Rules & Regulations

Duty Period
GAs on 9-month appointments must be on duty during the fall and spring semesters for a minimum of 12 weeks per term as defined by the Office of Graduate Education. GAs should report to their department supervisor the week prior to the start of the semester and end once grades are submitted and/or related duties have been completed and approved by their department supervisor.  The on-duty start and end dates for faculty as stated in the Academic Calendar may be used to guide this duty time. See Academic Calendar.
GAs on 11-month appointments are on duty throughout the year with a minimum of 12 weeks per term as defined by the Office of Graduate Education. Actual start and end dates are based on source of funding.
Regular Work Load
GAs with 0.50 FTE work approximately 20 hours per week. 
GAs with 0.25 FTE work approximately 10 hours per week. 
*Appointments at less than 0.50 FTE require semester approval from the Office of Graduate Education. Such appointments are approved only in truly exceptional cases.
Supervision and EvaluationGAs are assigned duties and supervised by their designated faculty supervisor. Each department or unit shall develop written procedures for evaluating the performance of its graduate assistants. A copy of the procedure shall be provided to the GA prior to the commencement of the appointment period. For graduate teaching assistants, classroom visits and formal teaching assessments are mandatory. In the event of a disagreement over the evaluation, several options exist for conflict resolution. See GA Grievance.
Course OverloadMaintain 6 credits per semester with the exception of those who have reached 800 (dissertation) or 700F (thesis). See Enrollment Policies > Course Loads & Full-Time Definition. If you would like to take more than 9 credits per semester, please fill out the Graduate Assistant Petition to Enroll in More than 9 Credits. Check with the Financial Aid Office for any changes to registration after the official add/drop period has ended.
Work Beyond 20 Hours Per Week
During Instructional Period or On-Duty Period
Department/Research supervisors and GAs are advised to consider carefully the potential effects of additional work load on the ability to maintain satisfactory academic performance and progress toward their degree. 
  • ABT or ABD GAs who are domestic students may work up to 40 hours per week, if the additional work is related to their thesis or dissertation research. No approval is required.
  • All GA's who wish to work more than 20 hours per week must complete and file the petition to work more than 20 hours with Graduate Education Student Services. GAs who are international students also need to obtain approval from the International Student Services. Unauthorized work beyond 20 hours per week may result in the loss of an assistantship. GA's are advised to carefully consider the potential effects of additional work load on their ability to maintain satisfactory academic progress.
If a GA is willing and appointed to teach an additional course above the 6 credits already assigned at UHM or any UH campus, it’s considered an overload. The GA shall inform the faculty supervisor, if different, of his/her status as a GA. This information should be disclosed especially if a GA is appointed to teach in a department different from the original appointment or at another UH campus.
During Non-Instructional or Off-Duty Periods 
GAs may work up to 40 hours per week during non-instructional periods (between semesters).
9-month GAs may work up to 40 hours during their off-duty period (i.e., Summer terms)
11-month GAs may work up to 40 hours during their off-duty period (i.e., one month). 
Off-Duty Time
GAs on 9-month appointments have three months of off-duty time during the summer. 
GAs on 11-month appointments have one month of off-duty time, to be scheduled at a time mutually agreeable to the GA and the faculty supervisor.
GAs do not accumulate vacation. If a GA chooses to teach during an off-duty time, that time is considered used and cannot be recovered.
Sick LeaveGAs have no sick leave.
Leave of AbsenceGAs who need to go on leave during the appointment period must obtain advance written approval from the department or unit of hire. The request shall be made in writing and detail how the assigned duties will be performed during the leave.
TerminationAn appointment shall be automatically terminated when a GA completes his/her degree program (at the end of the semester of such completion) or upon the complete withdrawal of a GA from the degree program (as of the date of such withdrawal). Termination may occur before the end of the appointment period due to:
  • failure to maintain eligibility,
  • failure or inability to complete assigned tasks,
  • misconduct related to the assistantship,
  • lack of funding, or
  • mutual agreement.
Conduct CodeGAs are subject to the ethical precepts and codes of the academic profession, to federal and state laws, and to university policies. Violation of any of these constitutes a basis for disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures set forth in the UHM Student Conduct Code. See Grades & Regulations > Conduct Code.

For graduate teaching assistants, it is considered gross misconduct to accept additional compensation for tutoring students enrolled in their courses, and a conflict of interest to work as “Note-Takers” for the Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH).