Graduate assistantships are available in many academic departments. Prospective graduate students should contact their admitting department for information on assistantship availability.
Note: All students must be in good academic standing to be eligible for an appointment. Non-degree graduate students are ineligible for graduate assistantships or graduate tuition waivers.
The Graduate Assistantship Appointment Form (GAAF) does not constitute a contract of employment. Final appointment and continuation authority resides with The Graduate School.
ACADEMIC YEAR —
Fall and spring terms
- Graduate teaching assistants (GTA) and graduate research assistants (GRA) must be enrolled at a minimum of six (6) credits during each term they receive an assistantship.
- Graduate student assistants (GSA) must be enrolled in three (3) to five (5) credits per term during the academic year.
- Graduate assistantship appointments are for a minimum of ten (10) hours per week and a maximum of nineteen (19) hours per week.
- Graduate assistants appointed for more than fifteen (15) hours per week must enroll for no more than twelve (12) credits.
- Graduate assistants appointed at fifteen (15) or fewer hours per week must enroll for no more than fifteen (15) credits.
- GSAs are not exempt from payroll taxes.
- Graduate assistants appointed as GRAs, GTAS, or GSAs may work up to forty (40) hours per week. The minimum appointment is ten (10) hours per week.
- Appointed GRAs and GTAs must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credits.
- GSAs may be enrolled for up to five (5) credits, as long as they are continuing their graduate program from the spring term.
INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS —
- International graduate students appointed as a graduate research or teaching assistant for nineteen (19) hours must be enrolled in six (6) credits, as their GTA/GRA assistantship is considered part of their academic load.
- Summer enrollment is optional, unless the student initially arrives in the U.S. for summer term, in which case the minimum requirement is three (3) credits.
GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT (GTA) — A GTA is a graduate student who is involved in instruction, usually of undergraduates. MSU faculty members oversee all GTA teaching duties.
General duties include:
- Actual instruction in a classroom setting;
- Instruction in recitation sections;
- Conducting help sessions and holding office hours to advise students on class assignments;
- Assisting with laboratory setup;
- Grading papers, exams, laboratory reports, and homework; and/or
- Other duties pertaining to the instructional mission of MSU.
GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT (GRA) — A GRA is a graduate student who conducts research in a relevant area of their major course of study under the direction of a faculty member. The research often forms the basis for a thesis or dissertation.
General duties include:
- Performing experiments, calculations, and analyzing the results;
- Proposing new research problems;
- Disseminating scholarly work;
- Attending conferences and symposia to present results; and/or
- Training and supervising less experienced research personnel.
GRADUATE STUDENT ASSISTANT (GSA) — A GSA is a graduate student involved in instruction and/or research. They assist faculty, departments, or other units in a variety of activities.
- A tuition waiver does not cover the various fees associated with a student’s tuition and fee statement.
- Tuition waivers are available on a limited basis.
- The Graduate School is not obligated to award a tuition waiver based on promises made by departments.
- Students must be enrolled for all credits that will be waived no later than tenth (10th) day of classes.
- Students must confirm attendance with Student Accounts no later than fifteenth (15th) day of classes.
Note: Students may be required to pay full tuition if the tuition waivers are awarded after the fifteenth (15th) day of classes.
A graduate student at MSU may be employed primarily through a graduate teaching or research assistantship. However, graduate students may also work as a student employee at Residence Life, University Food Services, ASMSU tutoring, and so forth. Twenty (20) hours s the maximum total hours per week graduate students can work on campus.