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Graduate Assistantships in the College of Education

Graduate assistantships are available for new and continuing students in the College of Education. Students may assist faculty with research projects, play a role in teaching college courses or provide other services to the college or university. Graduate assistantships are offered as a one-quarter time (10 hours per week) or a one-half time (20 hours per week) appointment. More details about assistantships can be found on the Graduate School's Graduate Assistantship webpage: https://grad.msu.edu/assistantships/ or in the Academic Programs Catalog: https://reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Print.aspx?Section=350.

Assistantship benefits include:

  • A bi-weekly stipend, determined by prior experience and education levels. (Levels: https://reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Text.aspx?Section=111#s357)  (Pay Rates: https://education.msu.edu/resources/documents/Stipend%20Rates_20162017.pdf)
  • A tuition waiver of up to nine credits per semester fall and spring and five credits during the summer
  • A waiver of out-of-state tuition, for out-of-state students who take more than the covered number of credits each semester
  • Enrollment in the university's graduate health insurance plan
  • Assistantships held in the College of Education department by students in a College of Education doctoral program also receive an automatic Doctoral Tuition Grant up to the semester credit maximums (nine for fall and spring, five for summer).  These grants cover the tuition surcharge the College charges above what an assistantship covers.  Doctoral students are not eligible to receive Doctoral Tuition Grants if they accept an assistantship outside of the College and they must hold at least a quarter-time assistantship within the College.

Some students may not be eligible to hold graduate assistantships. See restrictions on graduate assistantships and acceptable academic progress below.   Teaching assistantships are regulated by the University's Graduate Employees Union (GEU) contract (the current contract information can be found at https://hr.msu.edu/documents/contracts.htm).

Research assistantships

Students interested in research assistantships should indicate their interest to faculty members whose work matches their interests and to graduate advisors or program coordinators that can suggest opportunities. There are often announcements on bulletin boards around campus. Resumes may also be sent directly to the directors of grant-funded research projects (see examples), with cover letters describing how the student’s interests, knowledge and experience fit within the scope of the project.

Many faculty members appreciate receiving resumes as introductions to new students. Employers may need to recruit quickly during the academic year, so having additional resumes on file is valuable.

Teaching assistantships

Students interested in teaching assistantships should obtain application forms from the appropriate department. In general, applications should reconstruct students’ previous education and experiences, outline the contributions they might make to the employer's instructional efforts and indicate how much time (hours per week) they could devote to work under the assistantship.

Teaching assistantships at Michigan State University are governed by the Graduate Employees Union contract. Anyone seeking or holding a teaching assistantship should be familiar with the GEU and its contract with MSU.

For more information, visit the Current Teaching Assistantships and Application Forms page.

Restrictions on graduate assistantships and acceptable academic progress

In order to maximize the equitable distribution of available graduate assistantships and to accelerate academic progress, students will not be able to hold positions totaling more than half time (20 hours per week) or to hold positions beyond the fifth year in their doctoral program.

Department chairs and program coordinators should be certain that students and advisors understand programmatic expectations for acceptable academic progress. As a minimum, the Graduate School's policy that all degree requirements must be completed within eight years of program entry should be reaffirmed. The annual evaluations that all doctoral students undergo should provide chairs and coordinators with useful information about the academic status of students.

Who To Contact

  • Department of Teacher Education: Kristi Lowrie 517-353-6413
  • Department of Counseling Educational Psychology, and Special Education (CEPSE):
    Joni Smith 517-432-4647
  • Department of Educational Administration:
  • Department of Kinesiology: