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Teaching at Brown

Teaching is an integral part of graduate training in most doctoral programs at Brown, and most of the students in these programs are expected to teach as part of their professional training and scholarly apprenticeship. Teaching assistantships and teaching fellowships are service awards made by programs to students in good standing. Appointments are made by the Graduate School on the basis of departmental recommendation.

Graduate student Teaching Assistants (TAs) are responsible for assisting a faculty member both inside and outside the classroom on all work related to the teaching of a particular course. Work may vary depending on the teaching needs of the individual department. TAs work with a faculty member and do not bear primary responsibility for the design or implementation of a course.

The duties of a TA vary across courses and departments and may include some classroom teaching, the presentation of occasional lectures, leading discussion sections, preparing and supervising labs, conducting tutorials and holding office hours and grading papers, problem sets, quizzes, and examinations.

Programs make every effort to assign graduate students to courses according to their interests broadly defined; however, the need to cover courses and to broaden student teaching experiences may appropriately affect teaching assignments. A full appointment usually requires at least 18 hours of work per week, but should not exceed a maximum of 20 hours per week over the course of the term.

A teaching assistant who is an advanced doctoral student with at least two years of teaching experience and is responsible for the design and instruction of their own course or is mentoring a team of Teaching Assistants in a large course (more than 300 enrolled students) may qualify to be appointed as a Teaching Fellow. Programs must provide justification when recommending that an advanced doctoral student be appointed as a Teaching Fellow on the Teaching Assistant appointment form.