At present, the university has approximately 900 university assistantships in all
areas. Assistantships are awarded competitively by academic programs or other service
Students wishing to apply for graduate assistantships should correspond directly with
the office or program offering the assistantship. Students are free to apply for assistantships
in any office or program, not only in the program to which they are admitted. In addition
to academic programs, graduate service assistantships are available in support areas,
such as the Alumni Association, Athletics, Career Services, Center for Community and
Civic Engagement, Financial Aid, Human Resources, Institutional Effectiveness, McNair
Scholars Program, Moffitt Health Clinic, Recreational Sports, and USM Foundation (to
name a few). The Graduate School does not maintain a list of available assistantships
To maintain an assistantship, students must enroll in nine hours of graduate course
work during the fall and spring semesters (or three hours during the summer). Additionally,
students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
You should contact the awarding school or office to begin the hiring process. That
school or office will begin the process by submitting hiring paperwork and a background
check request to HR.
All offers of employment with The University of Southern Mississippi (including offers
of assistantships) are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.
You may not begin as an employee of the University until the results of your successful
background check have been received. Once your hiring office has initiated the hiring
process with HR, you should receive an email from Red Tail Security Screening with
instructions on authorizing a background check.
All full-time GAs will receive a tuition waiver equal to 100% of the assessed in-state
and out-of-state (if needed) tuition fees. All part-time GAs will receive a tuition
waiver equal to 50% of the assessed in-state and out-of-state (if needed) tuition
fees. Tuition waivers do not cover course fees, student activity fees, international
programming fees, textbook fees, capital improvement fees, or any other type of fees.
Tuition waivers will be prorated if the assistantship is terminated.
Students conditionally admitted into a graduate program are ineligible to hold an
assistantship until they have achieved a regular admit status.
Graduate assistants should work no more than 20 hours per week to fulfill the obligations
of the assistantship. Hour restrictions are still in effect during holiday breaks
and the summer semester.
The University of Southern Mississippi requires that all Graduate Assistants have
a qualified healthcare plan. To support that goal the University offers a healthcare
plan where GAs are auto enrolled and must waive the plan if not needed. If the plan is waived, the GA must provide evidence of comparable
coverage. All international GAs are required to maintain this health insurance unless
specified by International Student and Scholar Services. There is a monthly cost associated
with this plan.
Before starting work, you must complete tax paperwork in-person in the Human Resources
office, located in McLemore Hall, Room 301. Paperwork should be completed no later
than your official hire date. (International students will complete tax paperwork
after arriving on campus, but no later than the fifth day of class.) When coming to
the office to complete your paperwork, you should bring unexpired original documents
that establish your identity and your employment authorization (for example: domestic
students typically provide their driver’s license and their social security card,
birth certificate, or passport; international students typically provide their passport,
I-20, I-94, and social security card receipt). If you have questions about which other
documents would be acceptable, please contact Human Resources at 601.266.4050.
Graduate assistants are paid monthly, September through May, unless they are on work
study. Graduate assistants funded through work-study are paid at an hourly rate on
the biweekly pay cycle.