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Graduate Assistantships

MPGE offers a limited number of teaching assistantships, and individual faculty members, dependant on funding, are able to offer research assistantships to qualified individuals. Please note, though, that availability of each varies from semester to semester.

Students supported half-time through a combination of teaching and/or research assistantships will receive a full tuition waiver (fees not included).

Who is Eligible?

All M.S. thesis and Ph.D. applicants are eligible for graduate assistantships. If an assistantship is available for a student's first year, information about the assistantship will be included with the acceptance letter.

NOTE: Students pursuing the M.S. non-thesis option are not eligible for teaching or research assistantships.

SPECIAL NOTE: International students who indicate an economic need for assistance will only be admitted if assistantships are available for the first year.

What is expected of a graduate assistant?

Recipients of graduate assistantships are expected to fulfill their roles as students (meeting all academic requirements) and assistants (carrying out the teaching and/or research obligations) successfully. University policies for graduate assistants are provided in the Graduate College's Graduate Assistant Information.

What if I receive an appointment?

If you are appointed as a graduate assistant (MPGE supported-teaching or grant-sponsored research), you should begin to familiarize yourself with the New Employee Personal Data Form and the Graduate Assistant Information. You will then schedule an appointment with MPGE’s Financial Officer to go over the appropriate paperwork and receive further instruction.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

A Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) is a graduate Master's student on stipend whose primary responsibilities support the instructional mission of the university. Services provided by a teaching assistant may include but are not limited to: classroom or laboratory teaching, counseling students, proctoring examinations, grading papers or providing other general assistance in the instructional process.

Enrollment Requirements

  • A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 credit hours to hold a GTA position during the fall or spring semester. A student may hold no more than a .50 FTE appointment without the prior approval of Graduate College
  • MPGE GTA appointments are typically made for one semester, and students must reapply for the position each semester.

Before applying for a Graduate Teaching Position, be certain to understand the guidelines and expectations as found in the Graduate Assistant Information.

Selection of GTA's by MPGE

GTA selection is a competitive process that comprises of reviewing materials such as academic credentials, prior work experience, instructor and student feedback and English language skills. Applicants must have:

  • At minimum, a 3.2 GPA
  • Made satisfactory academic progress towards their degree objective
  • Completed the English Assessment Test (SPEAK Test) if English is not the applicant’s first language. Scheduling and further information about the test can be found in the link provided. The cost of this test is $50, however, after completing the exam, the proof of payment may be taken to MPGE’s Account and Budget Coordinator for reimbursement.
  • Taken the required TEACH Test which assesses an individual’s ability to conduct an undergraduate-level course

Note: Students in MPGE are given preference in the selection of GTA’s for our courses. Any GTA hired outside of MPGE will be at the discretion of the Graduate Liaison and approval of the director. 

Graduate College Requirements

The Senior Vice-President and Provost and the Deans’ Council have mandated some basic training and orientation programs be completed by graduate assistants.

All graduate assistants (GRA and GTA) must complete the Professional Ethics seminar to receive a tuition waiver.

All first-year GTA’s need to attend the Teaching Assistant Orientation. In addition, international GTA’s are also required to attend Development for International Teaching Assistants.

NOTE: Space is limited and these courses are held before the start of the fall semester. It is the responsibilty of the student to be here on time and to attend these courses.

For those who will be working as GRA’s or GTA’s in a lab, Lab Safety Training is required.

Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO)
All first-time graduate teaching assistants (GTA’s) must attend Teaching Assistant Orientation offered by the OU Center for Teaching Excellence prior to commencing their GTA responsibilities. 

Development for International Teaching Assistants (DITA)
All international students in their first-year as teaching assistants are required to attend Development for International Teaching Assistants before beginning their GTA responsibilities.

Ethics in Research Workshop
All graduate students who receive an assistantship or fellowship must attend the Ethics in Research workshop.

Lab Safety Online Training
All graduate students who will work in a laboratory are required to complete lab safety training and any other trainings as mandated by the university, MPGE or a student’s advisor that are pertinent to the work being performed.

Graduate Teaching Academy
While not a requirement, GTA's are encouraged to seek the resources available to them through the Center for Teaching Excellence. One of those resources is the Graduate Student Professional Development Events, a series of courses that seeks to promote and maintain a standard of teaching excellence amongst graduate students at OU.

Acceptance as a GTA

If offered a position as a Qualified Graduate Assistant (QGA) in MPGE, students are allowed a maximum of four semesters of GTA funding. Performance as a GTA will be evaluated at the end of each semester, and future appointments will be contingent upon this review and available funding.

GTA’s are required to be on campus by the first day of class or earlier if required to attend the teaching workshop(s). Any GTA who fails to return prior to the start of class and cannot provide documentation to support the absence and/or its approval forfeits the position.

QGA’s receive a full tuition waiver that covers up to the number of hours required for their degree. Tuition waivers do not cover fees, and students are responsible for ensuring that these and any other costs are paid. Failure to pay Bursar accounts may result in enrollment complications. For more information about tuition waivers, visit Graduate College’s website.

The assistantship, also, provides individual for Plan II coverage medical insurance. Enrollment is available online.

Graduate Assistantships are subject to certain limitations, including enrollment requirements and maximum allowable FTE levels.


Spring GTA:

  • Application submission by December 1
  • Decisions and notifications made by January 10

Fall GTA:

  • Application submission by May 15
  • Decisions and notifications made by August 1


Graduate Research Assistantships

A Graduate Research Assistant is a graduate student on stipend whose responsibilities are other than teaching. Graduate Research Assistants do not instruct students. Services provided by research assistants may include assisting faculty members in a research or creative activity, serving as an administrative assistant or intern, developing and evaluating instructional materials or curricula or assuming responsibility for a designated research area.

Research assistants appointed in relation to research or creative activities with external funding may assist faculty members in the completion of contracted research and creative activities; they may be assigned responsibility for the independent completion of parts
or all of specific contracts; they may be responsible for preparation of required reports and proposals; and/or they may be responsible for the supervision of other research personnel.

Enrollment Requirements

A student must be enrolled in a minimum of 5 hours to hold a graduate research assistant position in the fall or spring semester. A student may hold no more than .50 FTE appointment without the prior approval of Graduate College.

Selection of GRA's by MPGE

Students wishing to serve as GRA's must initiate contact with MPGE faculty whose research interests most align with those of the student. Faculty will only sponsor GRA's if they have funding available, and renewal of GRA offers are contingent on availability of funds and assessment of satisfactory academic progression in the program as well as satisfactory performance in the role of GRA.

GRA's are expected to be on campus by the first day of class each semester or earlier if deemed appropriate and necessary by the student's faculty sponsor.

GRA's receive full tuition waivers that cover up to the number of hours required for their degree. Tuition waivers do not cover fees. Students are responsible for ensuring that these and any other costs are paid. Failure to pay Bursar accounts may result in enrollment complications. for more information about tuition waivers, visit Graduate College's website.

Additional Aid

Additional aid is available for graduate students through OU's Financial Aid Services.


Graduate Orientation Fall 2019