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Graduate Assistantship Information

Congratulations on being awarded a graduate or specialized assistantship. Below is more information about each one and the process to prepare for your new role.  

Graduate student employees at American University who are working with faculty members are represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500 and are covered by a collective bargaining agreement. If your assistantship lasts the full semester and you work at least ten hours a week, the collective bargaining agreement requires you to either join the union and pay dues or, if you prefer not to join, pay an agency fee to cover the union’s cost of representing you. However, you may be exempt from paying dues or fees if you have employment outside the university that would constitute a conflict of interest. The collective bargaining agreement can be found here.

The University Policy: Graduate Assistant Assignment Policy concerns the job duties and work hours associated with the work assignment of graduate assistants.  

The Graduate Academic Services team works directly with faculty to support mentorship matches. Students who were awarded a graduate assistantship are typically sent a preference survey related to areas of interest and work style which will help in the faculty-led matching process.

Matches are typically confirmed in the summer prior to the beginning of your new program!


Fall Semester Spring Semester
September 16, 2022 February 3, 2023
September 30, 2022 February 17, 2023
October 14, 2022 March 3, 2023
October 28, 2022 March 17, 2023
November 10, 2022 March 31, 2023
November 25, 2022 April 14, 2023
December 9, 2022 April 28, 2023
December 23, 2022 May 12, 2023


Once you are hired via the department, an email describing your on-boarding process will be sent to your AU email address describing your on boarding process. For more details, visit AU's Human Resource web page (under Before You Start Your Job - Complete Your New Hire Packet).

I-9 documentation & Verifying Part 2 of Your Federal I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility)

This is a federal requirement that shows your proof of U.S. citizenship or legal authorization to work in the U.S.  and must be completed no later than three (3) days of your first day of work. Bring your acceptable, original documentation to an I-9 certified staff member in Human Resources or your department. For more information on where you can verify Part 2 of your Federal I-9 Form and what you will need, please click here.

International students  

New foreign national graduate students will need to meet with a foreign national specialist in Payroll and complete the required documents in GLACIER (foreign national tax compliance system). Foreign national appointment calendar is available on the portal under WORK@AU, Payroll, and Foreign National Appointment Schedule.  

Sign up for Direct Deposit 

As a student worker, you are paid every two weeks (bi-weekly). Signing up for Direct Deposit is the most efficient payment method. 

Please complete Eagle Service > Pay Selection and Eagle Service > Banking Information Form online. On the AU portal, under Work@AU, select the link for Payroll; select “+Add an Account”; and follow the instructions to provide the banking information. Students must sign up for direct deposit before the first Wednesday of the first week of fall classes in order to have their first payment by direct deposit.  

Electronic W-2 

Students are encouraged to provide Payroll with W-2 electronic consent for online W-2 printing. Please go to the Find them under the AU portal > Work@AU > General Links > W-2 Electronic Consent > Opt -In option  to complete this step.

All graduate assistants must complete a mid-term and final evaluation with their SOC faculty/staff advisor. The mid-term evaluation is due on the 8th week of each semester worked and final evaluation is due before the end of each semester.

Mid-term evaluation

End of Term evaluation

Students who work within the Office of Graduate Academic Services or Office of Communication and Outreach, must also complete bi-weekly timesheets online:

For more information, visit the HR website under "Getting Paid."

Students must notify the Office of Graduate Academic Services immediately if withdrawing from a graduate assistantship. Send an email to