Rules & Regulations

Duty Period GAs on 9-month appointments are on duty during the fall and spring semesters.

GAs on 11 month appointments are on duty throughout the year.

Regular Work Load GAs with 0.50 FTE work approximately 20 hours per week.

GAs with 0.25 FTE work approximately 10 hours per week. The Graduate Division approves 0.25 FTE appointments only in truly exceptional cases.

Supervision and Evaluation GAs are assigned duties and supervised by their designated faculty supervisor. Each department or unit shall develop written procedures for evaluating the performance of its graduate assistants. A copy of the procedure shall be provided to the GA prior to the commencement of the appointment period. For graduate teaching assistants, classroom visits and formal teaching assessments are mandatory. In the event of a disagreement over the evaluation, several options exist for conflict resolution. See GA Grievance.
Course Overload Maintain 6 credits per semester with the exception of those who have reached 800 (dissertation) or 700F (thesis). See Enrollment Policies > Course Loads & Full-Time Definition. If you would like to take more than 9 credits per semester, please fill out the Graduate Assistant Petition to Enroll in More than 9 Credits. Check with the Financial Aid Office for any changes to registration after the official add/drop period has ended.
Work Beyond 20 Hours Per Week During Instructional Period
GAs are advised to consider carefully the potential effects of additional work load on their ability to maintain satisfactory academic performance.

ABT or ABD GAs who are domestic students may work up to 40 hours per week, if the additional work is related to their thesis or dissertation research. No approval is required.

All GA's who wish to work more than 20 hours per week must complete and file the petition to work more than 20 hours with Graduate Division Student Services. GAs who are international students also need to obtain approval from the International Student Services. Unauthorized work beyond 20 hours per week may result in the loss of an assistantship. GA's are advised to carefully consider the potential effects of additional work load on their ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

During Non-Instructional Periods
GAs may work up to 40 hours per week during non-instructional periods (between semesters and during the summer).

Vacation GAs on 9-month appointments have three months of vacation during the summer.

GAs on 11-month appointments have one month of vacation, to be scheduled at a time mutually agreeable to the GA and the faculty supervisor.

GAs may not accumulate vacation.

Sick Leave GAs have no sick leave.
Leave of Absence GAs who need to go on leave during the appointment period must obtain advance written approval from the department or unit of hire. The request shall be made in writing and detail how the assigned duties will be performed during the leave.
Termination An appointment shall be automatically terminated when a GA completes his/her degree program (at the end of the semester of such completion) or upon the complete withdrawal of a GA from the degree program (as of the date of such withdrawal). Termination may occur before the end of the appointment period due to:
  • failure to maintain eligibility,
  • failure or inability to complete assigned tasks,
  • misconduct related to the assistantship,
  • lack of funding, or
  • mutual agreement.
Conduct Code GAs are subject to the ethical precepts and codes of the academic profession, to federal and state laws, and to university policies. Violation of any of these constitutes a basis for disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the UHM Student Conduct Code. See Grades & Regulations > Conduct Code.

For graduate teaching assistants, it is considered gross misconduct to accept additional compensation for tutoring students enrolled in their courses, and a conflict of interest to work as “Note-Takers” for the Associated Students of the University of Hawai’i (ASUH).