College will ensure equity for GRAs within the following broad discipline categories used by the Council of Graduate Schools: (i) Physical and Life Sciences, Health Sciences, Mathematics, Computer Science, Agriculture, (ii) Engineering, (iii) Social Sciences, (iv) Arts and Humanities, (v) Education, (vi) Business, (vii) Other (Family and Consumer Sciences, Communications/Journalism, Public Admin, Social Work).

The Graduate College is responsible for post-audit reports to track and monitor compliance with the university’s policies and procedures related to financial support for graduate student assistantships. Therefore, all forms of financial support, except for loans, must be recommended to the Graduate College by the graduate coordinator, department chair, dean, or senior university officer using funds from approved university accounts with adequate funding in the appropriate line items.

Deadlines: Recommendations for GTAs and GRAs should be submitted to the Graduate College by February 15th for the fall semester (September 15th for the spring semester). This will allow appointment letters to be sent by Mar 1 (October 1 for the spring semester).

Term of appointment: All GTAs and GRAs will receive academic year appointments (if appointed in fall) or spring appointments (if appointed in spring). A separate appointment for the summer term can be made depending on the source and availability of funding and approval of the supervisor. The appointment letter will clearly indicate that the appointment ends with the academic year. All students who will not be reappointed after spring for a second term should receive such notification by the graduate coordinator or department chair by May 1 (December 1 if a student is being discontinued after fall).

Support Duration: A doctoral student may receive financial support for a maximum of four years (five years if the student is admitted after a bachelor’s degree). A master’s student may receive financial support for a maximum of two years.

Additional information: Ms. Anita Sanders in the Graduate College is available if additional information is needed. She can be reached at or 336-285-2369.