2024 Graduate Assistantships at Michigan State University for International Students

International students are eligible for graduate assistantships at Michigan State University in 2024.

Financial aid for graduate students in the form of a stipend and pay in exchange for the completion of specific tasks is known as a graduate assistantship (GA). Graduate students can work as either a research assistant, a teaching assistant for a department represented by the MSU – Graduate Employees Union Collective Bargaining Agreement, or a teaching assistant for a department not represented by the union.

Graduate students at Michigan State University can choose from more than three thousand assistantships. The University cares about the education of its graduate assistants and, in the case of teaching assistants, the education they provide to the University’s students.

The primary focus of graduate assistants’ time at MSU is on furthering their education. Maintaining the assistantship is contingent upon making satisfactory academic progress towards completion of the degree. The length of time a graduate student can receive funding through an assistantship may be capped by their department.

Masters and Ph.D.


The cut-off date for applications is:

Date of Spring Opening: September 1, 2023 (October 31)

Date of Summer 2023: March 31

Release Date: June 23, 2023


Only graduate students in good standing who are making progress towards their degrees are eligible for graduate assistantships.

Graduate assistants from outside the United States are required to register with the Office of International Students and Scholars using their online portal. They should check their MSU email for details on how to check in.

Graduate assistants are required to register as follows each semester they are employed:

With few exclusions noted in the accompanying chart, doctoral students on either a quarter- or half-time assistantship are expected to maintain a full course load. With the exception of 899/999 credits, they are permitted to carry a maximum of 16 credits (for a quarter-time appointment) or 12 credits (for a half-time appointment). After the student’s unit administrator has submitted the completed exam form to the appropriate college Associate Dean and the college has sent the clearance to the Office of the Registrar, a doctoral student who has passed the comprehensive exams may register for 1 credit in the following semester. Please be aware that all PhD students have a credit limit of 36,999.

Graduate assistantships for the master’s level require at least six credits every semester of study. With the exception of 899/999 credits, they are permitted to carry a maximum of 16 credits (for a quarter-time appointment) or 12 credits (for a half-time appointment).

Three credits are required of all doctoral and master’s students receiving three-quarter time assistantships. They are limited to a total of 8 credits, with the exception of 899 and 999 levels.

Graduate assistants are required to enrol in at least three credits during the summer term.*

If a student has written permission from their department chair or unit director, college, and the Dean of the Graduate School, they may include visitor credits in their course load.

Students are required to enrol for at least the number of credits needed to complete the degree or meet the University’s minimum registration requirement of one credit at all times except during the semester in which the degree is granted, as noted above for doctoral students.

The college dean’s written permission is required for any variation from the maximum credit requirements prior to enrolment.

Except in cases where the student’s department, school, or programme has received formal authorization for course work constituting an exemption to this guideline, all graduate enrollment must be in courses recognised as being of graduate level.

Academic excellence is expected of all graduate assistants. This equates to a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Appointing agencies or universities may set alternative or stricter requirements.

The graduate assistantship appointment process begins with a recommendation from the department chair or school/program director.

Graduate assistantships are not available to students in the MSU College of Law or the MSU School of Lifelong Learning. Students working towards a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously cannot receive graduate assistantships until they have finished at least the minimal amount of credits for the bachelor’s degree.

International and Domestic Eligible Countries

Award Value:

Payments are made every other week. Appointments of graduate assistants at any of the three levels may be made on a quarter-time, half-time, or three-quarter-time basis, with the stipends correspondingly adjusted. Graduate students who do not take 10 or more credits nonetheless receive the following advantages:

Coverage of 9 credits in the fall, 9 credits in the spring, and 5 credits in the summer.

Provisional waiver of non-resident fees.

Some graduate students may be required to pay mandatory college or programme fees that are standard for their academic track.

Medical coverage.

Whether or not you qualify for care at Olin Health Centre.

Access to the MSU Library, use of the Intramural and Recreational Facilities, and membership in the MSU Federal Credit Union.

Discounts on season tickets for football, basketball, and/or hockey for both the student and his or her spouse if the school offers such a discount.

When providing a valid student ID, MSU students get free entrance to all other regularly scheduled athletic events.

Series tickets to professional performances at the Wharton Centre for the Performing Arts and the Institute for Arts and Culture can be purchased at a student discount, and each student is entitled to purchase one additional ticket at the student rate for a guest.

If a student is taking the requisite number of credits, they will not have to pay Social Security tax on their stipend. 

Time of Award:

Appointments as a graduate assistant correspond to the semester in which a student is enrolled (Aug 16 – Dec 31 for fall; Jan 1 – May 15 for spring; May 16 – Aug 15 for summer). The assistantship’s terms (e.g., number of hours per week, academic year, and terms, such as Fall, Spring, and/or Summer) are determined by the appointing department/unit.

Steps to Apply

A check of their criminal history must precede the actual appointment. Students will be sent a disclosure and authorization form in electronic format. The background check cannot begin until the paperwork is signed and returned. Appointments will be made based on how well things go.

The GA Appointment Recommendation form requires an INS I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) form to be completed and attached. The identity and eligibility documentation must be shown to a department official. For a list of documents that are suitable for use with the I-9 form, see Within three working days of the date of hire, you must complete Form I-9. The appointment will be cancelled if the I-9 forms are not submitted within three days.

The HR division will process I-9 forms for all student workers. Department heads who require guidance filling out Form I-9 for a foreign individual with proper visa status might receive it from Human Resources. Those in need of I-9 help should contact

Graduate assistants receive their paychecks every two weeks. Departments that wish to hire graduate assistants must submit their paperwork to Human Resources by the appointed deadlines ( If they miss their deadlines, their first paycheck and enrollment in their health insurance plan could be delayed.

A W-4 withholding tax authorization and payroll direct deposit form are recommended for Graduate Assistants to fill out. Graduate Assistants can enter the Employee Self-Service Portal at to register in direct deposit and fill out Form W-4.

The key to getting the payment and benefits is turning in a properly filled out appointment form. Additionally, it serves as a declaration of both the department’s and the student’s commitment to abide by the guidelines for graduate assistantships as outlined in the Graduate Students’ Rights and Responsibilities document and the Academic Programmes catalogue.

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