Most departments with established graduate programs offer teaching and research assistantships to qualified degree-seeking graduate students who are in good academic standing. Appointments are usually half-time and carry stipends. Teaching and research assistantship appointments are made directly by the departments. Inquiries and applications for assistantships should be addressed to the director of the graduate program of the appropriate department. Occasionally a few teaching assistantships are available for the winter semester.

Eligibility: All GA hires must be in good academic standing and pursuing a degree program in order to hold an assistantship. Students should refrain from dropping courses or receiving delayed grades. Departments wishing to hire a graduate student from another degree program must check with the Graduate School before offering a position.

Payment of Tuition

Possible Impact of Tuition Coverage on your Financial Aid Package

Enrollment Requirement 

FICA Exemption

Equivalency Hours

Summer Enrollment

Pay Scale

Faculty Parking

Student Accident and Sickness Insurance for Graduate Assistants

.25 FTE (10 hours/week or one course) provides you with a non-resident tuition scholarship
.5 FTE (20 hours/week or 2 courses) provides you with an in-state tuition scholarship and non-resident scholarship if applicable           

*NOTE: The Graduate School will pay educational fees (in-state, on-campus rate) for up to 9 hours of graduate level credit. These courses must be part of the student's degree program and the student must be making satisfactory progress toward the degree. Exceptions to this policy must be made by the Graduate Program Director to the Graduate Dean.

Students will be required to pay any special rate tuition such as on-line or supplemental course fees, and non-educational fee related charges (student activity, health fee, computing fee).

Students who receive tuition scholarships after their financial aid is awarded must undergo another financial analysis, and the tuition grants must be deducted from the total award. It is in your best interest to check with a Financial Aid advisor to make sure you know how your GA salary, tuition scholarships and any other awards may affect your financial aid package. Also, to receive graduate-level federal financial aid, including Stafford Loans, you must enroll in classes that apply to your graduate program.

                                                          Enrollment Minimum         Enrollment Maximum
.25 FTE (10 hours/week or 1 course)                         3 credit hours                   9 credit hours
.5 FTE (20 hours/week or 2 courses)                         5 credit hours                   9 credit hours

The maximum FTE that a student may work in all jobs on campus is .70 (28 hours/week). A student holding over a .5 FTE should check with their advisor and the Graduate Dean's office to ensure their work load will not interfere with their academic progress and that their main purpose on campus is academic, not as an employee.

FICA Exemption
Available for hires at any level but requires half-time enrollment (minimum 5 credit hours)

Graduate Assistants are eligible for equivalency hours for their GTA/GRA appointments. In calculating credit hours for full-time enrollment, students may seek approval for:

1) Three equivalency hours for holding a 0.5 FTE Graduate Teaching Assistantship or Graduate Research Assistantship
2) up to two equivalency hours for appointments between 0.25 and 0.49 FTE.

There is no additional work, actual credit hours or fees associated with the equivalency hours and they do not appear on your transcript.

In order to receive equivalency hours, your department must submit a G-14 to the Graduate School. If you have any questions about this, please check with your advisor or the Graduate School.

Summer enrollment for GTAs/GRAs is not required as long as the student was enrolled during the Winter semester OR is admitted or enrolled in the fall semester (per HR policy 200). However, students may be required to be enrolled by the student's graduate program. The student should discuss summer enrollment with the graduate program director. If the GTA/GRA is not enrolled or is enrolled less than half-time (5-6 hours), the GTA/GTA title may be held but the student cannot claim the FICA exemption. FICA exemption is allowable only when a student is enrolled half-time. If a student is not enrolled in the summer and working on campus, the student will need to pay for a summer parking sticker through the Parking and Transportation office.

Master’s level
.25 FTE (10 hours/week or one course)         
$1250/semester or $2500/nine month appointment
5 FTE (20 hours/week or two courses)
$2500/semester or $5000/nine month appointment

Ed.S Students
.25 FTE (10 hours/week or one course)
$1562/semester or $3152/nine month appointment
.5 FTE (20 hours/week or two courses)
$3152/semester or $6250/nine month appointment

Ph.D. Students
25 FTE (10 hours/week or one course)
$1872/semester or $3750/nine month appointment
.5 FTE (20 hours/week or two courses)
$3750/semester or $7500/nine month appointment

Summer appointments for all student levels is normally 2/9s of a nine month appointment

Any Graduate Teaching Assistant or Graduate Instructor who is the primary instructor of a course, lab or section and who holds a .5 FTE appointment is eligible for faculty/staff parking.  The hiring department should contact the Graduate School with the names of students who are eligible to receive a faculty/staff parking authorization form. GTAs/GIs will be required to pay for these parking stickers. Contact the Parking and Transportation office for information on costs.

Student Accident and Sickness Insurance for Graduate Assistants 
Insurance for Domestic Students

All registered graduate students (domestic students) are eligible to enroll in the Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan. However, half-time GTA or GRA assistants who are U.S. citizens are eligible to receive a 25% subsidy of their insurance premium. In order to receive this subsidy,  you must enroll through the Graduate School Office, 121 Woods Hall. You may do so in person or request an enrollment form be sent to you by emailing  You must be registered in classes before your enrollment can be processed. Registration for fall insurance enrollment will begin in mid-July and winter insurance enrollment will begin in mid-December.

The insurance is offered through Aetna Student Health. Please review the "Program Plan Design and Benefits Summary".  The policy number for UMSL is #890440. Participation in this plan is voluntary.

For fall, the open enrollment period runs until Friday, September 11, 2015 at NOON. Once you are enrolled and payment is made, your information will be submitted to Aetna.  Enrollment takes about 5-7 days once Aetna receives your information. However, you will be reimbursed for any charges as of the start date of the policy.

Coverage Period: August 15, 2015 - January 9, 2016 COST
Premium $1223.00
Student Portion $917.25
Graduate School Subsidy $305.75

 Re-enrollment for the second semester is not automatic. You will need to register for insurance renewal in January 2016 in the Graduate School office to ensure continuous coverage. You must be registered in classes before your renewal can be processed. The open enrollment period runs until until Friday, February 12, 2016 at NOON.

Coverage Period: January 10, 2016 - August 14, 2016 COST
Premium $1794.00
Student Portion $1345.50
Graduate School Subsidy $448.50

Graduate students who are not GTAs or GRAs may sign up for the domestic insurance program at the University's Student Health Center or on-line at  International students should contact the International Student Services office for mandatory insurance information. Any international GTA/GRA with a .5 FTE appointment will also be eligible to receive the 25% subsidy through the International Student Services office.