Academic Programs Catalog

Graduate Education

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

Graduate Assistantships
Stipends and Benefits

Stipend levels are subject to yearly change. 

For the latest information, please consult the Human Resources Web site at

Checks are distributed on a biweekly basis. Graduate assistants at any of the three levels may be appointed on a  quarter–time, half–time,  or three–quarter–time basis with an appropriate adjustment in the stipend. Additional benefits, even though the graduate student does not enroll for 10 credits or more, include the following:

  1. Tuition waiver in the amount of 9 credits for fall semester, 9 credits for spring semester, and 5 credits for summer session.  The tuition waiver will be provided during the period of the assistantship, to a maximum of 23 credits per year. For Ph.D. students past comprehensive exams with a summer (only) research assistantship following a spring assistantship, there is a 1 credit non-fringe research assistantship option available
  2. Exemption from out–of–state resident tuition. This exemption applies to a summer session that precedes or follows consecutive fall and spring appointments, regardless of whether the student was previously enrolled at Michigan State University. If the student does not have a graduate assistantship form completed before registering for summer session, they will pay out–of–state resident course fees and tuition. If an appointment form is submitted prior to the middle of the subsequent fall semester, the Office of the Registrar will refund the full amount of out–of–state tuition that the student paid for the summer session.
  3. Specific college or program fees, applicable to all graduate students enrolled in a specific college or program, may apply and are not waived.
  4. Health Insurance. Graduate assistants (domestic and international) are automatically enrolled in a health insurance plan, the premium of which is paid by the university. The plan provides the following coverage:
    a.    Fall appointment only: coverage from August 16 to February 15 of the following year.
    b.    Fall and Spring appointments—coverage from August 16 to August 15 of the following year.
    c.    Spring appointment only—coverage from January 1 to August 15.
    d.    Summer appointment only—coverage from approximately May 16 to August 15.
    Enrolled students may also insure their eligible spouse and/or dependent children (residing with the insured).
    For questions regarding coverage, enrollment or premium payment, contact BCN partners with Blue Water for enrollment and payment, 1-800-287-4103. For questions concerning waiver processing or general information, contact the Michigan State University Human Resources Office at 1-517-353-4434 or 1-800-353-4434, or by e-mail at: The Human Resources Office is located at 1407 South Harrison, Suite 140A, East Lansing, MI 48823 and on the web at; or visit BCN at
  5. Eligibility for treatment at Olin Health Center.