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Graduate School

Graduate Assistantships


At present, the university has approximately 900 university assistantships in all areas. Assistantships are awarded competitively by academic programs or other service areas.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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.
Graduate assistants are automatically enrolled in the Student Injury and Sickness Plan for The University of Southern Mississippi. To waive enrollment, domestic students may request a review of their existing coverage. You may request a review of your coverage beginning August 1 of each year, by visiting the Employment and HR website and following the instructions there. If you remain enrolled in the graduate assistant insurance, you will receive a year of full coverage, although premiums are only deducted September-May. For additional information regarding graduate assistant insurance, visit Employment and HR or contact Amy Hester.
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.


Departmental Completion Forms:

NOTE: The above pdf forms on this page are fillable. However, you must download them or save them to activate fillable fields function. The download button appears at the top right side of the computer screen.

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