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Teaching Assistantships, the main source of financial support for graduate students in the Department, are available to some MA and MFA students; with some program–specific exceptions and pending annual renewals, the positions are typically offered for two years. All decisions regarding assistantships are made by the Graduate Admissions Committees on the basis of academic or creative accomplishment (derived from the applicant´s transcripts, writing samples, letters of recommendation, and goal statement) and teaching ability or potential (derived from the applicant´s previous teaching experience, if any, and from letters of recommendation).
Each two-semester TA provides a stipend and waiver of the tuition fee (out-of-state or in-state) and a waiver of the registration fee, in compensation for teaching three credits per semester assigned by the department. On rare occasions, the Department offers one-semester assistantships. Other fees charged by the University are not included in the fee waiver package. For more detailed information on these fees, please see Student Tuition & Fees. Teaching assistants are required to register for at least 6 credits each semester.
Teaching Assistants almost without exception teach Composition. All TAs must participate in a five-day training the week before Fall semester begins, as well as a semester-long seminar devoted to the pedagogies and theories of Composition and Rhetoric, and thus all will work closely with and follow the program policies delineated by the Director of Composition.
Students who have received a TAship in their first year can apply for one in their second year by submitting a short letter requesting renewal to the Graduate Chair, which is typically due in the first week of January. Renewals are evaluated on the basis of satisfactory course work, progress toward the degree, and teaching performance during the preceding year; assistantships are never awarded for more than two years. Second-year renewals are the norm in the M.F.A. program and in the M.A. Literature program. The M.A. Teaching program normally offers their assistantships for one year.
All applicants for a Teaching Assistantship (including MFA applicants) must upload a sample of their expository writing (essay, term paper, research paper, etc.). MFA applicants for Teaching Assistantships must upload an expository writing sample of 7-15 pages. It need not be from an English course, so long as you believe it fairly represents your writing ability. If you are applying for or are already in any of the MA programs, the expository writing sample you submitted in your application for that program may also serve for this assistantship application; thus you need submit only one copy of that sample.