Additional Hours Requests for Graduate Assistants

George Mason University policy limits the number of hours that graduate students can work during the academic year as graduate assistants, graduate lecturers and/or in student wage positions. As a graduate program, our primary goals include the rigorous training of students and their timely academic progress. Students with a graduate assistantship who wish to work more than 20 hours/week (but no more than 30) must obtain permission from both the Director of Graduate Programs and the Graduate Associate Dean of their home academic unit prior to accepting an additional appointment. This requirement applies whether the student is appointed in one or in multiple academic units.

  1. Students employed at Mason (GRA, GTA, or hourly wage) who wish to work more than 20/hours per week at Mason during the academic year must receive approval from both the Director of Graduate Programs and the CHSS Associate Dean for Graduate Academic Affairs. Note that university policy prohibits students from working more than 30 hours per week during the school year, and more than 1450 hours annually (May 1-April 30). A memo and the Graduate Student Work Authorization Form must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Programs at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester during which the additional hours will begin. The Director of Graduate Programs or the Graduate Program Coordinator will obtain approval from the Dean.
  2. Students employed on a GRA or GTA contract at Mason who wish to obtain additional work outside the university during the academic year must receive approval from the Director of Graduate Programs, per their university contract. A memo must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Programs.

The memo (maximum 1 page) should document the student’s progress in the program so far, the nature of the additional work, and how the additional work will benefit their scholarly or professional development. For example, students might explain how many courses they have completed, the status of their Major Area Paper (MAP) and/or dissertation proposal, and provide a timeline for completing future program requirements. Students should describe how the additional hours will contribute to their professional goals and interests. The purpose of the memo is to ensure that additional employment beyond 20 hours/week will not interfere with a student’s degree progress.

Students in their first year, students enrolled in 9 credits, and students who are not making timely progress toward their degree are unlikely to be approved for additional hours. Moreover, international students must comply with the employment rules associated with their visa status, which usually make them ineligible for extra hours.