Graduate assistant appointments are related to the academic semester of enrollment (Fall: August 16- December 31, Spring: January 1-May 15, Summer: May 16 - August 15). The appointing department/unit defines the conditions of the assistantship (e.g. quarter- or half-time, Fall, Spring, and/or Summer Semesters).
Prior to the appointment, a criminal background check is required. An electronic disclosure and authorization form will be provided to students via email. The form must be signed and submitted to initiate the background check. Appointments will be contingent upon satisfactory results.
An INS I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) must be completed and attached to the GA Appointment Recommendation form. A department representative must see the documents used to verify eligibility and identity. These documents can be a passport or driver’s license and a Social Security card. The I-9 form must be completed within three business days of the appointment start date. If I-9 forms are not filed within 3 days the appointment will be cancelled.
International students must have their I-9 forms signed in the Office for International Students and Scholars. They should bring their passport, I-94 and I-20 ID or the DS-2019 to 103 International Center.
Graduate assistants are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Departments appointing graduate assistants must meet deadlines set by Human Resources (https://hr.msu.edu/ua/hiring/graduate-assistants/index.html) for the filing of appointment forms. If they are unable to meet deadlines, delays may occur in the issuance of the first payroll payment and enrollment in the health insurance plan.
Graduate Assistants are encouraged to complete a withholding tax authorization (Form W-4) and payroll direct deposit form. Graduate Assistants can access the website to complete Form W-4 and enroll in the direct deposit program at https://www.ebs.msu.edu/ under the Employee Self-Service Portal.
Changes in level, stipend, or percentage of time become effective only at the beginning of a semester. A completed appointment form is the key to receiving the stipend and benefits. It also indicates intent by the department and the student to comply with the regulations pertaining to graduate assistantships as published in this brochure, the Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities document, and the Academic Programs catalog.