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Graduate students have opportunities to become Teaching Assistants (TAs) and provide support in a number of the Legal Studies and Political Science large lectures. In addition, students may apply for Teaching Associate-ships (TOs) where they serve as primary instructors and run their own course.

Teaching Assistantships

TAs may lead discussion sections or serve as graders.

Responsibilities and expectations:

Department expectations for students and faculty who supervise TAs or graders are as follows:


The Graduate Program Manager solicits TA preferences from students and faculty approximately mid-semester for each following semester. The Graduate Program Director and members of the Graduate Studies Committee then work to match preferences and make final awards. TAships are awarded first to students to whom the department has an outstanding funding commitment. Students who serve as TAs are expected to attend the lectures in addition to running discussion sections, and so their own classes may not overlap with the lecture times. 

Teaching Associateships

TOs are responsible for teaching their own courses. A limited number of upper-level courses based on dissertation research are available each year. The more common TOship is teaching a Gen Ed course online through Continuing and Professional Education or to teach an in-person section of our Political Science Junior Year Writing course.

Sample Syllabi

Students assigned to teach a Gen Ed or Junior Year Writing course should be sure to check in with Emily White for copies of sample syllabi. Gen Eds are taught every semester and students are not expected to create a brand new syllabus every semester for these courses. Moreover, there are key features of Gen Ed courses which must be incorporated into the class every time it meets.

Professional Development

  • The department typically offers teaching workshops for new TAs during the fall semester. These workshops are required for first-year instructors and may be required for others by your faculty supervisor. All students are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • TAs, graders and TOs can take advantage of programs and resources in the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development