L&S Student Assistant Appointment Letter Templates

This document contains templates and information to help department staff prepare appointment letters for graduate assistants appointed as Teaching, Research and Project Assistants.

Important Notes about Sample Letters:

  • DO NOT use these letters for Hourly Project Assistant or Grader/Reader or for other types of graduate assistant appointments. 
    • For PA Grader/Reader documents, please see L&S KB 24247
    • For Hourly Project Assistants, please connect with your STS/SA HR Rep. Preapproval from HR Manager Laura Fisk is required. Once approved, we can provide you with the template letter.
    • For Undergraduate Assistants including Undergraduate TAs and Undergraduate Grader/Readers, see L&S KB 93858
  • MODIFY these template letters letter to suit your department's needs and tone; however, if your format differs from this model it must be sent to your department's STS/SA HR Rep for review and preapproval.
  • SEND a copy of the letter to the department of graduate study, if different from the employing unit.

Semester Dates:

  • Fall 2020:
    • Payroll Start Date: August 17, 2020
    • Payroll End Date: December 31, 2020
  • Spring 2021:
    • Payroll Start Date: January 1, 2021
    • Payroll End Date: May 16, 2021
  • Summer 2021: See Summer Course Guidance in L&S for dates
  • Fall 2021:
    • Payroll Start Date: August 23, 2021
    • Payroll End Date: January 5, 2022
  • Spring 2022:
    • Payroll Start Date: January 6, 2022 
    • Payroll End Date: May 22, 2022
  • Summer 2022: Coming soon to Summer Course Guidance in L&S

Maximum Level Appointment Information: 

Students are limited in the number of hours per week that they can work during any week in which classes are in session. Domestic Students are limited to 75%-time (30 hours per week) and foreign national students are limited to 50%-time (20 hours per week) during the following periods:



Additional information can be found here: University of Wisconsin–Madison Maximum Levels of Graduate Assistantship Appointments Policy

Teaching Assistant Letter Template: 

Project/Program Assistant Letter Templates

Exempt PAs: Most PAs are FLSA non-exempt.  If you are hiring a PA who holds a concurrent exempt appointment (such as TA or LSA), it may be necessary to make the PA appointment FLSA exempt.  BEFORE appointing the student, please send the appointment details (both appointment UDDS, title, dates, FTE etc), along with a draft of the appropriate exempt PA letter to your STS/SA HR Rep

Research Assistant Letter Template:

Use template found in TRE's Recruitment Toolkit

Lecturer(SA) Letter Template:

Use template found on L&S Letter Templates for Short-Term Staff

Phasing out Teaching Assistant Senior distinction:  

The College of Letters & Science eliminated the Senior/Standard distinction for Teaching Assistants, see L&S Standard Rates for Short-term Staff and Student Assistants for current rates.

  • JEMS still requires payroll representatives to select either senior or standard, so continue to identify as “senior” any TAs who were payrolled as senior as of Spring 2018.
  • Enter any other TA appointments as “standard” moving forward. Use of the title “senior” thus will be phased out as current senior TAs move on from the program.   
  • You are free to maintain the use of a senior/standard distinction (or other terms of your choosing) as a way to identify a hierarchy for non-payroll purposes (e.g., eligibility for awards or other recognition, or eligibility to become a head TA, etc.) but for payroll purposes, TAs who are not “grandfathered in” as senior TAs should be entered as “standard” in JEMS. 
  • TA appointment letters should continue to identify the title as “Teaching Assistant – Standard or Teaching Assistant - Senior” as appropriate.

If you have questions about these documents, please contact your STS/SA HR Rep. For campus policies related to graduate assistants, please visit https://hr.wisc.edu/policies/gapp/.

    See Also: