Eligibility for an Assistantship
To be eligible for an assistantship appointment, a student must have "regular" or "contingent" admission status to a specific graduate degree program. However, a student with "contingent" status must, within the first award enrollment period, satisfy "regular" admission requirements. A student with "provisional" or "unclassified" admission status is not eligible for an assistantship appointment. A student's admission status may be verified by calling The Graduate School at (662) 325.7400. Assistantship paperwork cannot be processed for more than one year but may be renewed.
Application for Graduate Assistantships
Application for an assistantship appointment must be submitted to the college, department, school, or support unit with a position available. Each department may provide its own application form or use the generic "Graduate Assistantship Application". The department establishes application deadlines and reviews procedures.
Required Course Load for Fall and Spring Semesters
Graduate assistants must be full-time students (registered in at least 9 graduate credit hours) and may not enroll in more than 13 graduate credit hours. The required full-time status must be maintained throughout the entire semester. Therefore, no course may be dropped if the resulting course load would be 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. The 9-credit hour course load may not be composed of undergraduate courses unless the course is a program prerequisite. In such case, the minimum graduate load required will be 6 credit hours and only one undergraduate course will be permitted as part of the 9-credit hour load (per Graduate Council, March 2001).
Required Course Load for Full-and Half-Summer Awards
Full-summer awards require an enrollment in at least 6 graduate credit hours with a maximum allowed of 13 credit hours. Any combination may be used to make up the 13-credit hour maximum; however, enrollment in either 5-week term must be at least 3 graduate credit hours with a maximum allowed of 7 credit hours. Additionally, a student holding a half-summer graduate assistantship must be registered for courses scheduled during the term of the assistantship.
To retain an assistantship, a student must demonstrate satisfactory progress in the academic program. Failure to do so may result in a termination of the assistantship.
Unsatisfactory progress may be defined as the failure to maintain a B average in graduate courses attempted after being admitted to a specific program, a grade of U, D, or F in any course, more than two grades below a B, failure of the comprehensive/preliminary examination, an unsatisfactory evaluation of a thesis or dissertation, failure of a research defense, or any other failure of a required component of one's program of study. Any of these, or a combination of these, may constitute the basis for the termination of a student's graduate study in a degree program. Individual programs have the right to establish their own criteria; however, the preceding definition should be considered the minimum standard for continuation in graduate programs of study and holding graduate assistantships. In the case of dismissal, a student's assistantship will be terminated.