University of Texas at El Paso
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Student Employment Guidelines - Graduate (Revised Spring 2016)


Employment of graduate students contributes both to the operation of the University and to the professional development of our students.  Student employment opportunities are intended to encourage and assist UTEP students to complete their degrees.  The following Student Employment Guidelines have been written in order to clarify requirements concerning expectations for graduate student employment.

Graduate students interested in employment should contact their departments about available positions and to request an application. The departments provide information on the title, number of hours employed, duration of appointment, minimum eligibility standards, student aid award level, description of duties, procedure and timing of reappointment and deadlines for acceptance.

Eligibility requirements

1.      Students must be admitted into a program of study at UTEP with a Plan of Study on file in the Graduate School. The Graduate School is located in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 223. They can be reached by calling 915-747-5491 or emailing

2.      Students must maintain good academic standing (overall GPA of 3.0 or better) at UTEP.

3.      Students must be enrolled in course work that meets degree requirements and be enrolled during the semester of the student appointment.

4.      Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis. This typically includes a minimum of nine (9) semester credit hours during the fall and spring semesters or three (3) semester credit hours during the dissertation phase.

5.      Students must complete a criminal background check. All student employment positions are subject to criminal background check clearance.

6.      Summer Enrollment:

a.       Graduate students are eligible for summer employment as long as they are enrolled at UTEP in three (3) semester credit hours during one of the summer semesters.  They do not need to be enrolled in each summer session to be eligible for employment the entire summer.

b.      Graduate students who are enrolled in at least three (3) semester credit hours in the summer are eligible for employment at the University for up to 40 hours/week.

Maximum weekly employment hour limits for graduate student employment:

  • A 19-hour per week limit applies to the Master’s Assistant job title. These positions are non-benefit eligible and paid on an hourly basis.
  • A 20-hour per week limit applies to all other master’s and doctoral job titles. These positions are eligible for employee insurance coverage, in-state tuition and are paid on a salary basis.

On rare occasions, graduate student employees may work in excess of the hours noted above but only after prior approval has been secured from the Graduate School. Students are no longer eligible for graduate student employment after graduating.

International students may not work past the last day of their final semester (defined at UTEP as the day of their last final exam) or past the expiration date on their I-20 form, whichever is earlier.


To determine whether students are meeting the eligibility requirements for continued employment:

  • To help ensure the student remains eligible for employment and provide assistance on how to speak to your student employee about academic success, the hiring department will receive access to enrollment and GPA data to monitor their student employees’ academic success and progress.
  • The Office of the Provost/VPAA will run various reports throughout the fall and spring semesters to compare a student’s overall GPA and number of semester credit hours (SCH) enrolled to those required for employment.  Those colleges employing students not meeting the required overall GPA and/or SCH enrollment will be notified. 
  • If students fail to meet the overall GPA and/or enrollment requirement, they may still be allowed to work for that semester on an exception basis and with the understanding that overall GPA and/or enrollment requirements will be met in the following semester. A student’s supervisor is encouraged to contact the Graduate School for guidance in helping the student succeed at UTEP.
  • If overall GPA and/or enrollment requirements are not met in the following semester, the hiring official may request approval for continued employment from the Academic Dean, Graduate School and the Office of the Provost/VPAA. For non-academic areas, approval is required from the Graduate School and the appropriate Vice President.

If appointed students find that their job responsibilities are not suitable for them, they can voluntarily resign from their position. In cases where poor performance may warrant the termination of a student employee, the hiring department may, but is not obligated to, provide an explanation of the reasons for the decision.  The hiring department is encouraged to evaluate students on a semester or annual basis in order to support student professional development. Continued employment is dependent upon availability of resources in the hiring department.


Employment of Minors

The minimum age for employment at UTEP is 16 years.  Due to federal restrictions on the type of work suitable for those under 18 years, Human Resources must be contacted for review and approval when the hiring department is considering the employment of a person under 18 years of age.  Supervisors may require certification of the age in instances in which there is reasonable doubt regarding a minor's age.  For additional information, contact Human Resources. Human Resources is located in the Administration Building, Room 216. They can be reached by calling 915-747-5202 or emailing

 Work-Study Employment

Work-study is a need-based program designed to provide employment opportunities for students who are in need of earnings to help pay for their educational expenses.  The work-study salary rate is at least the current Federal minimum wage, but may be higher, depending on the type of work and skills required.  UTEP employs work-study students in many areas on and off campus. It is required that all work-study positions be posted in Job Mine.  For additional information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, located in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 204, They can be reached by calling 915-747-5204 or emailing

Training Stipends and Fellowships

These programs provide support to students participating in research or other activities related to their degree programs.  Stipend and fellowship recipients may receive financial support while performing independent educational activities, study or research.

These payments must be analyzed for the performance of services. If any amount of the stipend or fellowship requires the performance of services (i.e. teaching, student supervision, etc.) in exchange for the payment, then it constitutes an employee-employer relationship. The student recipient should be appointed as a student employee. For additional information, contact Human Resources, located in the Administration Building, Room 216. They can be reached by calling 915-747-5202 or emailing

If the stipend or fellowship does not constitute an employee-employer relationship and is solely intended to provide financial support to the individual in support of their research efforts and/or completion of their degree, then it should be treated as a scholarship.  Stipends and fellowships are awarded through use of a Student Notice of Award each semester. For additional information on graduate stipends and fellowships, please contact the Graduate School. The Graduate School is located in the Mike Loya Academic Services Building, Room 223. They can be reached by calling 915-747-5491 or emailing