Graduate Assistantships

Gain valuable skills while financing your education.

Graduate assistantships are offered in both administrative and academic areas. As a GA, you'll gain work experience in your field, enjoy networking with faculty and staff and receive a stipend and fee waiver.

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.


Any questions related to Graduate Assistantships (graduate assistant, research assistant, and/or teaching assistant) please call the Graduate College at 417-836-5335, or email

Eligibility and application process

A graduate teaching assistant leading a class


To be eligible for a graduate assistantship, you must:

  • Be admitted to a graduate program at Missouri State
  • Hold a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0; an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 in your last 60 hours; or a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on 9 or more hours of your most recent graduate course work
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA to continue eligibility

Limitations of Assistantship Support

The official policy on how much assistantship support a student can receive is described in the Graduate Catalog. Note that these limits apply to all students holding a Graduate Assistantship regardless of the assistantship duties or the funding source:

  • A student working solely on a certificate is eligible for two semesters of support, and the fee waiver can cover the courses required for the certificate plus one extra class (3-credit).
  • A student working on most Masters degrees is eligible for four semesters of support, and the fee waiver can cover 110% of the number of credits required for the degree, even if simultaneously pursuing a graduate certificate.
  • A student working on a MFA or doctoral degrees is eligible for six semesters of support, and the fee waiver can cover 110% of the number of the credits required for the degree, even if simultaneously pursuing a graduate certificate.
  • A student who has a graduate certificate conferred, then decides to pursue a related graduate degree (all/most certificate classes can be counted in the degree) is eligible for a total of four semesters of support. If the certificate and subsequent degree do not overlap (no more than 3 credits counting in both), the student is eligible for four additional semesters of support to pursue the degree.
  • A student working on a second graduate degree at MSU (first one conferred) is eligible for two semesters of support beyond those used while pursuing the first degree, even if simultaneously pursuing a graduate certificate.
  • A student working solely on a graduate certificate after the conferral of a graduate degree at MSU is eligible for one semester of support beyond those used while pursuing the degree.

How to apply

  1. Review the Graduate Assistantship Information Document
  2. Download and complete the Application for Graduate Assistantship
  3. Review the graduate assistantship posting for additional required application materials or contact the department that is offering the assistantship
  4. Gather any additional required application materials
  5. Submit your application and supporting materials directly to the department

Visit the Appointment page for information about what happens after you are offered a graduate assistantship.

Requirements that Departments must follow: GA Appointment/BearPAF Procedures

Please see this link for important GA Appointment/BearPAF Procedures that must be followed by all Colleges, Departments, and Administrative offices when hiring Graduate Teaching Assistants, Graduate Research Assistants, and Graduate Assistants effective immediately. Failure to follow guidelines and BearPAF submission deadlines will result in the BearPAF being returned to the originator and the assistantship being denied or delayed until the next semester. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate College at 417-836-5335 and speak with Phillip Raleigh.

Specific instructions will be sent to Colleges, Departments, Budget Officers, Departmental Assistants and others via email the beginning of each Academic Year. This document will list any revised due dates and other reminders that should be noted. Attached are links to specific documents for GA Appointment Procedures for the following: Academic Year 2021-2022; and Academic Year 2022-2023.

For questions not covered in the information included on the Graduate College Graduate Assistantship page, please refer to the Missouri State University Web Policy Library - Op3.16 Graduate Assistantship Appointment Guide.

Stipend and fee waiver

Missouri State graduate assistants receive the following:

  • Stipend for living expenses
  • Fee waiver scholarship

For more information, visit the Fee Waiver page.

Expectations for graduate assistants

Graduate assistants are expected to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Complete graduate course work towards your degree of at least six hours during each fall and spring semester of appointment. A student may hold an assistantship in the summer without being enrolled in coursework, as long as the student is enrolled in the subsequent fall semester. The student needs to enroll only in the number of hours necessary to complete their degree or certificate (could be as little as one (1) hour) during their last semester. Audited classes do not count.
  • Work 20 hours per week on average.
  • Begin work the week prior to the start of classes and to continue through graduation.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA.
  • Complete the required compliance training for graduate assistants and submit the completion certificates to your supervisor within your first 30 days of employment. The 30 days start when the GA receives email notification that the training modules are available in the My Learning Connection (LMS) area. The GA will need to log into My Missouri State portal to access the LMS. The required compliance trainings are:
    • Discrimination Awareness in the Workplace;
    • Title IX: Roles of Responsible Employees;
    • FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Revised Nov. 2020); and
    • Information Security.

Note: You cannot hold any additional on-campus positions other than your graduate assistantship during the time of your appointment.


Access the graduate assistantship timesheet.

Students interested in teaching assignments

If you did not receive both your primary and secondary education in a nation or territory where English was the primary language, you must meet the following requirements to qualify for graduate assistantships with teaching assignments according to Missouri law (RSMo Section 170.012):

  • All graduate students, who have not previously lived in the United States, shall be given and complete a cultural orientation to prepare them for the teaching assignment. This includes international students and permanent residents;
  • A graduate student who did not receive both primary and secondary education in a nation or territory in which English is the primary language shall not be given a teaching appointment during their first semester of enrollment at any public institution of higher education in the state of Missouri; and
  • A graduate student who did not receive both primary and secondary education in a nation or territory in which English was the primary language shall be tested for their ability to communicate orally in English in a classroom setting prior to receiving a teaching appointment.

Oral English Proficiency examinations are to be coordinated by the hiring department and include a member of a committee appointed by the dean of the Graduate College.

Please see the attached instructions and Request for Exam of Classroom Oral English Proficiency.