Teaching Assistantships are available as the primary source of funding to qualifying graduate students, both current and incoming. Graduate teaching assistantships in the Department of English are awarded at time of application to the degree program and are subject to the applicant’s admission at good or conditional standing by the Graduate School.
All teaching assistantships are reviewed annually and renewed on the basis of teaching evaluations, professional conduct (inside the writing classroom and as a student in graduate courses), and satisfactory progress toward the student’s degree program. This review process involves the student’s academic advisor, his/her immediate teaching supervisor, the graduate program director, and the department chair.
Eligibility and Application Process
A letter of interest, outlining the student’s qualifications and previous experience (if applicable), needs to be included with the student’s application to the degree program. Appointments are made on the basis of the content and the quality of this letter of interest and are dependent upon available funding.
All applicants that are accepted into a graduate program in the Department of English are eligible, but preference will be given to those applicants who can clearly demonstrate an understanding of genre-based, first-year composition practices.
Note that an incoming GPA of 3.0 is required of incoming students to be accepted into the program at good standing; current students are expected to maintain good standing in the college and satisfactory standing in the department to remain eligible for assistantships.
As a general standard, A and B grades are expected of graduate students in the Department of English. While a C grade is considered satisfactory in most courses, it is not considered a passing grade for core courses in the student’s graduate degree program. All core courses within a student’s degree program need to be completed with a grade of B or above. A core class in which a C or lower grade was earned should be retaken as soon as it is offered again during the student’s scheduled degree program.*
- A 2.0 cumulative GPA is required to maintain satisfactory standing in the department and remain eligible for assistantships.
- The Graduate School will place students whose cumulative GPA drops below 3.0 on academic warning.
- Students who are unable to recover their GPA within the following the semester will enter academic probation and are no longer eligible for assistantships.
- Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.0 will not be offered an assistantship in the Department of English in the following semester and until that GPA has been recovered.
- English 764: Classroom Strategies for Teaching Assistants functions as the department’s mentored teaching internship; an A or B in English 764 is required to continue teaching in the program. Students who receive a C or lower in English 764: Classroom Strategies for Teaching Assistants will not be asked to teach for the department.
Appeals and requests for possible course substitutions need to be reviewed by the student’s academic adviser and approved by the graduate program director.
Students should not carry more than a full-time load and need to maintain continuous enrollment throughout their degree program. Graduate students in English are encouraged to take no fewer than 1 and no more than 6 credits; credits in excess of the recommended 6 need to be approved by the student’s academic adviser; credits in excess of 9 need approval by the graduate program director.
* Note that when a course has been repeated, both grades will appear on the transcript, but only the second grade will be used in calculating the GPA. Courses can be retaken only once, and only three courses total can be retaken. Note, also, that any courses in which a grade lower than C was earned and which cannot be retaken (because it is no longer offered or not offered again during the student’s degree program) may not be counted toward the student’s total credit hours.
All teaching assistants in the Department of English are students first and teachers second.
Responsibilities as a Graduate Student
- All graduate students are required to meet with their academic adviser once a semester to discuss their course work (current as well as upcoming), to schedule teaching observations, and to prepare an annual progress report.
- Students are required to keep their advisers updated on their academic progress and their disquisition plans and to consult with him/her about the program, its curriculum, and its opportunities.
- Students will be observed once per semester, by the Director of First-Year Writing during their first semester and by their academic adviser thereafter and until degree completion.
- Students are required to prepare, in consultation with their academic adviser, an annual progress report and submit it to the Director of Graduate Studies no later than March 15.
Responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant
- Teaching assistants are required to attend a day-long Fall and Spring writing program workshop, which typically takes place in August and January.
- Teaching assistants are required to participate in end-of-semester writing program assessments, which typically take place in December and May.
- Teaching assistants are expected to hold class during their scheduled class meeting time. Rare cancelations may occur. The department needs to be notified of cancelations prior to class time, and the instructor needs to find a substitute instructor for his/her class for the day.
- Teaching assistants are expected to hold a minimum of one conference with their students per semester. Conferences may be brief and can be in small groups or one-on-one with the student.
Stipend and Waivers
Doctoral teaching assistantships carry an annual stipend of $14,000 per academic year and include a tuition waiver package for the duration of the student’s degree program, which includes summer courses; total savings for tuition will amount to approximately $35,400 for 60 credits, depending on resident status and not accounting for changes in current tuition costs.
Master's teaching assistantships for students enrolled in the MA in English degree program carry an annual stipend of $10,500 per academic year and include a tuition waiver for the duration of the degree program, which includes summer courses; total savings for tuition will amount to approximately $17,700 for 30 credits, depending on resident status and not accounting for changes in current tuition costs.
Teaching assistants will also be provided with an office laptop computer and office space to support your studies in our program. Students are responsible for books and fees. In rare cases, teaching fellowships may be granted to PhD candidates who have passed their comprehensive exams and have completed their coursework.
In some cases, tutoring fellowships in the Graduate Center for Writers or research assistantships in the Department of English may be made available to master's or doctoral students upon recommendation by the student’s advisor and in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of English. These appointments are competitive and dependent upon available funding.
For further information, see TA Hiring and Renewal Policy under Forms and the Graduate Bulletin.