Eligibility Policies

Student eligibility

Op3.16-1 Student Eligibility

  1. A student must be admitted to a graduate program at Missouri State University to be eligible for a graduate assistantship. A minimum GPA of 3.00 on the undergraduate cumulative, last 60 hours, or graduate cumulative (minimum of 9 hours) is required. This requirement established by the Graduate Council is designed to ensure that assistantships allow the University to attract and support high quality graduate students. In very rare circumstances an exception may be made to the 3.00 GPA requirement. Requests for exceptions are to be made to the Graduate College by the department/office wishing to hire the student as graduate assistant. Personnel Action Forms for graduate assistants not meeting eligibility requirements should not be submitted unless approval to do so has been given by the Dean of the Graduate College.
  2. A graduate assistant is required to complete a minimum of 6 hours of graduate course work (600-800 level) during the fall semester and 6 hours of graduate level coursework during the spring semester. A student may hold an assistantship in the summer without being enrolled in coursework, as long as they are enrolled in the subsequent fall semester. A graduate assistant may enroll in as little as one credit hour during the final semester as long as they have applied to graduate and the reduced course load is sufficient to graduate. Audited classes do not count toward the required minimum credits. Dropping classes mid semester may endanger the student’s eligibility in retaining the GA position.
  3. Given Human Resources guidelines and the time commitment to successfully complete a program of graduate study and effectively execute assistantship responsibilities, graduate students who hold full-time assistantships are not eligible for additional work on campus and are discouraged from working off campus. If there are occasional special opportunities that involve additional university compensation, requests for exceptions can be made to the Dean of the Graduate College.
  4. A student in a master's degree program may hold an assistantship for a maximum of two years (including fall, spring, and summer), and a student admitted to a certificate program may hold an assistantship for two semesters. A student in a doctoral program is eligible for a third year of assistantship support. A student is eligible for a third year of assistantship support if they have completed all requirements and graduated from the first graduate degree and are admitted to a second graduate degree or a graduate certificate program. Assistants must maintain a 3.00 GPA to continue eligibility.

International student eligibility

Op3.16-2 International Students/Foreign National Employees

Eligibility to hold Teaching Assistantship

In accordance with RSMo § 170.012, graduate students who have not lived in the United States and/or did not receive both their primary and secondary education where English was the primary language must receive a cultural orientation, successfully complete one semester of graduate studies at Missouri State University, and demonstrate proficient use of English required in a classroom setting in order to qualify for graduate assistantships with teaching assignments at Missouri State University. Specific procedures for meeting these requirements are provided by the Graduate College.

Department and unit eligibility

Op3.16-3 Department/Unit Eligibility

  1. Budget allocations for graduate assistantships are reflected in each department’s/unit’s 632 budget line. In January of each year, the Graduate Dean will send a notice to academic departments/colleges to give them an opportunity to request additional graduate teaching assistant funds (beyond their 632 budget line) to support their summer school programs. A relatively small number of summer graduate teaching assistantships are available compared to those supported in the academic year.
  2. Prior to the department completing an electronic BearPAF (Personnel Action Form) for a graduate assistant and submitting to the Graduate College for processing, each department/unit should determine that sufficient funds are available in its 632 budget line. If sufficient funds are not in the 632 budget line to cover an assistantship, funds may be transferred to the 632 budget line from another account. Additional funds may be required to cover the fee waiver (see Fee Waiver Costs). Funds cannot be transferred from the 632 budget line to other accounts without written approval from the Graduate Dean.

Eligibility verification

Op3.16-8 I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form

If you are a new graduate assistant, you will be required to complete your payroll forms (W-4 and Direct Deposit) and Section 1 of the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form at the office/department that hired you. To complete the I-9 form you will need to present documentation that establishes both identity and employment eligibility. Acceptable documents for establishing identity and verifying employment eligibility are listed on the back of the I-9 form. Original documents (not photocopies) are required to be presented in person (i.e., items cannot be mailed).

Important: Federal law requires that the employee complete Section 1 of the I-9 form by the end of the first day of employment (as specified on your Appointment Form) — please be prepared to present your acceptable documents at that time. The first day of the appointment period will always be one week prior to the start of classes.

Section 1 of the I-9 can be completed during the period between the day the offer of employment is made and the end of the first day of employment, so please make every effort to do so at the earliest possible date.

Note: Foreign Nationals will complete their I-9 and tax forms with the International Payroll Specialist in financial services. For complete information, see "International Students/Foreign National Employees" section of this page.

Additional information for hiring department/office

In order to assist the hiring departmental personnel with the regulations associated with the correct completion of the I-9, the office of human resources has developed instructions for completing the I-9.

After the student has completed Section 1 of the I-9, the department personnel will need to make photocopies of the I.D.s/documentation presented to attach to the form, complete Section 2 of the form, and then forward the I-9 (with the copies of the I.D.s attached) to the appropriate person in their college or cost center for the E-Verify to be completed. Please remember that federal law requires the E-Verify be completed by no later than the end of the third day of the appointment period and that the first day of the appointment period is always one week prior to the start of classes.

Please contact the office of human resources at 417-836-6616 if you have any questions about the completion of the I-9 or E-Verify.