In some occupations (e.g., accountancy, health, education, law, and engineering) professional certification and licensure are contingent upon the acquisition of knowledge and skills that can only be acquired through advanced studies.
An advanced degree is a long-term career investment: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, over a lifetime, people with a doctoral degree will earn an average of $3.4 million; those holding a master’s degree will earn an average of $2.5 million.
Graduate assistantships give students opportunities for financial support, professional experience and academic training.
With a minimum stipend of $18,026* for an academic year— combined with Columbia’s outstanding cost of living – University of Missouri stipends are competitive with public research university peers. Assistantships include tuition scholarships, insurance subsidies, and stipends to cover living expenses.
The University of Missouri supports the health care needs of graduate students by offering accident and sickness insurance.
Students in qualifying graduate research, library and teaching assistantships; graduate fellows, graduate instructors; and fellowships are eligible for a partial or complete medical insurance subsidy.
The MU Graduate School provides comprehensive in-person and online professional development resources, often in collaboration with campus partners, to aid in the holistic development of graduate students.
Orientation: Graduate student support begins as soon as students are admitted, with orientation and welcome week groups.
Chart Your Own Plan: Students are encouraged to create their own Individual Development Plan to meet short- and long-term career goals.
Ongoing Programs and Support: Each semester the University of Missouri offers 20-30 programs to aid students in professional development. Explore Grad Essentials to learn more about the opportunities available.
Preparing Future Faculty: Many of MU’s academic programs offer graduate students the opportunity to apprentice as instructors or teaching assistants. To further prepare students with the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter academia, we offer aspiring educators a Minor in College Teaching and other professional development programming, including a Preparing Future Faculty course.
Careers Outside of Academia: For graduate students who will pursue careers outside of the academy, the Graduate School offers Preparing Future Professionals for Post-Graduate Studies Careers. This course, along with a variety of non-credit professional development programming, help students prepare for and navigate non-academic careers.
The Center for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education (CIE) strives to:
MU is one of 8 universities selected by the Association of American Universities to participate in the AAU Ph.D. Education Initiative, a pilot program that advocates for student-centered doctoral education. This program is being developed to help students identify PhD career opportunities in and outside of academia before they graduate, so that they have a better understanding of the value of a graduate level education. In addition, the program seeks to make diverse career opportunities visible, viable, and valued. They get more opportunity and options than a traditional graduate school student, and ultimately better outcomes.
Graduate students with assistantships on a 9-month, monthly-paid appointment may be eligible for a new pay deferral option to have their assistantship pay allocated over 12 months. Full policy provisions and eligibility criteria are described in HR-219 Pay Periods and HR-105 Employment Documentation.
Elections for deferred pay must be made prior to the first pay cycle of the academic year and renewed each appointment year. To elect deferred pay, complete HR Form 269A Deferred Pay Option Election Form for Faculty and Graduate Assistantships (PDF) and return it to your hiring department payroll/PAF processor.
The University of Missouri is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all students enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex. Sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status, is prohibited. The Assistance, Accommodation, and Leave Policy for Pregnant Students, Students with Pregnancy-Related Conditions, and Parenting Students promotes the equal treatment of pregnant students, students with pregnancy-related conditions, and students who are parents. Concerns of discrimination or potential violations of this policy should be reported to the MU Office of Institutional Equity
This policy is intended to serve graduate students who experience the birth of a child, adoption of a child, fostering of a child, or the loss of pregnancy. It will account for care and concerns for the physical, mental, and emotional health of students. This policy is intended to inform students of their rights and the assistance that is available to them concerning academic plan modification and/or leaves of absence.