2024 Michigan State University Graduate Assistantships For International Students

The term “graduate assistantship” (GA) typically refers to any type of financial aid for graduate students that comes with a wage and benefits in exchange for carrying out particular tasks. Specific graduate assistant assignments fall into one of three categories: research assistants, teaching assistants covered by the Graduate Employees Union, or teaching assistants not protected by the MSU- Graduate Employees Union Collective Bargaining Agreement.

At Michigan State University, graduate students who complete the qualifications can apply for more than 3,000 assistantships. Both the quality of the undergraduate instruction that teaching assistants provide and the quality of the graduate assistants’ educational experiences are important to the university.

Students enrolling as graduate assistants are those whose primary affiliation with MSU is the pursuit of advanced degrees. If you want to continue pursuing your degree, the assistantship must remain in good standing. Departments may place limits on the total number of years a graduate student may hold an assistantship.

Type: Masters, Doctoral

Application Deadline:

  • Spring: 31st October 2023 (Opening in September)
  • Summer: 31st March 2023
  • Fall: 23rd June 2023


  1. Graduate assistantships are available only to graduate students who are in good standing and actively pursuing graduate degree programs.
  2. International graduate assistants must check in online with the Office for International Students and Scholars. Check-in instructions will be sent to their MSU email account.
  3. Graduate assistants must be registered each semester in which they hold assistantships as follows:
  4. Doctoral students with quarter-time or half-time assistantships must carry at least 3 credits (exceptions stated in chart). They may carry a maximum of 16 course credits (for a quarter-time appointment) or 12 course credits (for a half -time appointment), excluding 899/999 credits.
  5. Doctoral students who have passed comprehensive exams may enroll for 1 credit the semester after the student’s unit administrator submits the completed exam form to the appropriate college Associate Dean and the college sends the approval to the Office of the Registrar . Note: There is a maximum of 36, 999 credits for all doctoral students.
  6. Master’s students with quarter-time assistantships or half-time assistantships must carry at least 6 credits. They may carry a maximum of 16 course credits (for a quarter-time appointment) or 12 course credits (for a half -time appointment), excluding 899/999 credits.
  7. Doctoral and master’s students with three-quarter-time assistantships must carry at least 3 credits. They may carry a maximum of 8 course credits, excluding 899/999 credits.
  8. During the summer session, graduate assistants must carry a minimum of 3 credits.*
  9. Visitor credits may count as part of a student’s credit load if approved in writing by the student’s department chair or unit director, college and the Dean of the Graduate School.
  10. Deviations from the minimum enrollment requirements listed above, except as noted for doctoral students, are permitted only during the semester in which the degree is granted, when students must enroll for at least the number of credits required to complete the degree or meet the University minimum registration requirement of one credit.
  11. Any deviation from the maximum credit requirements must have the written approval of the dean of the student’s college before registration.
  12. Graduate enrollment must be in courses recognized as being of graduate level unless the student’s department, school or program has granted written permission for course work constituting an exception to this policy.
  13. Graduate assistants must achieve and maintain satisfactory academic records. This means a 3.00 or higher grade point average. Appointing units or colleges may establish additional or higher required standards.
  14. Recommendation for appointment as a graduate assistant must be made by the department chairperson or school/program director.
  15. Lifelong Education students and College of Law students (except if dually enrolled in an MSU graduate program) are not eligible for graduate assistantships. Dually enrolled bachelor’s/master’s degree students are not eligible for graduate assistantships until the minimum number of credits required for a first bachelor’s degree is completed.