Introduction: Why and How to Use this Handbook

Dear Graduate Students,

This handbook was created to gather in one place all campus-level policies and procedures related to Graduate Assistants at UWM. It’s the most convenient and authoritative record of the rules related to assistantships on campus. It also contains information that new and continuing assistants might find helpful, such as guidance on teaching practices, laboratory conduct and decorum, considerations for international students, and campus resources. It was written collaborative by a group of faculty, staff and—most importantly—Graduate Assistants.

The Handbook is not designed to be read from start to finish. Graduate Assistants will most likely consult different parts at different times, as questions arise. It is organized in sections, each of which is broken down into subtopics that you should be able to identify quickly by scanning the table of contents. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for, you can search the entire handbook too. Think of the Graduate Assistant Handbook as something like a travel guide for your journey at UWM. You might use it heavily at the outset to make sure you know where you’re going, but you’ll probably consult it along the way only as needed.

For Graduate Program Representatives and program staff, the early sections of the Handbook that collect all policies and procedures will probably be most useful. The Graduate School will update these pages continuously as policies and procedures change.  

If students or programs have suggestions for future inclusions, please convey them to the Graduate School. If the Handbook doesn’t answer your questions, please feel free to contact the Graduate School at


Graduate Assistant Handbook Working Group, 2022

Alison Donnelly
Professor of Geography

Rani El Hajjar
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Isha Hammad
Teaching Assistant, School Psychology

Ying Hu
Center for International Education

Bonita Klein-Tasman
Professor of Psychology, Associate Dean, Graduate School

Jacqueline Nguyen
Associate Professor and Chair of Educational Psychology

Kristian O’Connor
Professor of Kinesiology, Associate Vice Provost, Office of Research

Heather Pace
Teaching and Research Assistant, Physics

Jason Puskar (chair)
Associate Professor of English, Interim Dean, Graduate School

Joseph Rodriguez
Professor of History

Lane Sunwall
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Kao Zoua Yang
Teaching and Research Assistant, Materials Science and Engineering

Next Topic