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Graduate assistantships give students opportunities for professional experience, academic training and financial support while pursuing advanced degrees.

Tasks

Those holding graduate assistantships are assigned relevant professional and academic experiences that may include:

  • Teaching or assisting in a course under the supervision of a director or mentor.
  • Grading for a course.
  • Assisting in a program-sponsored laboratory or instructional center.
  • Assisting a professor on a research project.
  • Professional conference development.
  • Tutoring.
  • Development of administrative skills.

Specific assignments vary by type of assistantship.

Workload

Graduate assistantships generally entail 10-20 hours of responsibilities per week (.25 to .50 full-time equivalent (FTE)).

For GI or GTA roles, one student credit hour is considered 3.33 hours of assistantship responsibilities. Thus, one 3-credit hour class is considered a .25 FTE or 10 hours/week. Teaching two 3-credit hour classes in one semester is considered a .50 FTE.  A 5-credit hour language class is equivalent to 16.65 hours/week; a GTA or GI qualifies for a .50 FTE assistantship if the unit provides additional responsibilities, up to approximately 3 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.

Supervision

All projects are supervised by graduate faculty, administrative staff, or principal investigators.

Graduate students who hold 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.

Funding

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. The University sets the minimum stipend amount. For a 9-month appointment, the minimum stipend for a .50 FTE is $18,026 (doctoral) or $16,389 (master’s and specialist). Assistantships also include tuition scholarships and insurance subsidies. Recipients of graduate assistantships may qualify for additional funding through competitive fellowship awards.

Nine-month assistantships are to be paid over 10 months, from August 1 – May 31. These positions may also be eligible for deferred pay over 12 months.

MU Assistantships

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