Hiring Graduate Assistants

Units wishing to hire a graduate assistant, research assistant, or teaching assistant should follow the steps outlined below.

1. Review eligibility requirements.

Begin the hiring process by understanding the different policies that determine a student’s eligibility to hold a graduate assistantship:

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 an applicant's eligibility, contact the Graduate College at any time.

3. Complete the Personnel Action Form (PAF) for the hired student.

Once your assistantship has been offered and accepted, you must complete the GA BearPAF in a timely manner following the deadlines below. The PAF requires you to outline the assignment time, stipend and waiver.
(*If you are hiring a GA outside the typical semester or academic year structure or if you are hiring at a unique stipend level, you must submit a GA PAF Dynamic Form.)

Current and Upcoming Deadlines for GA BearPAF Submissions:
  • Summer 2024 new appointments and reappointments - April 29, 2024
  • Fall 2024 and Academic Year (AY) 24-25 reappointments - April 29, 2024
  • Fall 2024 and AY 24-25 new appointments - July 15, 2024
  • Spring 2025 new appointments and reappointments - November 1, 2024 

4. Ensure required training is complete.

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 trainings (and HIPAA trainings, if applicable)
  • Information Security Awareness Training
  • New TA Training (required for new Teaching Assistants prior to carrying out TA duties)

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

5. Confirm GA employment appointment form is signed and returned.

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 that have a GA who 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 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.

6. Follow policies for 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 timesheets.

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


For 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 GradAssistantships@MissouriState.edu.