Spanish and Portuguese

Policies and Practices for Appointments and Reappointments of Teaching Assistants and Associates in Spanish and Portuguese

  • Applicants to our doctoral program who check off the appropriate box in the Graduate School application form are automatically considered for Teaching Associateships (TOships) or Assistantships (TAships) when applications are reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC).
  • Students admitted to our doctoral program are ranked by the GSC for the purposes of awarding TOships and / or TAships. The criteria used in this ranking are the same as those used to determine admission to our graduate programs: academic record, personal statement, writing sample, and letters of recommendation. Native or near-native fluency in either Spanish or Portuguese is a determining factor in the awarding of TOships and / or TAships.
  • Doctoral students are normally offered a full Teaching Associateship (TOship) for which they have to teach two stand alone courses per academic year, one in the fall and one in the spring; and / or Teaching Assistantships (TAship) for which they have to teach four discussion sections per academic year, two in the fall and two in the spring. Occasionally, graduate students are offered only a 1/2 TOship or TAship.
  • Students awarded a full or partial TOship or TAship upon admission have their TOship or TAship renewed subject to the following conditions: satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory teaching evaluations. Beyond the admission year, students receiving a TOship or TAship who entered the doctoral program without an MA are normally renewed for 4 additional years, one year at a time (5 years in total). Students entering the doctoral program with an M.A., are normally renewed for 3 additional years (4 years in total). A “year” consists of two semesters, beginning with the semester of first entry into the Program. It is possible for students to request additional years of TOship or TAship, but these requests are contingent upon available program funding, and the approval of the GSC.
  • Fellowships in our graduate exchange programs (in Granada and Oviedo) are not taken into consideration as part of the TOship / TAship renewal process or against the student’s available years of funding as outlined above. 
  • In cases where a student defers admission to the program to the following year, the application for a TOship or TAship is again ranked and reconsidered along with those of other applicants for the year in which the student enters the program officially.
  • By April 15 of their final year of funding, all TOs and TAs will be notified that their TOship or TAship will expire at the end of the academic year. In addition, all other TOs and TAs will be informed of the status of their current TOship or TAship.
  • For further information on funding, financial aid, TOships and TAships, please visit http://www.umass.edu/spanport/programs/index.html.