Graduate Assistantships

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. 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.

Commitment date:

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 assistantships 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 verbal 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 is generally 20 hours per week and provides a minimum stipend of $8,940 for the 2019-20 academic year (nine months), and in some disciplines, stipends of $10,880 will be awarded. A graduate assistant must complete a minimum of 6 hours of graduate course work (600-level or above) during each semester of appointment on an assistantship. Some departments or administrative units may require graduate assistants to be enrolled for more than 6 hours of course work in a semester. Graduate Assistants in their final semester can be enrolled in as few as 3 hours if they are completing the course work on their Program of Study. In rare cases, an assistantship may be awarded at quarter-time (10 hours per week) and would pay half the normal stipend.

A limited number of graduate assistantships are available during the summer session. A graduate assistant appointed for the 2019 summer session will receive a stipend of either $2,235 or $2,720. Summer graduate assistants must complete a minimum of 3 hours of graduate course work (600-level or above) during the summer session.

Students who apply for graduate assistantships are also eligible to receive a limited fee-waiver scholarship (see Fee-waiver Scholarships section). Note that graduate assistant paperwork must be received in the Graduate College by September 15 (for Fall semester) and February 15 (for Spring semester) for the student to be eligible for the fee-waiver scholarship.


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.


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. Eligibility ends once the Advisor Approved Program of Study is completed, or the student has completed 110% of the graduate credits required for the degree (see below). A minimum GPA of 3.00 on the undergraduate cumulative or last 60 hours for first time graduate students, or graduate cumulative (minimum of 9 hours) for current graduate students is required. 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 graduate certificate program may hold an assistantship for two semesters. A student is eligible for a third year of an assistantship support if he/she has completed all requirements for a master’s degree and is admitted to a second master’s degree or graduate certificate program. Also, students in a doctoral program or the MFA are eligible for a third year of assistantship support. Students with 20 hours per week graduate assistantships are not eligible for other University employment with exceptions as noted in the Human Resources Payroll calendar. With pre-approval only from the Graduate College, a half (10 hour per week) assistant may possibly be allowed to hold other University employment on a very limited basis. Assistants must maintain a 3.00 GPA to maintain eligibility.

International Students:

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 graduate assistantships with teaching assignments:

  • Successful completion of at least one semester of enrollment at a public institution of higher education in the state of Missouri. (Note: Exceptions may be granted in special cases upon approval of the chief academic and executive officers of the institution). During this semester, students will obtain a cultural orientation to prepare them for a teaching appointment.
  • In the weeks prior to this semester, attendance at the new-student orientations sponsored by International Services and the Graduate College.
  • Passing of a Missouri State University juried examination in which the candidate must demonstrate his/her ability to interpret written English passages and to communicate orally in English in a classroom setting. Juried examinations are to be approved by the Graduate College. Membership of the jury will include one member of the applicant's major department (appointed by that department's head), one member from the Department of Communication, and one other faculty representative (the latter two members to be approved by the Graduate College).

Graduate 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. These sessions are designed to provide students with information relevant to their academic role: i) graduate assistantship responsibilities; ii) legal issues related to teaching; and iii) effective teaching strategies. Students having assistantship responsibilities that include direct or indirect teaching must participate in this pre-semester orientation.


In most cases where Graduate Assistants have instructional responsibilities, the academic department provides formal orientation and training sessions for the specific teaching assignments.


Fee-waiver Scholarships

Students who receive graduate assistantships are also eligible for a limited fee waiver scholarship if appointed by September 15 (fall semester or academic year GA) or February 15 (spring semester GA). Fee waivers are intended to cover graduate courses required for the primary graduate program being pursued (i.e., on the program of study). The maximum cumulative graduate credits allowable with fee waiver scholarship assistance will not exceed ten percent beyond the minimum credit hour requirements of the degree program, or one addition course if only enrolled in a graduate certificate. Upon review, courses which do not meet this guideline will result in loss of the fee waiver benefit for such courses or possible future eligibility. For fee-waiver purposes, credit hours taken in the intersession prior to the semester are part of the allowable fee-waiver limits of that semester. Fee-waiver scholarships are for up to 15 hours of course work consistent with the student’s program of study for each of the fall and spring semesters (limited to 6 hours for quarter-time assistantships). Those receiving summer term fee-waiver scholarships have fee coverage for up to 6 hours of course work (limited to 3 hours for quarter-time assistants). 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.

Students appointed on a graduate assistantship during the Spring semester are eligible for a fee waiver scholarship during the following Summer term as long as minimum eligibility is maintained. This eligibility does not depend on having a Summer graduate assistantship.

Please note: The G.A. fee waiver scholarship covers only the standard $268 for Missouri Residents or $539 for Non-Resident (per credit hour) of Basic Fees for any regular-instruction graduate-level course, or up to $285 (per credit hour) for any internet-based graduate-level course, 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.

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). For the 2011-2012 academic year the value would have been $1,533 for fall and spring semester. The scholarship amount will be adjusted annually when the Missouri State University Board of Governors approves changes to the student fee schedule.

No application is required. Once a student meets the eligibility criteria, the scholarship will automatically be offered. The MOGO Scholarship cannot be combined with other forms of University aid, including scholarships, graduate assistantships, or fee waivers.

MOGO Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible, a student must:

  • be considered a non-resident of Missouri for fee purposes 
  • have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 
  • have official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) on file with the Missouri State University Graduate College
  • be a first-time, degree-seeking graduate student admitted into an eligible program (see below)
  • be enrolled as a full-time graduate student, taking at least 9 graduate credit hours during the fall and during the spring semester or 5 graduate credit hours during the summer. Out-of-state undergraduate students in Missouri State University accelerated master’s programs may qualify for the scholarship after they have completed their bachelor’s degree and are given full graduate status.
Eligible Programs include:
  • Accountancy (MAcc)
  • Athletic Training (MS)
  • Audiology (AuD)
  • Biology (MS)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology (MS)
  • Chemistry (MS)
  • Communication (MA)
  • Communication Sciences and Disorders (MS)
  • Counseling (MS)
  • Counseling and Assessment (EDS)
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Educational Administration (MSEd)
  • Educational Administration (EdS)
  • Educational Technology (MSEd)
  • Elementary Education (MSEd)
  • English (MA)
  • Geospatial Sciences in Geography and Geology (MS)
  • Global Studies (MGS)
  • Health Administration (MHA)
  • Health Promotion and Wellness Management (MS)
  • History (MA)
  • Literacy (MSEd)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Materials Science (MS)
  • Mathematics (MS)
  • Music (MM)
  • Natural and Applied Science (MNAS)
  • Nursing (MSN)
  • Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Plant Science (MS)
  • Project Management (MS)
  • Psychology (MS)
  • Public Administration (MPA)
  • Public Health (MPH)
  • Religious Studies (MA)
  • Secondary Education (MSEd)
  • Social Work (MSW)
  • Special Education (MSEd)
  • Student Affairs (MS)
  • Writing (MA)
  • Dietetics Internship (Graduate Certificate)
Programs not eligible for MOGO are:
  • Business Administration (MBA)
  • Computer Information Systems (MS)
  • Defense and Strategic Studies (MS)
  • Educational Leadership – Cooperative Program with the University of Missouri-Columbia (Ed.D)
  • Nurse Anesthesia (MS)
  • Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Physician Assistant Studies (MS)
  • Professional Studies (MPS)

Renewal Criteria:

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 which can only be granted by the Graduate College. Enrollment in the MOGO program during the summer semester is optional. 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. If an exception is granted, the scholarship award will be reduced proportional to the number of credit-hour enrollment.

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.

Scholarships for Graduate Students

For a complete listing, refer to the Scholarships for Graduate Students website.

Federal Financial Assistance

For a complete listing of all federal financial aid available, eligibility, and procedures, refer to the Financial Aid Office website.

Veterans Benefits and Services

Missouri State University is approved for certification of students eligible to receive educational assistance (G.I. Bill) from the state approving agency. For more information, refer to the Veterans Student Services website.

Student Employment Service

The Student Employment Office maintains an active file of permanent and temporary part-time jobs as well as a few full-time employment opportunities. Graduate Assistants (20 per week) are not eligible to hold any additional on-campus positions during the time of their appointment. For more information, refer to the Student Employment Service website.