School of
Graduate Studies


Overseen by your academic unit or UMKC student services office, assistantships can provide valuable professional experience along with a stipend, wage or tuition remission.

About Assistantships

Our assistantship positions are designed to provide our graduate students with academic and practical work experience. Depending on the type of assistantship, they provide a salary, hourly wage, stipend or tuition remission.

Types of Assistantships

Graduate instructor (GI)

If you are an advanced graduate student who holds a master’s degree or its counterpart and are completing the last requirements for a doctoral or other terminal degree, you may be appointed as a GI by your academic unit. The GI has full responsibility for assigned instructional duties, and teaching assignments are the same as a faculty instructor. The GI appointment ends after the student has completed the terminal degree requirements.

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA)

Graduate students can be appointed by their academic unit for part-time instructional work supervised by a faculty member. The position receives tuition remission, including nonresident, each semester, adjusted according to time worked.

All international students, except those with a U.S. degree, must complete the certification process before being eligible for GI or GTA positions, according to the GTA handbook (PDF).

GTA orientation takes place each Fall and Spring semester. Email us to register.

Graduate research assistant (GRA)

Academic units that have access to an external stipend can appoint graduate students as an active, part-time participant in the research activity related to the students’ academic program and which may serve to fulfill thesis or other research requirements of the student's degree program. The position receives tuition remission, including nonresident, each semester, adjusted according to time worked.

Graduate assistant (GA)

Academic units and occasionally non-academic and administrative units can appoint graduate students to a part-time, non-instructional and non-research role that is associated with the educational process. A GA appointment may not necessitate the use of knowledge or disciplinary skills acquired in your academic program but should enhance your knowledge or develop skills for your career or future studies.

Examples of GA positions include academic advising, support for functions of the Provost’s office such as university assessment or institutional research, grading responsibilities not associated with additional instructional support, setting up laboratories or working in Student Affairs or Athletics. 

GAs may be paid hourly at or above Missouri's minimum wage or receive a stipend and tuition remission, including nonresident, each semester, adjusted according to time worked.

Minimum stipend level

The minimum assistantship stipend is $20/hour ($14,400 for a .50 FTE nine-month assistantship). 

Stipend levels can be offered below the minimum only as part of a larger compensation package (tuition remission excluded), such as when it includes a subsidy for on-campus housing or other service or amenity. 

Any tuition remission offered by your academic unit is separate from HR employment contracts. This is an example of a tuition remission information sheet and form.

How to Apply

Many academic positions are determined through the admissions process. However, you may inquire about available positions from your academic unit, program or other UMKC office. We also post open positions in our graduate email. Contact your program director for more information.


Contact Stephen Dilks, associate dean of School of Graduate Studies.