Student Employment Policies and Guidelines

Student Employment Overview

The School of Public Health (SPH) provides a limited number of graduate assistantships (GAs) to qualified PhD students. Questions regarding funding of PhD students should be directed to the PhD Program Director. Master’s students are not eligible for GA positions nor TA (Teaching Assistant) positions within the SPH (both related and unrelated to grant efforts), and master’s students may not seek GA nor TA positions outside of the SPH. Master’s students will have the opportunity to receive scholarships. Additionally, students at all levels may be hired by faculty for research assignments as student workers, or as student workers in a variety of other settings within and outside of the SPH.

To be eligible for student employment and/or scholarships, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. For incoming students, undergraduate GPA will determine eligibility and be used in the review process. The individual is primarily a student and secondarily an employee.

The University has determined that students working in on-campus student employment positions shall be limited to no more than an average of 20 hours per week, during the fall and spring semesters.  The University has determined that students enrolled in the WVU Winter Session must also adhere to the 20 hour a week policy. Students not enrolled in Winter Session class may work 37.5 hours a week when classes are not in session and the University is open.

If a student is enrolled half time or less (3 credits or less for graduate students, 6 credits or less for undergraduate students) during the summer term and working in an on-campus student employment position, that student may work full time (40 hours per week). If a student is working more than 20 hours per week, business officers and hiring supervisors must provide the “Student Worker Tax Withholding Guidelines” as working these increased hours has tax implications which differ from part-time employment. If a student is enrolled more than half-time, they shall be limited to no more than an average of 20 hours per week for on-campus student employment positions.

Graduate Assistantships

Regular graduate assistants work an average of 20 hours per week and partial graduate assistants work an average of 10 hours per week as teaching, research, or service assistants.

Incoming funded graduate assistants (SPH PhD students) are under contractual obligations to perform tasks as GAs for up to and no more than 20 hours per week. Without being specified in their contracts, graduate assistants cannot be assigned to grant work or other work. The contracts for each incoming cohort of incoming PhD students is developed in advance of the student arriving on campus.

Should a graduate assistant drop below full-time enrollment within an academic term, permission must be obtained from their supervisor, academic advisor, and the Office of Graduate Education and Life to continue with their assistantship.

Types of Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate teaching assistants teach courses, laboratory sections, and recitation sections, or provide other forms of instructional assistance. These assistantships are generally available only through the academic units. The deadline for teaching assistant appointments is no later than the end of the second week of classes in the fall or spring term.

Graduate Research Assistants

Graduate research assistants help faculty members with their research activities. Research assistantships are primarily funded by grants and other third party sources. Because of the arrival of these funds at the University may not coincide with the beginning of the academic term, University policy is that the deadline for research assistant appointments is not later than the end of the fifth week of classes in the fall or spring term. Depending on the source of funding, some research assistantships may not be available to non-US residents.

Graduate Service Assistants

Graduate service assistants typically work in one of the administrative or service offices of WVU. Service assistants work in positions that are related to their program of study and that contribute to their educational experience. Graduate service assistants must be appointed by the end of the fifth week of classes in the fall or spring term.

Student Workers

Undergraduate and Masters level students may be hired as hourly student workers. Student worker employment as hourly workers may occur at any time of the year. These positions do not come with a tuition waiver. However, in some circumstances the employer may be able to provide full or partial tuition payment or reimbursement on behalf of the student. Students should inquire with prospective employers about this possibility.

Students interested in applying for student worker position should utilize Handshake, to view on campus SPH student worker positions. Students who have not yet used Handshake will need to log-in to Handshake with their WVU ID and password. As a WVU student, a basic profile will have already created for each student on Handshake.

Students applying for hourly worker positions outside of the SPH should follow the procedures established by the prospective employing unit. However, prior to accepting a student worker position outside of the SPH, students must also notify and obtain approval from their Department Chair and the Office of Student Services.