Assistantships provide relevant professional and academic experiences that may include:
Note: Specific assignments vary by type of assistantships.
Graduate assistantships generally entail 10-20 hours of responsibilities per week (.25 to .50 full-time equivalent). For teaching assistantships (TA or GI), one 3-credit hour class or one 5-credit hour language class is considered a .25 FTE or 10 hours/week. A portion of any project that is part of an assistantship may include minor clerical elements, but all projects should incorporate decision-making, judgment, analysis, and evaluation skills.
All projects are supervised by graduate faculty, administrative staff, or principal investigators.
Those holding graduate assistantships may be required to provide their academic advisor with a written report of academic progress at the conclusion of the period for which the assistantship is awarded.
Any assignment of responsibilities must be associated with a fair and reasonable stipend. This precludes a graduate student from “volunteering” for extensive service commitments to the academic programs without an appropriate stipend.
Academic programs may differentiate graduate assistantship stipends by graduate student status (e.g., master’s or doctoral, first-year or experienced). Within academic programs and within each level of differentiation, stipends should be equivalent. The academic program should provide accessible guidelines used to determine stipend levels to students.
Students who are in 9-month assistantships are to be be paid the 9-month stipend over 10 months, from August 1st through May 31st, unless prohibited by a funding source (i.e., granting agency does not allow it). If a student is in a position for only one semester, they should receive equal stipend amounts per month for 5 months (either August 1 through December 31 or January 1 through May 31.
Recipients of graduate assistantships may qualify for additional funding through competitive fellowship awards.
All graduate students with teaching assistantships are required to:
Graduate students with teaching assistantships whose native language is not English are required to:
The academic freedom of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is not necessarily coextensive with that of faculty. GTAs are engaged in supervised teaching or instruction activities. Supervisors are responsible for defining the nature, scope, and manner of instruction for each course.
Supervisors should communicate the extent to which GTAs have discretion to introduce additional material, and GTAs should follow supervisors’ instructions. GTAs should not be penalized for expressing their own views on matters within the scope of the course if they represent those views as their own.
In interpreting teaching evaluations, supervisors make every effort to distinguish legitimate critiques of the course from negative evaluations related to:
A student may be granted a research assistantship through a faculty member’s grant or other University funds, enabling the student to progress toward an advanced degree while performing research activities related to the grant or fund requirements.
Academic programs decide whether the research activities required as part of the graduate research assistantship is directly related to the student’s academic program. For example, in some academic programs, research conducted in the context of the assistantship is expected to directly inform the topic of student’s dissertation or thesis research. In other programs, the assistantship responsibilities are designed to help students gain expertise in research skills that can be applied to another project.
These graduate assistantships occur across campus and may involve diverse duties covering a wide variety of functions.
An assistantship might be offered as part of an admissions package or developed through a professional relationship with faculty or administrative staff. A small number of assistantships that do not require program-specific expertise may be posted at HireMizzouTigers.com.
If you are a graduate student seeking an assistantship, contact your academic program for information about open positions.
To hold a graduate assistantship, a student must be:
Note: Certificate students who are not also enrolled in a graduate degree program are not eligible for a graduate assistantship.
Each department or unit establishes its own documented procedures for recruitment, selection, retention, and dismissal of students with graduate assistantships in accordance with MU policy and Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity guidelines.
Academic programs provide graduate students with official signed letters of assistantship awards with detailed information about assistantship expectations, responsibilities, and compensation. Each offer must delineate the length of the appointment, which is typically for one academic year.
Individual academic programs may require full-time enrollment or a minimum course load for funded students. Students enrolled at least half time (4.5 student credit hours in the fall and spring semesters) are not subject to Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes.
The faculty or staff member who supervises the assistantship must conduct a written evaluation of the student’s performance for at least once a year and provide a copy to the student and to the chair/director of the program or department for placement in the student’s file.
This evaluation is separate from the annual review of student academic progress and should take the following criteria into account:
Opportunities for improving performance should be outlined. An appeal process is available for those with graduate assistantships who assert they have not been fairly evaluated.
Evaluation of graduate assistant performance must not be influenced by race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions is also prohibited.
In addition, evaluations must not be influenced by a student’s exercise of First Amendment freedoms of expression and association.
If you are a graduate student and believe one of the above situations applies to you, you may begin the appeals process.
First, attempt to resolve the matter with the faculty/staff member or appropriate administrative leader of the school, college, or unit responsible for your assistantship.
If your attempt at resolution is unsuccessful, you may then file a written appeal to the director of graduate studies for consideration by the appropriate graduate committee.
This appeal must be filed within 60 days of the evaluation or dismissal. A written determination of the appeal will be presented to you and your supervisor. If the assistantship is not in an academic program, the MU Associate Dean of the Graduate School will consider the appeal.
If no action is taken on the appeal within 30 days of its filing, or if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, the student may present the original appeal and documentation to the MU Dean of the Graduate School.
If the dean determines the appeal might have merit, they will request a review by a subcommittee of the Graduate Faculty Senate. The decision of the subcommittee of the Graduate Faculty Senate is final.
During the appeal process, if an assistantship evaluation, renewal, or dismissal is overturned, the supervisor has the right to appeal this decision in writing to the full Graduate Faculty Senate.