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Teaching Requirement of PhD Candidates

Beginning with students admitted in the Fall of 1991, teaching experience will be a requirement for Ph.D. candidates. Normally, students will fulfill this requirement by serving a minimum of two quarters (approximately 8 units) as a teaching assistant. Students may fulfill this requirement during their first year in the Ph.D. program, although assignments will be made as influenced by the student’s needs and the needs of the Department.1 Assignments of students to individual courses will be made by the GTA Faculty Mentor in consultation with the course instructors and the Department chairperson. Students entering the Ph.D. program with previous experience as teaching assistants may apply this experience to the teaching requirement. (See "Procedures for Requesting Waivers/Substitutions for the Ph.D. Teaching Requirement".)

While serving as a teaching assistant, students will be appointed at 0.455 FTE and their monthly salary, which will be equivalent to that paid GRA’s, will be paid from GTA funds (unless the student is supported by a fellowship).

For those students supported primarily on GTA funds during their first year in residence, it will not be necessary to identify a major professor prior to admission to the Department. In addition to enhancing recruitment opportunities, this will provide a opportunity for new students to rotate through a number of laboratories with openings. With more students serving as Teaching Assistants, more students will have the opportunity to rotate. This does not preclude or eliminate the option for a student to be assigned to a laboratory without a rotation. A student assigned to a laboratory prior to fulfillment of the teaching requirement is required to teach prior to completion of the Ph.D. and will receive GTA funds in lieu of GRA funds while teaching.

Teaching will not be a requirement for Master’s students. However, Master’s students would be made aware of teaching opportunities when they occur and will be encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities.


1 Three models for completion of the teaching requirement are described below:

1). A student will serve as a teaching assistant in the same course in subsequent years. This has the advantage of continuity, thereby allowing the student to focus on improvement of specific skills in the second year.

2). A student will serve as a teaching assistant in two different courses during their first year in the program. This has the advantage of breadth, thereby exposing the student to different teaching situations, mentors, and classes.

3). A student will postpone the teaching assignment beyond the first year. This has the advantage of flexibility, thereby allowing a student to take advantage of a fellowship, improve English skills, make up deficiencies, etc.


Approved by the Graduate Faculty of the Department on March 25, 1991

Modified to add GTA Faculty Mentor and to change .3 FTE to indicate .4 FTE as of 4/26/99).