A prospective doctoral assistant must be enrolled as a regular, degree-seeking student in The Graduate College. Doctoral assistants may be employed as teaching assistants, instructional assistants, research assistants, or graduate assistants in either an exempt or non-exempt status from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The information below can also be found in UPPS 07.07.06 and on the Texas State University Graduate College website at https://www.gradcollege.txstate.edu/funding/assistantships.html.
- Graduate Teaching Assistants and Doctoral Teaching Assistants (GTA/DTA) are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries and reported as the "teacher of record" for an organized undergraduate class. Graduate teaching assistants and doctoral teaching assistants receive a faculty contract for a semester or the academic year, are paid on a monthly basis, and are exempt from The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) under the learned professional exemption.
- Graduate Instructional Assistants and Doctoral Instructional Assistants (GIA/DIA) are employed by an academic department, paid from faculty salaries, but are not reported as the "teacher of record." Graduate instructional assistants and doctoral instructional assistants are responsible for a specific group of students (typically undergraduate students) and assign some portion of these same students' grades. If graduate students are assigned as instructional assistants in graduate courses, they cannot grade other students' work nor have access to their grades. In rare circumstances, the dean of The Graduate College will allow an exception for doctoral instructional assistants assigned to master's level classes, provided there is no conflict of interest. The academic department may pay graduate instructional assistants' salaries for those assisting in the operation of a lab or an activity or recitation group from course fees collected for this purpose. Graduate instructional assistants and doctoral instructional assistants are appointed for a semester or the academic year, paid on a monthly basis, and are exempt from the FLSA under the learned professional exemption.
- Graduate Research Assistants and Doctoral Research Assistants (GRA/DRA) are employed by a department or university office and may receive pay from grant or university funds. Chapter 10 of the US Department of Labor's Field Operation Handbook defines research assistants as students "engaged in research in the course of obtaining an advanced degree and the research is performed under the supervision of a member of the faculty in a research environment provided by the institution under a grant or contract." If employed on a grant, the work performed must directly relate to the objectives of the grant. Graduate research assistants and doctoral research assistants can be appointed for a semester, the academic year, or the duration of a research project or any portion thereof, and are paid on a monthly basis. They are exempt from the FLSA under the graduate research exemption.
- Graduate Assistants and Doctoral Assistants (GA/DA) are employed by a department or university office and may receive pay from grant or university funds. Responsibilities may include research (not under the supervision of a faculty member), technical assistance, and institutional support. To avoid conflicts of interests, doctoral assistants cannot have access to records of graduate students of their degree-granting department. Graduate assistants and doctoral assistants who have access to records must be Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) trained and sign a confidentiality agreement. Within this role, there are two types of categories:
- Exempt - A doctoral assistant is considered exempt if the job is not subject to the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Human Resource Office is responsible for determining the exemption/non-exemption status of a position. These assistants are required to record working times on an exception basis and are not eligible for paid leave, including holidays.
- Non-Exempt - A doctoral assistant is non-exempt if the job is subject to the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Human Resource Office is responsible for determining whether students need to record working times on an exception basis and are not eligible for paid leave including holidays. Non-exempt students who work over 40 hours in a week will be compensated at time and one-half. Graduate assistants cannot hold an exempt and non-exempt position concurrently.