First-year masters GAs in academic year 2017-2018, please review these criteria to ensure your GA funding continues into your second year.
Below is a compilation of useful information regarding assistantships, fellowships, health benefits and tuition remission so please read carefully and follow the directions in order to activate your GA awards in a timely manner. Questions may be sent to SPP's payroll coordinator via email regarding paperwork submissions.
- Assistantship Assignments
General graduate assistantships for Master's students may be awarded without an initial assignment. The School's advisor will contact GAs in early July with information about the assignment process. Most assignments are not finalized until near the start of the semester and are worked around students’ course schedules.
- Assistantship Start Dates
GAs officially become University employees in mid- to late August, and may receive the first paycheck prior to actually working. The start date of work will depend on specific assignments and is negotiable between the GA and the supervisor.
Hours and Timesheet Requirements
A student with a full-time GAship must work a total of 380 hours each semester, which averages out to just over 20 hours per week if your assignment directly parallels the semester. A half-time Graduate Assistantship requires a total of 190 hours each semester, which averages out to just over 10 hours per week. GAs will submit timesheets signed by their supervisors on a bi-weekly basis. The School of Public Policy reserves the right to terminate payment if a cumulative time record does not satisfy the stated commitment of hours. Please see the GA Timesheet template for AY2017-18.
The University determines the minimum GA stipend levels annually, and the School provides stipends at or above the minimum. Please see the University's guidance and the School's stipend levels for AY2017-18.
GAs may enroll in the State health benefits program with bi-weekly paycheck premium deductions. Plans (excluding retirement) are selected from the 2017 Benefits Booklet and the 2017 Enrollment Form is submitted together with all other paperwork. It normally takes at least 6-8 weeks for the benefits forms to process and to become effective. Retroactive coverage back to September 1st is possible by paying for any missed premiums. Please note: Tuition Remission and Health Benefits are not available in the summer months since appointments are for the academic year only.
Visit the Tuition and Expenses page of our website for important details regarding tuition remission.
To receive the first paycheck issued on August 26th, completed paperwork must be received by August 7th. Submitting forms after the August 9th deadline may result in a delay of the initial paycheck(s). First-time GAs and international students must meet with the Payroll Coordinator in person with identification. Returning GAs who are U.S. residents, and previously provided forms to SPP, may submit paperwork via mail. Only original forms (no copies or faxes) completed in black ink will be accepted.
Graduate Assistantship: Provide a W4 (MD or other states resident/DC resident), Form I-9 and direct deposit form, plus benefits enrollment forms if desired.
Fellowship: No paperwork is necessary, but email firstname.lastname@example.org with concerns.
Non-U.S. Citizens and International Students
(Please email email@example.com to arrange an appointment required for submissions of international paperwork.)
Graduate Assistantship: Provide a W4 (MD or other states resident/DC resident), Citizenship Status Form, 8233 (tax treaty form if applicable) I9 and direct deposit form, plus benefits forms if desired. Resident aliens for tax purposes (RAFTP) will provide a W9, and the W9 attachment if a tax treaty applies. Additionally, an I-20, I-94, VISA and SSN card (with the envelope in which it was mailed) should be provided. International Students & Scholar Services (ISSS) will conduct orientations to aid in the application for a permanent social security card.
Fellowship: Provide the same documents requested for a Graduate Assistantship. Fellows will provide a W8BEN (if tax treaty applies), or an 8233 tax treaty form if a fellowship and GA are awarded. Two sets of forms are necessary if awarded both a fellowship and GA.
- Immigration documents
Copy of alien registration card (green card), or
Copy of I-551 stamp from passport, or
Copy of USCIS approval letter
F-1 Student – Graduate Assistant
F-1 Student – Fellow
J-1 Student – Graduate Assistant
J-1 Student – Fellow (if both Graduate Assistant and Fellow, submit 2sets of documents)>
W-4 form (see from U.S. Citizens above based on state of residency)
If Tax Treaty (see http://www.uhr.umd.edu/phr/PayPers/TaxTreatyStudent.html)