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.

Assistantship Eligibility:  Only graduate students who are in good academic standing and making appropriate progress toward their degree are eligible for an assistantship.  Continuing students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 to be eligible for an assistantship the following term.  Students must be admitted to a degree program or certificate program.  Non-degree status does not qualify one to hold an assistantship.  Students must be enrolled in at least five credit hours per term (except in the summer) of coursework directly related to their degree plan.   

Assistantship Workload:  A .50 FTE appointment equates to working 20 hours/week or teaching 2 courses.  The maximum FTE that a student may work in all jobs on campus (in any term) is .70 (28 hours/week). A student holding over a .50 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.

Students may be appointed for .25 FTE, which equates to working 10 hours/week or teaching 1 course.  There is no tuition scholarship or nonresident fee scholarship associated with a .25 FTE appointment.

Assistantship Enrollment:  Students must be enrolled in at least five credit hours per term (except in the summer) of coursework directly related to their degree plan.  Summer enrollment is not required as long as the student was enrolled during the Spring semester or is admitted or enrolled in the Fall semester (per HR policy 200). However, summer enrollment may be required by the student's graduate program. The student should discuss summer enrollment with the graduate program director.  If a student is not enrolled or is enrolled less than half-time (5 credit hours), the student cannot claim FICA tax exemption.  Students should refrain from dropping courses or receiving delayed grades.  Students in their last semester do not need to meet the assistantship enrollment requirement.

Assistantship Stipend:

Master’s  .25 FTE  $1250/semester or $2500/nine month appointment
.50 FTE  $2500/semester or $5000/nine month appointment
Ed.S .25 FTE  $1562/semester or $3152/nine month appointment
.50 FTE  $3152/semester or $6250/nine month appointment
Ph.D .25 FTE  $1872/semester or $3750/nine month appointment
.50 FTE  $3750/semester or $7500/nine month appointment

Summer appointments for all student levels are normally 2/9th's of a nine month appointment.  No GTA/GRA/GA/GI appointment can be paid bi-weekly or at an hourly rate.

Assistantship FICA Exemption:  The FICA exemption is allowable when a student is enrolled half-time.  Allowable for hires at any level, during any semester, but requires half-time enrollment (minimum 5 credit hours).  If a student is enrolled less than half-time, the student may still be eligible if he or she is in the last semester of a course of study, and is enrolled in the number of hours needed to complete the requirements for obtaining a degree.  International students in either F1 or J1 status are eligible for FICA exemption during the first five calendar years of their presence in the USA even if under-enrolled.  After the first five years, F1 and J1 students must be enrolled at least half-time for FICA exemption

Assistantship Tuition Scholarship:  A .50 FTE assistantship may provide you with a tuition scholarship and a non-resident fee tuition scholarship (if applicable) for up to 9 hours of graduate level credit.  However, a tuition scholarship is not guaranteed for every assistantship.        

Term

Appointment 

Enrollment 

Tuition Scholarship

Fall/Spring

GA, GRA, GTA, GI
.50 FTE

Min 5 cr/hrs
Max 9 cr/hrs

Tuition Scholarship & Nonresident Fee Tuition Scholarship (if applicable)
for up to 9 cr/hrs of Grad Level credit

Term

Appointment

Enrollment

Tuition Scholarship

Summer

GA, GRA, GTA, GI
.50 FTE

Enrollment not required.
(See Assistantship Enrollment above)

Tuition Scholarship & Nonresident Fee Tuition Scholarship (if applicable)
for up to 9 cr/hrs of Grad Level credit

Please check with the Financial Aid office if you have applied for student loans or are receiving other awards.  Scholarships are counted towards a student’s cost of attendance (COA) as determined by UMSL.  A student’s total financial aid package, which includes grants, scholarships, and loans, may not exceed the student’s COA.  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.

Student Health Insurance:  The Graduate School no longer enrolls students in health insurance or subsidizes health insurance.  Domestic students who choose to enroll should contact AETNA directly at (877) 375-7905 or visit www.aetnastudenthealth.com/umsl.  International students should see the health insurance page of the International Student Services website.

Faculty Parking:  Graduate students are no longer eligible to receive faculty parking permits.

Equivalency Hours:  Equivalency hours are used to bring a student’s status up to full time.  Students who need full-time status for academic program purposes, financial aid purposes, international, etc. but are not enrolled in full-time credit hours can request equivalency hours (if they qualify) to bring their status up to full-time.  Graduate Assistants are eligible for equivalency hours for their graduate assistantship appointments. Students having a graduate assistantship may request:

There is no additional work, actual credit hours or fees associated with equivalency hours and they do not appear on student transcripts.  Students do need to be enrolled in the term before equivalency hours can be requested and applied.  In order to receive equivalency hours for a graduate assistantship, your department must submit a request to the Graduate School through the GATS app.