Graduate Assistantship

Graduate Assistants (GA) are defined as fulltime graduate students who provide service to a university in exchange for a stipend and, in some cases, additional benefits, such as tuition waivers and health insurance. A graduate assistantship is different from an internship and practicum in that the experience is organized through a formal contract between GSU and a specified sport organization. Assistantships also come with a stipend, in addition to a tuition waiver (full or partial), but do not count as course credit toward your degree. Many students seek out GA positions to help pay for their graduate school tuition, better their careers, and to gain more experience. This is all handled by the Sport Business Listserv.

Once the Listserv is made aware of a GA posting, it is emailed to all the students. It is important to note that not all GA postings will be notified to the Listserv. For example, the Listserv is normally made aware of postings in the athletic department for such positions as Sports Marketing, Sports Information, and Sports Ticketing. However, GA postings with the actual sports are not normally sent to the Listserv. For example, GA postings for sports like the football program, men’s and women’s basketball, and softball would not normally contact the Listserv to post an open GA position.

It is also important to note that not all professional companies and professional teams in the Atlanta area offer GA positions. These are more likely to be an internship position. However, you can still obtain a GA position at another school and attend our program for classes. For example, you could be a Sports Marketing GA at Georgia Tech and attend the Sports Administration program for classes here at GSU.

If you are interested in a GA position you may have questions like: What is the difference between an internship, practicum and graduate assistantship? How do I apply? What do I do once hired? How often am I paid? All of this will be answered below.

Frequently Asked Questions about Assistantships

An internship for course credit is needed to complete the Sport Administration program. Certain requirements need to be met for a practical experience to be counted as an internship, including registering for the internship course, working 20 hours per week at an approved internship site for the 6 hour course, and completing associated assignments/paperwork for a grade. It is the student's responsibility to obtain an internship location and have it approved by the internship coordinator. Internships may be paid or unpaid, depending on the organization.

A practicum allows you to receive course credit for practical sport field experience that is part time. The course counts as an elective and is subject to approval by Professor Cianfrone. Practicum applications can be picked up in the Kinesiology department main office (KH Room 137).

A graduate assistantship is different from an internship and practicum in that the experience is organized through a formal research grant between GSU and a specified sport organization. Assistantships also come with a stipend, in addition to a tuition waiver (full or partial), but do not count as course credit toward your degree.

A GA Tuition Waiver will only cover the cost of tuition (Full or Partial). It is your responsibility to cover the costs and fees determined by the university, transportation and parking, books, and living expenses.

Sport organizations send out GA job announcements to current students via the Sport Business Listserv. The job announcements often require interested individuals to send cover letters, resumes, letters of recommendation, etc. directly to the sport organization to obtain an interview. GA interviewing and hiring is done by the individual sport organizations based on availability. GSU graduate assistantship positions include: Sport Administration program graduate research assistants (e.g., helping professors) or within the GSU athletics department (e.g., marketing, sports information, student–athlete development, coaching staff, etc.). Also, Georgia Tech, Emory University, Agnes Scott College, LEJ Sports, have positions, as well as other sport organizations in the Metro Atlanta region. You will be required to work at least 20 hours per week for the organization, depending on the assistantship. Waivers, stipends, and contract length (semester vs. annual) vary by sport organization. **All GA positions may not be available every semester; the availability depends on the number of students who graduate each semester and leave open positions. If you are not hired as a GA for your first semester, you are encouraged to follow the Listserv and apply for available positions the next semester. GA positions are very competitive. **

If you are a sport organization interested in being a part of the Georgia State student graduate assistantship program, please contact a faculty member to discuss the opportunity.

The assistantship contract requires you to complete a number of tasks each semester to ensure you maintain registration for your classes (i.e., not be dropped) and receive your stipend and tuition waiver. Failure to complete any one of the following steps prior to the start of every semester will result in forfeiting your assistantship and its accompanying benefits.

Prior to the start of each semester, you need to:

  1. Register as a full-time student (18 credit hours for fall and spring; 15 for summer) before the end of late registration. If the waiver is not on before the end of late registration, you must pay all tuition and fees or classes will be dropped. Therefore, if you are not completely sure what you want to take in the upcoming semester, at least register for 18 credits before the late registration date (if you are not registered, a waiver cannot be applied, as you have no tuition to be waived). You can drop/add the classes before the semester, as long as you do not drop below 18-that is, if you drop one, immediately add another.
  2. Register for 3-18 hours of KH 7975. This class is needed to activate the assistantship waiver. It can be in addition to your other 18 credits or count as part of the 18. It does not count towards your graduation. Your hours may vary between 3-18 per term, in the event that you need more credits to reach the 18 credit minimum; however, this may delay your graduation.
  3. Tuition Waivers are added automatically based on the faculty advisors submission of your hire information to the KH office.
  4. Pay your student fees on time-- waivers DO NOT cover mandatory student fees. The mandatory student fees change from each semester and you are required to pay these prior to the deadline. To find out the cost of mandatory fees, go to GoSolar and click "view account statements by term". The Spring 2014 student fee for 9 credits was $1,064.
  5. Complete NEW HIRE PACKET(W2s, etc.). When completing the form, note you are a Graduate Research Assistant and Home Dept; Kinesiology and Health, with Dr. Cianfrone as your supervisor.  Return form to GSU Human Resources, located on the third floor of the One Park Place building. Bring 2 forms of ID (Only required to be completed for the first semester of GA position). Email Scan:  Orange Slip provided by HR to[email protected]
  6. Check your immunizations. If they are not up to date with GSU, you will be dropped from your classes.
  7. Every graduate assistant with a full tuition waiver is automatically charged for a health insurance plan through Pearce and Pearce (about $400 per semester). If you already have health insurance, you can get the plan and cost waived. You will need to show current proof of insurance. If the student is eligible for full tuition waiver, you have 31 days from date waiver is added to register for or exempt from health insurance. More information is found on the website:
  8. To get the insurance fee waived: Student Health Insurance
  9. Sign a Graduate Assistant Personnel Action Form
  10. All GSU Sport Administration students must complete the IRB training during their first semester. The Social/Behavior IRB approval information is found: Institutional Review Board(IRB)

Bring a copy of your certificate (pass with 80% or better) to the Sport Business Lab GA. This allows you to be a part of research projects. (Only required to be completed for the first semester of GA position)

Pay Block Pay Dates Last Business Day of:
Fall September, October, November, and December
Spring January, February, March, and April
Summer May, June, July, and August

The total amount of the stipend is divided by four and taxes are taken out according to your hiring paperwork.

Fall hire dates begin around August 11, depending on the academic calendar. Spring assistantships start the first day after Winter break.

You need to maintain a full-time status to keep your assistantship. If you drop a class during the semester, and that puts you below the correct amount of hours, you will forfeit your assistantship and stipend.

If you still have any questions, feel free to contact the Sport Business Lab assistant. This information can be found on the Contact Us page.