Congratulations on your appointment as a graduate assistant!

Being a GA has many advantages, including the ability to help finance your graduate education and other perks.

Here we’ve provided resources to get you started and outlined some steps to help you fully benefit from your assistantship.


Guidelines and Information (PDF) – All Ball State graduate and doctoral assistants must review this document.

GA Orientation Webinar – These sessions provide general information about what to expect from your graduate assistantship and will assist you with some of the preliminary questions and worries you may have about your transition into a graduate assistantship.  Our 2017 session was held on Thursday, June 22, 2017.

You can watch a recording of the most recent GA Orientation session.

Brochure – Review our tips for a successful assistantship.

Frequently Asked Questions – Review answers to some of the most commons concerns among graduate assistants.


Do you have any questions or concerns regarding your graduate assistantship?

Contact the Graduate School.

General Information


Your assistantship contract must be signed before you can begin to receive your stipend. The Graduate School will email you when your contract is ready for your signature. This email will contain important instructions for employment verification. 

Between the receipt of notification and the first day of the semester, you will need to come to the Graduate School office (West Quad, Room 203) with the necessary identification documents. Ball State University participates in the federal E-Verify program for employment eligibility. This process provides the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

For Out-of-State and International Graduate Assistants

If you plan to arrive on campus during the Orientation Week, do not worry. It is all right to wait until that week to come to the Graduate School office and sign your contract. When you do come in, please make sure to bring with you all the necessary identification documents. Please note that all students will need a Social Security number to process their contract. International students must contact the Rinker Center for more information about obtaining a Social Security number.

The federal verification process must be completed by the third business day of work.


Graduate assistants are paid their stipends biweekly. See the complete calendar of pay dates for the term you will be employed.

All employees are required to authorize electronic direct deposit of their paychecks. Direct deposit is a safe and secure way to have your pay deposited directly into your checking and saving account(s). Ball State will electronically transfer your pay into your choice of bank account(s); the money will automatically be deposited into your account(s) on payday.

Direct deposit stubs will not be printed by the Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits. You can access your direct deposit payroll statement via myBSU.


Graduate student orientation is highly recommended for graduate assistants.

The department or office that “houses” your assistantship may require you to undergo specific training or orientation sessions before the start of your contract.

Please make arrangements to arrive on campus in a timely manner to attend these events.


Carefully review the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and sexual harassment policies before the start of your contract.

Both students new to Ball State and graduate assistants are required to complete harm-reduction training, in the form of Think About It. You will receive an email with instructions on how to complete the training, as well as reminders if it isn’t completed in a timely manner.

Course Registration and Withdrawal

Any reduction in credit hours during the semester may adjust the fee remission and affect financial aid. Also any holds on accounts will prevent assistantship payroll to be processed. 

If a student completely withdraws from a term, he or she should contact the dean of students prior to withdrawal from the university.