Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistantships (TA) are appointments for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Students interested in becoming a TA must fill out an application form. A new application must be completed every year. Please note that all TAs, regardless of experience, must be available to work one week before and one week after the course term.

Undergraduate students will be paid by the hour ($13.00). For graduate students, there are both paid and unpaid positions. It is possible to hold simultaneous TA and RA positions within any academic semester.

Only one application per student will be accepted. Email Therese Liffrig directly if you need to make changes after submission. 

To avoid scheduling conflicts, please make sure you check the class offerings for any class you want to TA before you apply.

APPLICATION FORM

ELEGIBILITY
The following are required to be eligible for a graduate student paid TA position:

  • Must be a full-time FScN student.
  • Must not hold any additional assistantships in excess of 50%.
  • Cannot be a TA while enrolled simultaneously in CPT, OPT or GRAD 0999.
  • All non-native speakers of English must have an English Language Proficiency (ELP) rating of 1 or 2 on file with the University at the time of application. You can also view SETTA testing information.

Undergraduate and volunteer graduate TA appointment eligibility requirements may vary. 

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS

  1. The Department Head established a preliminary number of TA positions for each class.
  2. Completed TA applications are distributed to course instructors based on which classes the applicant showed interest.
  3. Course instructors make recommendations as to who they would prefer to be a TA for that semester.
  4. The TA Coordinator and TA Committee takes all course instructor recommendations and determines appointment offers for each class.
  5. During the offer period, students are contacted by the Department Head with offers and asked to accept or reject within a certain time frame.
  6. Occasionally openings remain, or enrollments increase and assignments are made into the first week of classes.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Am I guaranteed a position if I apply?

Am I guaranteed a position if I apply?

No. The information provided on your application will be used as a guideline by professors to help determine the best placement for applicants. However, applying DOES NOT guarantee a TA position.

Professor X said I'd be a TA for their class, but my appointment offer is for something different. Who do I listen to?

Professor X said I'd be a TA for their class, but my appointment offer is for something different. Who do I listen to?

Only the Department Head can offer you a position, shared in your offer letter. Course instructors only recommend you for the job.

I haven't taken the Spoken English Test for TAs (SETTA) yet. Can I still apply for a position?

I haven't taken the Spoken English Test for TAs (SETTA) yet. Can I still apply for a position?

No. The department requires all non-native speaking applicants to have an ELP of 1 or 2 that can be confirmed by the University of Minnesota at the time of application.

Why does this appointment process take so long?

Why does this appointment process take so long?

There are many reasons why this takes so long. To start with, it's a multi-step process. Secondly, there are several people who must approve along the way. Lastly, candidates frequently drop out due to receiving RA positions. This causes some TAs to be reassigned and can create additional openings at the last minute.

I received an offer for a position. What does the appointment % mean?

I received an offer for a position. What does the appointment % mean?

All TA positions are assigned as percentages based on a 100%, 40-hours a week position. Listed below you will find the breakdown of the most common appointment. If you have further questions or fall into a different category than a 25% appointment, please visit Graduate Assistant Employment Services.
25% Appointment Means:

  • 10 hours of work per week (~196 hours per semester) - details should be discussed with the course instructor. Confirmed start and end dates of the position will be in the offer letter.
  • Eligibility for health insurance with the grad assistant health plan
  • 1/2 tuition waiver up to 14 credits and out-of-state tuition waiver
  • Monetary stipend, paid bi-weekly (for example, 196 hours @ $20.00/hr=$3,920)

What are my commitments as a TA?

What are my commitments as a TA?

It is our expectation that by accepting the offer, you are agreeing to the following commitments:

  • Be available to begin work on the official semester start date and continue until the official end of the semester, which is typically 1-2 weeks before and 1-2 weeks after the course start/finish date.
  • To complete the duties assigned by the course lead instructor
  • To be evaluated by the students of the course prior to the last day of classes

What will my job duties be?

What will my job duties be?

Each course will require responsibilities that will differ depending on the professor. Only they can answer when and how you will do things. Be sure to contact your professors to determine your responsibilities for your official first day.

What job benefits come with the appointment?

What job benefits come with the appointment?

All benefit questions should be directed to Graduate Assistant Employment Services.

How do I get paid?

How do I get paid?

FScN Payroll notifies you of your appointment and starts the hiring process by sending forms and information to the email address provided on your TA application. Watch your inbox for this email and be sure to reply in a timely manner. You must complete the hiring process before the first day of your appointment in order to prevent any delay in your pay and benefits. This is especially important for first-time University employees. 

How do I get a desk and office?

How do I get a desk and office?

We are no longer assigning individual desks or offices to TAs. Please talk to your instructor. 

What is Canvas and how do I get access?

What is Canvas and how do I get access?

Canvas is a course management system that allows users to create and manage online learning materials and activities. It is the job of the course instructor to determine users and request the course site from the University's Office of Information Technology (OIT). For more information, including user guides for both students and instructors, visit the Canvas website