Become an RA

I'm an RA Sara Graper 2

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a student who lives and works as a peer and resource for our residential students.  

Read more about a RA's responsibilities
  • Create open communities where students get to know their neighbors
  • Connect residents to the NAU community
  • Foster effective academic success habits
  • Reach out to residents individually
  • Encourage involvement in social and educational activities
  • Ensure facilities are maintained in a safe, clean, and healthy manner
  • Help residents resolve concerns
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Provide customer service at the front desk
  • Attend weekly meetings
  • For a complete listing of RA responsibilities, see the RA position description

RAs are hired for an academic year (about nine months), which includes rent, stipend and meal plans.


The requirements for our RAs are organized into three aspects:

  • Academic status
  • Employment requirements
  • Personal qualities

Read more about the requirements
The first aspect is academic. You are a student first and foremost, so it’s necessary to meet the minimum academic requirements. For the upcoming RA selection process (to hire RAs for the 2015-2016 academic year), you must:
  • Currently have at least a 2.5 or higher cumulative college grade point average (GPA). If offered an RA position or alternate RA status, you must maintain a 2.5 semester and cumulative GPA to remain eligible for the position.
  • Have completed at least 24 credit hours (from NAU or another institution)by the end of the spring 2015 semester.  
  • Have lived in a residence hall for at least one semester (at NAU or another institution) by the end of the spring 2015 semester.  
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student (12 credit hours for undergraduate students or 9 credit hours for graduate students) during the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters in order to remain eligible for the RA position. CCC2NAU enrollment does not meet this requirement.

The second aspect is employment requirements: 

  • You would be applying for the full 2015-2016 academic year and will not be hired for only one semester. You would be expected to return to campus for training in early August, several weeks before classes begin.
  • You must currently be a student enrolled in Northern Arizona University classes and attending classes on the Flagstaff Mountain campus. 
    • If this is not the case, you MUST email with the details of your situation so that the RA Selection Committee can determine if you are eligible to apply for the RA position in this selection process.
  • If hired or accepted as an alternate RA, you must successfully complete EPS 406 (2 credit hour - RA Pre-service class) with a “C” or better. 
    • EPS 406 is a course which will meet in-person once a week and for two Saturday seminars in the second half of the spring 2015 semester. If hired or accepted as an alternate RA, you must take EPS 406 in the spring 2015 semester unless prevented from doing so for academic reasons. Postponing EPS 406 must be approved by the Coordinator of Staff and Community Development.
  • Please note that your financial aid package can be affected if hired, and it is your responsibility to contact the Financial Aid office to learn how your aid could be impacted. 
  • You must not be involved in student teaching or full time internships (they are too demanding on your time and trying to do both will not help you succeed in your capstone academic experience).
  • Outside activities are limited to 10 hours a week (clubs, organizations, etc.) or five hours a week for outside employment (with approval from your supervisor). 

Outside activity weekly commitment options:

Paid Employment  Clubs and
Total Hours
Combination #1  Up to 10 hours 010 hours
Combination #20Up to 5 hoursUp to 5 hours10 hours
Combination #300Up to 10 hours10 hours
  • You should read the RA position description to understand the position expectations. 
  • Hiring is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a criminal background investigation, employment history verification, and fingerprint check.

The third aspect is personal qualities. We look for the following attributes in RA candidates:

  • Positive attitude
  • Strong communication skills
  • Commitment to helping others
  • Commitment to celebrating our differences and our similarities, and building respectful and inclusive environments
  • Good time management and organizational skills
  • Willingness to grow and learn

How can I improve my chances in the RA selection process?

READ the information on this website, the Frequently Asked Questions, and especially the RA position description.

If you know more about the position, you can better determine if the job is right for you and respond to questions about how you would succeed in the role.

TALK with current RAs and Residence Hall Directors about what it is like to work on a residence hall staff and what is expected of RAs. 

ATTEND an information session to hear current RAs talk about their experiences and learn interview tips. While information sessions are not mandatory, applicants are highly encouraged to attend one. 

Go to the RA selection timeline page to find out about upcoming information sessions.

More detailed information on RA job responsibilities and the selection process

Find answers to the most common RA questions including information on the hiring process and more about what the job entails.

Check out the RA selection process timeline to see if there are any upcoming information sessions or to find application deadlines.

Ready to take the next step and apply to be an RA?  

RAs for the 2014-2015 academic year have already been hired.

The application to become an RA for the 2015-2016 academic year was open from November 5, 2014 through January 20, 2015 at 5 p.m., and we are no longer accepting applications. If you are interested in becoming an RA, check back on this page in the beginning of the fall 2015 semester for information about future selection processes.

If you have any questions about becoming an RA, current RAs and RHDs are great resources! You can also call 928-523-5840 or e-mail