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Qualifying Titles for Graduate Assistantships and Fellows

Holding one of the titles below qualifies a graduate student for both that Graduate Tuition Support Program and a student medical insurance subsidy:

  • 4717 Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • 4715 Graduate Research Assistant
  • 4685 Graduate Instructor
  • 4690 Graduate Library Assistant
  • 4680 Graduate Fellow


Departments’ expectations for their graduate students vary. Generally, a student who holds any of the above qualifying titles should expect to complete a particular task, such as teaching a class or running an experiment, to gain relevant career experience and to develop a relationship with a mentor for the overall pursuit of their academic degree.

A quarter-time appointment requires an average of 10 hours per week. A half-time appointment requires an average of 20 hours per week. Enrollment requirements are determined by individual departments.

Graduate assistantships

Examples of teaching assistant or instructor tasks:

  • Teach one to two 3-hour classes
  • Teach one to two 5-hour language classes
  • Lead one to five discussion or laboratory sections of a course
  • Proctor and grade large lecture exams
  • Prepare and grade lab exams

Examples of research assistant tasks:

  • Assist faculty with research activities that vary from providing assistance with proposal development through participating in preparation of research reports for refereed journals
  • Help students and faculty use microscopes, computers and other lab equipment
  • Help solve assigned research and class problems
  • Possibly teach one class or some lab sections

Examples of library assistant tasks:

  • Keep library open and staffed to assist users
  • Catalog new acquisitions
  • Check out assigned readings

Examples of graduate fellow tasks:

Responsibilities are determined by departments and are based on specific arrangements made on an individual basis. Required enrollment is generally six to 12 hours per semester. Post-comp doctoral students are required to maintain continuous enrollment.

Continuous enrollment:

Continuous enrollment status as a doctoral candidate begins at the onset of term that immediately follows successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Students must maintain continuous-enrollment status during their doctoral candidacy.

Continuous enrollment status provides students with access to the following resources for dissertation completion:

  • advisor support
  • doctoral program committee guidance
  • university research facilities

To maintain continuous enrollment, students must register for the required coursework each semester using myZou. Students who have enrollment difficulties should contact the Office of Graduate Studies’s doctoral academic advisor for registration assistance.