Graduate students with assistantships are employees of the Department.  Thus, a graduate student must fully understand his/her dual role; that of a student and that of an employee.  Graduate students are expected to be both good students and good employees.  They will be evaluated for their performance in both roles.  The assistantship is provided to the student for work to be performed.  It is not provided as a scholarship to go to school or to write a thesis.

Students funded by full-time Graduate Assistantships, whether GA, GTA, or GRA, are expected to work an average of 20 hours/week.  The graduate student will be assigned a work supervisor (who may or may not be his/her major professor).  Graduate students are expected to conduct and complete their work assignments in a professional manner.   At the start of each semester, the graduate student should establish work hours with the work supervisor, and the students should be at their work station during this mutually agreed upon time.  The student should realize that there will be differences in work assignments among graduate students.  While efforts are made to avoid gross inequalities in job assignments, strict equality is not practical.

Graduate Assistanships

Assistantships may be offered to degree seeking graduate students admitted to Regular (GPA of 3.00 or greater) or Provisional (GPA of 2.75-2.99) status. To continue to be eligible for an assistantship a student must maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher and be making satisfactory progress toward attainment of a graduate degree. The academic department and the Graduate School may allow a student to continue on an assistantship for one semester of probationary status to remedy grade deficiencies.

The continuance or renewal of an assistantship is contingent on satisfactory academic progress, satisfactory performance of GTA or GRA duties, and professional and personal conduct of an exemplary nature. At the end of each calendar year all students are required to file an annual progress report.  This report will be used as the basis for evaluation of student’s progress.  

M.S. and Ph.D. students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 and 3.4 respectively, in order to hold an assistantship.  The assistantship will be terminated if the student’s cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for more than one semester.

Graduate students are on the same holiday schedule as the faculty in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.  However, some research projects may require work during holiday periods.  The students should consult with their work supervisors and major professors before taking holidays.

Graduate students on teaching and research assistantships do not accumulate annual leave time for vacations.  All graduate students must arrange vacation time with their work supervisor and/or major professor.

Graduate students on teaching and research assistantships do not accumulate leave time for sickness.  When the student is sick, both the work supervisor and major professor must be informed.