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Do MA students ever get to be TAs or receive assistanships?

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I'm deciding between two History MA programs and wondering if I can/should ask the schools about the possibility of TAing. Are these positions reserved for doctoral students exclusively? 

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You should be able to find out by browsing their webpages, or perhaps by looking at student profiles. Some institutions do offer assistantships to M.A. students, and some do not.

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like Imaginary said, poking around on websites can be helpful. But I'd also suggest maybe talking to a professor who is in the same field as you are, if you can. I say this because they might know what the schools financial situation is like, and be able to give you an idea. And as it was said before, funded MA's are possible. It just depends on funding availability, and things like that.  

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Sometimes they do, but as others have said there is really no way to know without asking the specific university. These things can also vary from year to year.

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I am in a counseling M.A. program and have a psychology department Graduate Assistantship. So, yes, they are available depending on the university. 

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My department has very few PhD students and large cohorts of incoming undergrads (and a very weak union), so all MA students get TA-ships.

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I got an offer for MA admit that included a TAship. I decided to take a different offer, a PhD admit, which also included a TAship. I would think that your department contact could answer this question. In my case, the TAship, tuition remission, health insurance, etc. was contained in an offer letter that came from the department, several weeks (as I recall) after the official admission letter from the graduate school.

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Yes, you should definitely go for TA ship because I will help you in your career and if you are going for academics or post-graduation then it will be very beneficial 

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I will be entering my first year of a history M.A. in September, and I have three TAships over the next two years. 

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If you go to a school with a strong union TAships can pay really well too. I think a 50% TAship is about $2,050/mo at UCSD.

 

On the other hand if you go to a school with no union (like the one I am graduating from next week) you can make nearly nothing. My girlfriend is the instructor of record for two classes per semester and she makes about $900/mo.

Edited by twentysix

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My department doesn't offer any TA-ships due to funding, but I just snagged a TA position for a 1-credit course taught in a different department but the same college. Everyone in the college received an email regarding the TA position and I sent an email with a statement of interest and CV. This will be through work-study, not department funding.

Like everyone else has echoed, the specifics of TA-ing are hugely dependent on school and department, but if you do not get something in your department there may be ways to go through work-study or to be hired as a temporary employee.

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Does anyone here know whether Columbia GSAS offers TA-ships to terminal MA candidates?  (I've been emailing people in my department, but no response).  

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8 hours ago, Bodhicaryavatara said:

Does anyone here know whether Columbia GSAS offers TA-ships to terminal MA candidates?  (I've been emailing people in my department, but no response).  

It probably does depend on the department, but I also found this:

"Teaching Fellows in the Humanities and the Social Science departments are expected to have completed the first year of their graduate program at Columbia before being appointed to teaching assignments." (see https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/teaching/graduate-student-teaching-guidelines)

So, if humanities/social sciences is your field, looks like working as a TA might not be an option (if it is an option at all) until you're in your second year. Which I guess means it's a  no for student's in one-year programs. But again, as you suspected, someone in your department could probably answer this definitively. 

There's also more info on the types of funding offered by Columbia GSAS here: https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/financing-your-education/fellowship-categories.

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9 hours ago, slouching said:

It probably does depend on the department, but I also found this:

"Teaching Fellows in the Humanities and the Social Science departments are expected to have completed the first year of their graduate program at Columbia before being appointed to teaching assignments." (see https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/teaching/graduate-student-teaching-guidelines)

So, if humanities/social sciences is your field, looks like working as a TA might not be an option (if it is an option at all) until you're in your second year. Which I guess means it's a  no for student's in one-year programs. But again, as you suspected, someone in your department could probably answer this definitively. 

There's also more info on the types of funding offered by Columbia GSAS here: https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/financing-your-education/fellowship-categories.

My program is interdisciplinary.  

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Yes, but it depends on the uni. In my program, doctoral students have priority. However, I did get a TAship for this fall and I am a MSW student, but that's because a spot has opened and I was next on their priority list. 

Edited by Adelaide9216

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My MA was in a region studies program that had a TAship for a junior TT Faculty member in the philosophy department. I sat in on a 40+ undergrad class, answering basic questions and 'grading' homework. It consisted of looking for a quote, making sure it had a citation, checking the length, and flagging anything suspicious looking like plagaism. I was told to spend about 90 second max per written response. I was not allowed to officially grade exams, give out scores, or do anything "important". Those were college rules. It was weird. I gave a few short lectures, mostly connecting contemporary culture to historical philosophy. I held one or two review study groups and then office hours no one came to. I collected a check though! 

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