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Graduate Student Appointments


Every Graduate Assistantship appointment (GRA, GTA, GA) requires an offer letter and/or Appointment Notification Form (ANF) which contains (at minimum) the start and end dates of the appointment, the monthly (or hourly) pay rate and total salary goal for the appointment period, and the FTE (Full-Time Equivalency).  Students must be enrolled as MS or PhD students (or in the final year of a combined Bachelor/Masters program) to qualify for employment as a Graduate Assistant, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Fellow, and/or Graduate Research Assistant.

The FTE relates to the total number of hours the student must work each week to earn the agreed-upon wage. The SGS Graduate Council Minimum Stipends and FTE Chart is a good starting point to calculate the FTE based upon a specific amount of money being offered to a student. Keep in mind that you must enforce the work hours as identified by the FTE, so the FTE/salary ratio must be maintained consistently throughout your department (meaning you can’t ask a student to work more hours than the FTE states, nor can you pay one student much less money for working the same amount of hours in the same type of position).  Failure to properly update FTE as it relates to the assigned job duties every semester could result in severe fines and penalties assessed against your department and the university relative to new healthcare reform laws.

The FTE matrix for all teaching appointments is very simple: average of 8.33% FTE for every credit hour taught per semester, rounded up to 3 credit hours = 25% FTE. This applies to GTAs and Adjuncts, Instructors, and Lecturers as well … all teaching titles.


  • 1 credit hour = 8% FTE
  • 2 credit hours = 17% FTE
  • 3 Credit Hours = 25% FTE (minimum $406.40/mo in 2017)
  • 4 credit hours = 33% FTE
  • 5 credit hours = 42% FTE
  • 6 credit hours = 50% FTE (minimum $812.80/mo in 2017)
  • 7 credit hours = 58% FTE
  • 8 credit hours = 67% FTE                                                        
  • 9 credit hours = 75% FTE * Full Time/Benefit Eligibility
  • 10 credit hours = 83% FTE
  • 11 credit hours = 92% FTE
  • 12 credit hours = 100% FTE

For non-teaching academic appointments such as  Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA), Graduate Assistantships (GA), or Graduate Fellows (or other non-instructional academic appointments), FTE is based upon the number of work hours required to perform the job duties on a weekly basis.  Student employees may not exceed 70% FTE [28 hours] for all appointments combined (all throughout campus) in any given semester.

Stipend amounts are determined using a comparable wage scale as outlined in the current SGS Graduate Council Minimum Stipends and FTE Chart 2017:

  • 25% FTE = $406.40/mo minimum  [10/hours week (40 hrs/month); Minimum monthly stipend for work requiring a completed Bachelor’s Degree = $10.16/hr x 40 hrs/mo = $406.40/mo]
  • 50% FTE = $812.80/mo minimum  [20 hrs/wk (80 hrs/mo); Min. monthly stipend for work requiring a completed Bachelor’s Degree = $10.16/hr x 80 hrs/mo = $812.80/mo]

Under no circumstances should the minimum pay for any Graduate student employee fall below the appropriate student rank minimums as approved by the UMKC Graduate Council in their current Minimum Stipend Chart.  In addition, no UMKC employee will be paid less than the highest of the current Missouri or current Federal Minimum Wage ($7.70/hour as of 1/1/2017).