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Apply for an assistantship

Teaching Assistantships (TAs) are the principal source of support for English graduate students. TAs are awarded by the University Writing Program to teach composition, and by the English Department primarily to teach course sections in large general education classes and a handful of smaller literature classes.

  • TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR FUNDING, all prospective students MUST apply for a teaching assistantship (called an associateship) in the Writing Program.
  • INTERVIEWS: If you have applied for funding, once you are admitted to an English graduate program, you will be interviewed by the Writing Program. The selection process is competitive, but nearly everyone in our MA/PhD program receives a teaching assistantship.
  • REAPPOINTMENTS: Students who have been hired by the Writing Program and who are in good standing in English and the Writing Program are reappointed annually. Students can count on five years of support (if they are admitted into the PhD program) or seven years of support (if they are admitted into the MA/PhD program).

Students in the MA-only program are not eligible for assistantships in the department. They may be eligible to apply for positions elsewhere on campus, some of which are listed on the Graduate School's Job Opportunities page.


Broaden your teaching experience

We aim to enable MA/PhD students to do three kinds of teaching during the course of their studies:

  • as a teaching associate (instructor) of the first-year College Writing course in the Writing Program,
  • as a teaching assistant for a lecture course, and
  • as the teacher of a “stand-alone” literature course.

While the complexities of scheduling are such that this may not occur in every case, the Graduate Program Director (GPD) and the Director of the Writing Program do everything possible to maximize each student’s opportunities for professional development through varied teaching experiences.


Pay and benefits

  • Currently, teaching assistants/associates earn approximately $24,000, along with full tuition and curriculum fee waivers and health and other benefits. Half teaching and research assistantships also carry a tuition and fee waiver.
  • In the Department of English, a full teaching assistantship is considered a 2-course load per year (one course each semester).
  • In the Writing Program, a full teaching assistantship is 3 courses per year (1 course in one semester, 2 courses in the other semester), with course sizes typically capped at 15, a smaller class size than most.

Assistantship opportunities

Fellowship opportunities, prizes