Yes, a non-refundable application fee is required for each application submitted for processing.



We require an official transcript showing the bachelor's degree and any work after bachelor's degree. If transfer work is needed, we will send you an email requesting it.

Most graduate degree programs do require an entrance exam as an admissions requirement. Please contact the graduate coordinator of the program you want to pursue for information regarding exams, scores, etc. You may also refer to the Graduate Bulletin, Requirements Quick Reference guide.

Students admitted in unclassified status must remain unclassified for a period of one semester before being admitted to a degree program.

Yes, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office for information regarding financial aid requirements.

Certain types of financial aid may not be available when in the unclassified status. The Graduate School encourages one to contact the Student Financial Aid Office for additional information regarding financial aid eligibility, prior to applying.

Nine graduate hours of work received as an unclassified student may be transferred to a degree program with the approval of the department. Hours completed in this status may not be used to satisfy provisional admission requirements.

You may view registration instructions at the following link, Distance Education-Instructions for Online Registration.

If you have any problems accessing myCourses, please contact Tracy Craven.
For all other inquiries regarding distance education offerings, please visit www.distance.msstate.edu.

Graduate assistantships are provided as financial support for graduate students.  They are intended to facilitate progress toward the earning of a graduate degree.  Graduate research, teaching, and service assistantships are available on an annual or nine-month basis.  Individual academic and non-academic departments/units are responsible for awarding the assistantship, establishing duties and responsibilities, work schedule, and determining stipend rate.  A graduate assistant’s work schedule must not exceed 20 hours per week.  The minimum stipend rate is $600.00 per month.

From the graduate school website and you can also obtain an application from various departments. //www.grad.msstate.edu/files/assistantship_app.PDF.

Please contact your home academic department to see whether they have any assistantships availabe. You may also submit your application to the Graduate School.


A graduate assistant must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours during the entire Fall semester and Spring semester. The full-time course load may not be composed of undergraduate courses unless the undergraduate course is a program prerequisite. Therefore no course may be dropped if the resulting course load is fewer than the required 9 graduate credit hours, nor may any course in the 9-hour load consist of or be converted to audit status.

A student is required to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours if working the entire summer or 3 hours if just working one term or Maymester.

Graduate assistants tuition award does not cover the Distance Education courses when a student is enrolled in more than 9 credit hours. Graduate assistants are responsible for payment of any additional per credit hour rate incurred as a result of Distance Education courses. The full-time tuition exemption credit will be applied to a student’s Banner account covering the basic tuition of the Distance Education course. Tuition Exemption does not cover the Distance Fee charge.

Graduate assistants tuition award does not cover the cost of ESL courses when a student is enrolled in more than 9 credit hours. Graduate assistants are responsible for payment of any additional per credit hour rate incurred as a result of ESL courses. Some international students are required by the University to take ESL 5323 and/or ESL 5313. Both are considered undergraduate prerequisite course while holding an assistantship. ESL 5323 and ESL 5313 cannot be taken concurrently.

The University provides a health insurance subsidy for Graduate Assistants who purchase the University-sponsored health insurance plan through the MSU Longest Student Health Center.  The total health insurance subsidy is $400 per academic year; $200 for the fall semester and $200 for the spring/summer semester.  The subsidy will be deposited into each Graduate Assistant’s Banner account during the first week of October for the Fall semester and the first week of February for the Spring semester.  To access information about the University-sponsored health insurance plan, visit http://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/insurance_student.php

Resigning or being removed from your assistantship, your duties, stipend, and tuition exemption will be ceased. Your tuition exemption will be pro-rated. You will be required to pay back a pro-rated portion of the previously applied tuition exemption.

Student can have an off-campus job and an assistantship as long as it does not interfere with their class schedule and it would not prevent them from working the required 20 hours per week.

Yes, all compensation paid is subject to state and federal taxes.

All Graduate tuition waivers are taxable unless exempt under the Internal Revenue Code.  It is important that you complete your Tuition Remission form completely and answer the questions concerning your course of study and the role it plays in the performance of the duties of the position.

The Internal Revenue Code §117 exempts tuition waivers for graduate assistants conducting teaching or research activities.  The University considers a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant as a graduate student who is involved (50% or more of their position) in the following teaching or research activities:

Teaching:  For University tax purposes, teaching activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:  providing or coordinating classroom instruction, including lab or discussion sessions; tutoring students; grading tests and assignments; developing instructional materials; providing artistic instruction; accompanying/coaching musical or vocal performances; and proctoring exams.

Research:  For University tax purposes, research activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:  applying and mastering research concepts, practices, or methods of scholarship:  conducting experiments; organizing or analyzing data; presenting findings; collaborating with others in preparing publications; and conducting institutional research for an academic or administrative unit.

For additional questions, please refer to the Graduate Assistant Handbook //www.grad.msstate.edu/current/

The August 1 tuition payment deadline does not apply to Graduate Assistants. GAs will be exempt from the upfront payment requirement because most, if not all of their tuition is covered by their assistantship. For additional information regarding student accounts, please contact: studentaccounts@msstate.edu or 662-325-2071.