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Who do I talk to about a TA position?


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I've been admitted to the degree program of my choice and I will start in September. I know that students in my program are eligible to TA for some courses. There's a specific course I want to TA for, how do I go about getting myself on that list?

Do I talk to the instructor? To my program director? Faculty advisor? Or someone else?

I'm going to start emailing people next week, but if anyone can help me figure out who to hit up first, it would be much appreciated!

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I'd try the director of graduate studies in your program. S/he is probably the person in charge of overseeing TA assignments in the department. If not, the DGS should be able to tell you whom you should contact.


It probably also wouldn't hurt to express your interest with the instructor of the course. S/he may very well have the final say over who TAs the course. It really depends on the program... at my master's institution, the DGS assigned students to TA the various courses in the department, but asked the students for their preferences. The instructors were also allowed to request specific students if they wanted to.


That said, be aware that your preferences may receive a low priority since you are an incoming first year student. Many schools will preferentially give the "good courses" to students who have been in the department for a few years already and use first-years as TAs for the basic, intro-level courses that nobody ever requests to teach. It's a seniority thing. The instructor may also preferentially choose one of his/her own students over an incoming student that s/he doesn't know well yet.

Edited by zabius
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