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Graduate Resident Assistant

Graduate Resident Assistant (GRA)

Position Description


Basic Function

This is a professional student position responsible for directly supervising the resident assistant (RA) staff assigned in a residential community. The primary function of this position is to assist with personal and residential concerns of students and to facilitate any community conflicts that may arise. The GRA serves as a facilitator and a role model to fellow college students and the RA staff, to encourage a cooperative and inclusive living environment. The GRA may be required to step up in making decisions in the office, in the absence of the residence hall manager.

General position responsibilities

  • Know, support, and advise the residents living in your residence hall
  • Act as a resource for residents and make referrals when appropriate
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate monthly programs for the residence hall
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and staff development activities
  • Follow up with students concerning maintenance, residential, and administrative communication
  • Enforce policy within our residential hall (on and off duty)
  • Assist with semester opening/closing and additional duties as needed
  • Support the office of residence life in its mission to quality, effective, clean, and safe living and learning communities.
  • Act on behalf of the residence hall manager, in their absence.

Leadership responsibilities

Graduate resident assistants report directly to the residence hall manager. 

  • Conduct staff meetings bi-weekly with a team of resident assistants assigned.
  • Conduct one-on-one meetings with a team of resident assistants bi-weekly or as advised by the Residence Hall Manager (RHM).
  • Evaluate the performance of resident assistant each semester and address areas of concerns, as needed.
  • Communicate with supervisors and peers using effective verbal and non-verbal strategic approaches to situations and context.
  • Actively seek opportunities to grow and develop skills.
  • Give and receive appropriate and timely feedback to and from supervisors, peers, and residents.

Time Commitments


Office Hours

  • GRAs should anticipate a minimum of 20 hours per week of regularly scheduled responsibilities (e.g. Time on floor, staff meetings, staff duty, office hours and other advisory requirements)
  • The concentration of these may be during the evening or during times the RHM is out of the office.  GRAs should expect to devote an increased amount of time in the building during high-peak times (to include, check-ins, check-outs, midterms, and final exams).

On-Call Rotation

  • GRAs must serve on an on-call rotation in a designated building.
  • Rotations will be on a weekly rotation, starting each Monday.

Time off

  • All time off request must be approved by the residence hall manager
  • Time off restrictions may be necessary for speaking weeks/weekends during the academic year (e.g., Any fall or spring opening and closing period, homecoming, special events, etc.) Or when deemed necessary by the department.


Graduate resident assistants participate in mandatory training during the full academic year, to include the summer months. Also, GRAs will be required to participate in workshops, in-service training, and leadership development programs, and may be asked to lead them.


  • Monthly stipend
  • A fully furnished unit on-site
  • Cable tv, wi-fi, & access to a fitness center, included

Selection Criteria



Successful candidates for a graduate resident assistant position with Howard University will be open-minded and enjoy working with diverse groups of people. Candidates will be organized, responsible, and able to make good ethical decisions. Candidates must demonstrate leadership, interpersonal skills, and a willingness to learn.  One year of relevant residential living experience in a college/university setting is preferred.  Candidates must have supervised and administered programs directly to students.


Minimum requirements

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required at the time of application and a 3.00 GPA each semester while employed. Grades will be checked at the end of the fall semester and again at the end of the spring semester to make sure that the standard academic minimum requirements are met.

Candidates must be in good disciplinary standing with the office of residence life and the office of student conduct. Candidates must not currently be serving a sanction of housing probation or higher.  Disciplinary records will be reviewed for each applicant. You must be enrolled full time at Howard University or surrounding colleges/universities for the academic year of 2019-2020 to be a graduate resident assistant. If selected for employment you must reside in on-campus housing.

GRA individual interviews

Qualified candidates will be interviewed to determine if the best fit for the position and then a determination will be made which location the candidate would be selected to fill. Participation in all aspects of the selection process does not guarantee a graduate resident assistant position.


Informational sessions

Attend an information session to learn more about the resident assistant position, hear from ras, and ask any questions that you might have. Attendance at one session is mandatory or you will not be invited to participate in the group process. If you cannot make the meeting at the hosted location, please feel free to attend any of the other informational sessions listed.

  • March 19: Multipurpose Room (MPR) 7:00 - 8:00 PM
  • March 26:  Multipurpose room (MPR) 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Application Timeline

March 1, 2019: Application live date

March 29, 2019: Deadline for the application packet

April 8 – April 12: Interviews

April 15: Offer letters sent

April 18: Signed offer letters due as acceptance of the position



1.   When does GRA training begin and how long is it?

GRAs return to campus in late July/early August and typically undergo approximate two full weeks (including weekends) of training before move-in. Training is extensive and there will be things planned all day during those two weeks.

2.   What are some of the responsibilities of the GRA position?

GRAs are responsible for directly supervising a team of resident assistants. This includes conducting weekly staff meetings, one-on-one meetings with your team, and advising a committee.  GRAs mediate roommate conflicts and facilitate mediations sessions with or without an RA present.

3.   What are some of the benefits and compensation?

GRAs will receive a fully-furnished unit on site, along with a monthly stipend.

4.   Do I get to choose which building I become a GRA in?

No. If you are hired to be on staff, you will be placed in the best community that aligns with your strengths.

5.   What kind of training will I receive after being hired and why does it take so long?

Graduate resident assistants are trained in a variety of different areas due to having to respond to an array of human behavior in the residence halls. Some of the topics include conflict mediation, fire safety, leadership development, sexual assault response, crisis response, intervention, and duty. During RA training, we try to cover many topics to ensure you are prepared to do your best. Topics that are missed are covered during in-service training sessions throughout the academic year. This is done to allow time for staff members to get to know each other and prepare for the large task of move-in. 

Hours of Operations
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Mon., Wed., Fri.
(Office Hours by Appointment: 3 to 5 p.m.)

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tues. and Thurs.

Residence Life & University Housing
2205 4th Street, NW 
Washington, D.C. 20059