Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA)

Graduate Teaching Assistantship (TA) positions are held by a qualified student to assist a faculty member with instructional responsibilities. TA positions are arranged by your academic department and paid through Human Resources. The rates below are recommended by the Graduate Student Support Advisory Committee. 1 2

Effective date Per term Per month Per hour
May 1, 2021 $7,200 $1,800 $45.00
May 1, 2020 $5,422.40 $1,355.60 $33.89

1 Rates do not include 4% vacation pay.
2 Rates assume 10 hours per week for 16 weeks during a term.  

For further detail regarding Teaching Assistantship positions at Waterloo, please review Policy 30 - Employment of Graduate Student Teaching Assistants

Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)

Graduate Research Assistantship (RA) positions are held by a qualified student who performs a designated list of research duties under the supervision of one or more faculty members. The student is expected to complete tasks on a fixed schedule and reports progress to the supervisor(s) on an agreed schedule. Duties and assigned tasks may be routine or advanced but normally fall outside the scope of the student’s research. The relationship between supervisor(s) and student is similar to that of employer and employee. RA positions are arranged by your academic department and paid through Human Resources. The rates below are recommended by the Graduate Student Support Advisory Committee.1 2

Effective date Position Per term Per month Per hour
May 1, 2021 RA - Master's $6,865.60 $1,716.40 $42.91
RA - Doctoral $8,168.00 $2,042.00 $51.05
May 1, 2020 RA - Master's $6,739.20 $1,684.80 $42.12
RA - Doctoral $8,019.20 $2,004.80 $50.12

1 Rates do not include 4% vacation pay.
2 Rates assume 10 hours per week for 16 weeks during a term.  

TA/RA Payments

Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (RA) and sessional teaching appointments at the University of Waterloo are considered employment income and are subject to statutory deductions (Human Resources website) for income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums.

Payments are processed by the Human Resources Payroll department and are made by direct deposit to the student's bank account and are paid in monthly instalments on the last Friday of each month. Annual earnings are reported on a T4 slip. RA, TA and sessional income can be automatically redirected to your student account to pay student fees. This can be arranged by completing a Promissory Note as instructed on the Student Financial Services website.

In some cases, a student award may be provided concurrent with the TA appointment. Students should check with their graduate department co-ordinator to find out if they will also receive an award in conjunction with their TA. 

If a student receives a student award, the payment is processed through Quest from Departmental nominations and are made by direct deposit to the student’s bank account or by cheque to the current mailing address indicated in Quest. Annual awards are reported on a T4A slip.

Note: TA and RA earnings (employment income) are paid on a monthly basis (while awards are paid once per term); students are encouraged to plan their finances appropriately.