Graduate Assistantships

Hiring Graduate Assistants

Graduate assistantships (GA) 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.

1. Review eligibility requirements

Begin the hiring process by understanding the different policies that determine a department’s and a student’s eligibility for graduate assistants:

2. Post position and interview applicants

Develop a job description for your assistantship position and email it to the Graduate College for posting.

Interested students will submit the requested application materials directly to your department or unit. If you have any questions about a student’s eligibility, contact the Graduate College at any time.

3. Complete the Personnel Action Form for the hired student and required training

PowerPoint for instructions on creating a GA BearPAF.

Once your assistantship has been offered and accepted, you must complete the GA BearPAF or paper Personnel Action Form in a timely manner.  The deadlines for submission are outlined in the following:   GA Appointment/BearPAF Procedures for AY23-24.  The PAF requires you to outline the assignment time, stipend and waiver.

Every graduate assistant must complete the following forms and trainings:

  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification
  • W-4
  • Authorization of Direct Deposit of Payroll
  • Required compliance trainings through Human Resources
  • FERPA (and HIPAA trainings, if applicable) - FERPA is required
  • Information Security Awareness Training - required

Once the required compliance trainings are completed, the GA will give copies of the completion certificates (paper or electronic) to their supervisor.  The compliance trainings will be available to the GA once the GA receives an email notifying them that the compliance trainings are loaded into their My Learning Connection.  Once the GA receives the email notification, this is where the 30 days period starts.  The compliance trainings are required to be completed within 30 days after the GA receives the notification.  It is the hiring unit's responsibility to ensure the required compliance trainings are completed in a timely manner.

Teaching assistants are also required to attend the Graduate College Teaching Assistant Orientation prior to carrying out TA duties.

4.  GA employment appointment form

The Graduate College will send to the student, and copy the individual who input the GA BearPAF, a Graduate Assistant Employment Appointment Form to sign and return.  The GA is not officially cleared by the Graduate College until the Graduate College has received the signed Graduate Assistant Employment Appointment form back from the student.  Reminders will be sent to all hiring units who has a GA that has not returned their signed appointment form back to the Graduate College two (2) weeks prior to the GA appointment starting.  It will then be up to the hiring unit to contact the GA to be sure the GA is still accepting the GA appointment.  If the signed GA appointment form is not received prior to the first day of appointment/work, the GA must not be allowed to work.

5. GA work hours and timesheets

GA assignments vary across the University, but they typically work an average of 20 hours a week. Graduate assistants are not required to work University holidays and student-only holidays; view the Hours and Timesheets policy for more information.

Hours worked by non-teaching and non-research GAs must be tracked using the appropriate time sheets.  It is the hiring unit's responsibility to keep copies of all GA and RA timesheets.

For additional information, please refer to the Missouri State University Web Policy Library - Op3.16 Graduate Assistantship Appointment Guide


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