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Administration of Graduate Awards

Scope: Graduate Students are covered by this policy.


Administration of Graduate Awards


Nomination of Graduate Award Candidates 

Graduate Directors submit the graduate award nominations using the electronic nomination process to the divisional dean for approval. When a graduate award has received all necessary approvals, the Academic Personnel Office will process the award. When the Dean of the Graduate School approves the award nomination, an appointment letter will be sent to the student, with copies sent to the appropriate chair or supervisor and the divisional dean.

After April 15th, departments should not recommend the appointment of a student known to have accepted an appointment elsewhere unless the department has written evidence that the student has been officially released from the previous commitment. This is in accordance with the resolution of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States, to which Miami University is a signatory.

Time Limits for Graduate Awards 

Graduate assistantships awarded to students admitted to a master’s program at Miami University may be appointed for one additional year for a maximum of two years of support

Regardless of source of support, students enrolled in a doctoral program may receive the following:

Financial support from graduate assistantships and dissertation scholarships for a total of four years beyond receipt of a master’s degree, or

Six (6) years of support beyond the bachelor’s degree if admitted directly into a doctoral program at Miami University.

Procedures for Award Recipients 

Upon receipt of their award notice, students must do the following to facilitate their registration and compensation:

  • Complete the medical history form and have a tuberculin test or chest X-ray if students are first-time appointees. Graduate students are required to complete the Miami medical history form. Proof of immunity to Measles, Mumps, and Rubella is required if students were born after January 1, 1957. Students with graduate awards are required to have a tuberculin test within six (6) months of admission. The Student Health Service offers the tuberculin test at no charge and a chest X-ray for a nominal fee. A student who has a positive tuberculin test must have a chest X-ray. International students must have an annual tuberculin test and/or a chest X-ray.
  • Complete the necessary payroll forms, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service forms (and provide the necessary documents); this can be done during the Graduate Student Orientation in mid-August or in the Academic Personnel Office, 1 Roudebush Hall. If students do not complete these forms, their end-of-August payroll check will not be issued.

Payroll and Tax Information 

The University requires automatic paycheck deposit for all employees, including graduate award holders for the academic year and for the summer sessions. Graduate Assistants will receive paychecks on the last business day of each month they are to be paid.

  • Academic year appointment: half month pay for August and May; full month pay September through April
  • Fall semester appointment: Half month pay for August, four monthly payments September through December
  • Spring semester appointment: If student is a new GA, half month for January; full month pay February through April. If student is a current GA, four full months January through April, half month pay in May.

Taxable Income

Depending on individual circumstances, students’ stipend is subject to withholding for Federal and Ohio income taxes and the Oxford earnings tax. Students must complete and sign a W-4 form (computer card) during the Graduate Student Orientation or at the Payroll Office, 2 Roudebush Hall, designating their withholding allowances; this information is needed by the Payroll Department, which determines the amount to withhold from stipend checks. If students do not complete this form on time, their payroll check will not be issued.

Under the current federal tax regulations (The Tax Reform Act of 1986), the IRS may determine that tuition waivers for graduate award holders are taxable. As of this writing, tuition waivers provided through graduate awards (assistantships and scholarships) have been exempted from this tax up to $5,250.00.

Tax Liabilities 

If students can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return, they may not be exempt from Federal Income Tax liability. Students cannot claim exempt status if they have any non-wage income, such as interest on savings, and expect their wages plus non-wage income to add up to more than $500.00.

Residents of Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia may elect to pay state income tax in that state and be exempted from the withholding of Ohio Income Tax by notifying the Payroll Department. Otherwise, they must pay state income tax in Ohio.

Compensation earned at the Oxford Campus is subject to deduction of a one and three-fourths percent (1.75%) earnings tax for the City of Oxford. Compensation earned at the Hamilton Campus is subject to the deduction of two percent (2%) earnings tax. Compensation earned at the Middletown Campus is subject to the deduction of one and one-half percent (1.5%) earnings tax. If students currently reside within the city limits of Cincinnati or Fairfield, or other municipality that has an earning tax, they should contact the Payroll Office to insure the deduction of the proper city tax.

Related Form(s)

Not Applicable.

Additional Resources and Procedures

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Policy Administration

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Responsible Officer


Legal Authority

Not Applicable.

Compliance Policy


Revision History


Reference ID

Graduate Handbook 3.3

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