Information about Hours and Payment

Information about Hours and Payment

While dependent on Departmental Policies, the most common TA and RA contracts are for 10 hours of work per week over a 16-week term, totalling 160 hours per term. Importantly, the 10 hours is considered an average, and many contracts specify that students should be prepared to work more hours some weeks, and less other weeks. 

More recently, this weekly hour cap was extended to 20 hours per week at the discretion of the supervisor and/or program director. The purpose behind this extension is to remove barriers to meeting professional goals or addressing financial needs. Learn more about the hours extension here

Sessional duties may include classroom time, office hours, course development and administration, grading, overseeing labs and tutorials, and communicating with students regarding the course. You may also be assigned Teaching Assistants who will require your guidance and management.

Graduate student workers are paid on a monthly basis. Payments are made by direct deposit to your bank account on the last Friday of every month. Since this work is considered employment income, it is subject to statutory deductions for income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions and Employment Insurance (EI) premiums. 

These payments are different from departmental or faculty-related grants or awards, which are not subject to the above deductions since they are not considered employment income.

You can learn more about award eligibility, conditions and payments on the GSPA website.


If you have questions or concerns regarding your employment income, please contact the GSA Labour Coordinator at

Last Updated: December 13, 2021

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