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Most Academic UNITS with established graduate programs offer teaching and research assistantships to qualified degree-seeking graduate students who are in good academic standing. Appointments are TYPICALLY half-time and INCLUDE stipends.

Assistantship Positions: Graduate teaching and research assistantship positions are appointed by academic units.  Active graduate students are encouraged to complete and email an assistantship application to their academic department or graduate program director.

All other graduate assistantship positions are sent out as announcements to active graduate students via student email and Canvas. Position announcements will include instructions for how to apply.


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. Teaching assistants must have at least one degree beyond the level of students they are teaching. International Teaching assistants must meet Missouri's English language proficiency statute.

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 at least half-time per term, except in the summer. Enrolled coursework must be directly related to the students 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 200/204). 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 FICA Exemption:  FICA exemption is allowable when a student is enrolled at least 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 Minimum Stipend:


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 (6cr hrs in summer). A tuition scholarship is not guaranteed for every assistantship.     

Courses taken must be part of the degree program. Tuition support will be limited to 100% of the number of credit hours required for the degree. Students are responsible for paying any special rate tuition and any non-educational fee related charges including, but not limited to online fees, course and supplemental fees. Also, scholarships do not cover tuition charged for dropped courses.

Term Appointment  Enrollment  Tuition Scholarship
Fall/Spring 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 GRA, GTA, GI
.50 FTE
No minimum
enrollment required.
(See Assistantship Enrollment above)
Tuition Scholarship & Nonresident Fee Tuition Scholarship (if applicable)
for up to 6 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.

Assistantship Expectations:  Graduate Assistants serve a vital role by assisting faculty and staff in carrying out teaching, research and administrative support activities. Students appointed to graduate assistantship positions should review the Graduate Schools Expectations for Graduate Assistants.

Student Health Insurance:  The Graduate School does not enroll students in health insurance or subsidize health insurance. Domestic students who choose to enroll should visit the Anthem Student Advantage website, or contact the campus Student Health Center at (314) 516-5671. International students should contact International Student Services.

Faculty Parking:  Graduate students are not 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 0.50 FTE (20hrs/wk) graduate assistantship position, and who are enrolled in a minimum of 6cr hrs are eligible for up to three assistantship equivalency hours
  • Students having a 0.25 FTE (10hrs/wk) graduate assistantship position, and who are enrolled in a minimum of 6cr hrs are eligible for up to two assistantship equivalency hours

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 webapp.