Graduate assistantships are available in many areas to assist students with expenses and to enhance learning while studying for advanced degrees at Missouri State University. Graduate assistantships are offered in both academic and administrative areas and involve teaching, research, and/or administrative responsibilities. Since the primary purpose of graduate assistantships is to aid students in the pursuit of advanced degrees, a student must be admitted into a graduate degree program or graduate certificate program at Missouri State to be eligible. Often, the assistantship assignment is related to the student's program of study. Some openings are posted on the financial aid website. As this is not an exhaustive listing, students are encouraged to contact departments and offices directly regarding openings.
Assistantships begin the week prior to classes and continue through graduation. Specific hours of employment are arranged between the student and the supervisor.
Missouri State University supports the policy adopted by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) concerning assistantship offers (does not apply to admissions decisions). When a student accepts an offer of a graduate assistantship for the next academic year prior to April 15, this constitutes a letter of intent that is not considered binding but is a good faith agreement. On April 15, this agreement becomes a contract that is considered binding for both the students and the department/office that offered the assistantship, and both parties are expected to honor it. Any assistantship offered and accepted after April 15 is likewise considered immediately binding.
Students wishing to break this contract after April 15 must request from the department/office that awarded them the assistantship a written release from their contract. Similarly, students accepting an assistantship offer after April 15 who have already accepted an assistantship at another university must submit with this acceptance a letter from the other university releasing them from their contract.
Review the complete CGS resolution.
The graduate assistantship requires an average of 20 hours per week and provides a stipend (review the stipend policy). Generally, students are not allowed to engage in any other University employment while holding an assistantship, In rare cases, an assistantship may be awarded at quarter-time (10 hours per week) and would pay half the normal stipend. GA's must meet grade point average and enrollment requirements. Graduate assistantships typically may be held for a maximum of four semesters (not including summer). Students may hold an assistantship longer if pursuing a second program or a doctoral degree. Review specific information regarding graduate assistantship eligibility.
Fee Waiver Scholarship:
Students who are awarded a graduate assistantship also are eligible to receive a limited fee-waiver scholarship, which can cover up to 110% of the graduate credits required for the program (review fee-waiver scholarship information). Students appointed on a graduate assistantship during the Spring semester are eligible for a fee waiver scholarship during the following Summer term . NOTE: Current law prevents students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status from receiving scholarships or other types of financial assistance directly from University, state or federal sources. A DACA status student may apply for graduate assistantships, but if selected, would be eligible to receive only the stipend portion as long as the student retains a valid work permit. This means the DACA status student would not be awarded the tuition and fee waivers. The current law does not prevent DACA status students from receiving scholarships sponsored by outside agencies or organizations. Such students may want to search for scholarships.
The G.A. fee waiver scholarship covers only the standard tuition for Missouri Residents or Non-Residents plus the Student Services Fee. The G.A. fee waiver scholarship does not pay for differential fees or other enrollment fees assessed for certain courses (regular or internet based instruction). The fee waiver scholarship also does not pay for student health insurance, books or other miscellaneous fees. Review the list of courses with these extra fees, and the detailed rate for tuition and fees.
An application for a graduate assistantship must be submitted directly to the department in which the assistantship is sought. It is wise to check with the department before applying. Application forms are available on the Graduate College website. Information requested from an applicant includes employment and academic history and references. Departments employing graduate assistants may request additional information.
International students can only work 20 hours maximum per week during the fall and spring semesters per U.S. Immigration law. Graduate students who did not receive both their primary and secondary education in a country where English was the primary language must meet certain requirements based on Missouri statutes to qualify for assistantships with teaching assignments. For complete information review the International Students/Foreign National Employees policy.
Teaching Assistant Orientation and Training
The Graduate College provides an intensive orientation prior to the Fall semester for all new graduate teaching assistants. A condensed version of this orientation is also offered prior to the spring semester. All new teaching assistants must participate in this pre-semester orientation.
In most cases, academic departments provide formal orientation and training sessions for their teaching assistants.
Missouri Outreach Graduate Opportunity (MOGO) Scholarship
The Missouri Outreach Graduate Opportunity (MOGO) Scholarship provides a partial remission of out-of-state tuition for full-time graduate students who are not Missouri residents. The MOGO Scholarship has a value of three-fourths of the out-of-state portion of graduate students tuition for 9 credit hours (5 credits hours in the summer). No application is required. Once a student meets the eligibility criteria, the scholarship will automatically be offered. All information regarding student eligibility and included programs can be found on the Missouri Outreach Graduate Opportunity (MOGO) Scholarship page.
To renew the MOGO Scholarship for subsequent semesters, students must remain enrolled in an eligible program, complete at least 9 graduate credit hours during each semester the award is received and at least 5 graduate credit hours during each summer session the award is received, maintain a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.00 and remain classified as a non-resident for fee purposes. Eligibility will be verified at the end of each semester. If a student becomes ineligible, the scholarship will not be reinstated unless the student is approved for an exception by the Dean of the Graduate College. An exception to the credit hour requirement will be granted to students who are enrolled in their last semester and need fewer than the prescribed minimum hours to graduate. Students in their last semester seeking a reduction to the credit hour requirement must submit the "Satisfactory Academic Appeal" Form found on the Financial Aid website.
Undergraduate MSU Scholarships
MSU undergraduate students who complete their bachelor's degree and move immediately into a graduate program (including accelerated master's programs), and have unused eligibility in their undergraduate scholarship, may be able to transfer the remaining scholarship to their graduate programs. Check with the Financial Aid Office for information and eligibility requirements. Note: This cannot be used in conjunction with a graduate assistantship.