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A CMU Graduate Assistant is defined as a student currently enrolled in a Colorado Mesa University Graduate Program who is performing non-teaching, administrative duties and/or assigned program related duties.

These students will earn a scholarship from the sponsoring department in additional to being employed as a part time hourly student employee.  


  • Currently accepted into and enrolled in a CMU Graduate Program
  • Must meet student employment eligibility as outlined in the Student Employment Handbook
    • Fall/Spring term: be enrolled in half time graduate credits (6 or more)
    • Summer term: be enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit for the summer term and enrolled half time in graduate credits for the spring OR be enrolled half time in graduate credits for the previous spring semester and pre-registered in half time graduate credits for upcoming fall semester

Funding Request

  • Scholarship and hourly payment funds are provided in full by the hiring department
  • Department’s can request funds through the annual budget request process with the CMU Budget Office in the Spring prior to Fall start.
    • Funding requests must be approved by the CMU Budget Office before scholarship and hiring requests will be processed. 


  • Paid as a student employee in a part-time hourly position
    • Limited to 20 hours within a work week (Saturday-Friday) while school is in session and up to 40 hours within a work week during breaks
    • Pay scale range is minimum wage-$15/hr, as determined by the department
    • Graduate Assistants will not be eligible to receive Work-Study/MAVworks or compensation through a one time stipend
  • Under IRS guidelines (IRS Revenue Procedure 2005-11), students enrolled in at least half time are exempt from FICA Tax. Any employed students that drop below half time are not eligible for the student FICA exception and therefore the University is required to withhold Medicare of 1.45% and Retirement of 7.5%.  In the fall and spring terms students enrolled in less than six credits (Undergraduates) or three credits (Graduates) are not exempt.  Summer term students enrolled in less than three credits (Undergraduates and Graduates) are not exempt. 


  • Scholarship amounts will be determined by the sponsoring department
    • Graduate Tuition & Fees Schedule:
    • Scholarship payments will be applied to cover tuition and fees based a student’s enrolled credits
    • Continued Payment of the scholarship will be dependent on the student’s Financial Aid Eligibility

If you are interested in learning more about the Graduate Assistant process please contact the Payroll office.