The English Department offers three types of assistantships on a competitive basis to graduate students: graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are available to first-year students. GAs serve up to 20 hours per week as consultants in the University Writing Center and complete a 1-hour course on writing center theory and practice as part of their position. GAs also take three graduate courses per semester. GAs receive a stipend of $9000 per year.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Graduate Teaching Faculty Associate (GTFA) positions are available to graduate students with a minimum of 18 graduate hours in English. GTFAs teach two classes per semester in consultation with a faculty mentor. If positions are available, interested GTFAs with prior experience may also apply to serve as consultants in the University Writing Center in lieu of an assigned course section. GTFAs take two graduate courses per semester. The stipend for a GTFA is $9500 per year.

Research Assistantships

Research Assistantships (RAs) provide students the opportunity to assist with the research of a faculty member. RA's are required to provide 20 hours of work per week, and they receive a stipend of $9000 per year.



The aim of these appointments is to offer undergraduate composition students the best instruction while also offering support and professional development opportunities to outstanding graduate students.

  • First-Year Graduate Assistants who plan to work in the University Writing Center must enroll in 5120: Teaching in the Writing Center. They work in the UWC and attend meetings of the UWC staff.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Graduate students who plan to teach Expository Writing must enroll in R_C 5122: Teaching 1000; graduate students planning to teach Introduction to Writing Across the Curriculum must enroll in R_C 5124: Teaching R_C 2001. Each of these is a one hour credit course. TAs are expected to attend class, TA and composition staff meetings, and faculty development events. Other TA possibilities include administrative internships and teaching 0900 (which includes enrolling in 5120, Teaching 0900). These appointments may be at the invitation of the Writing Center Director, the WAC Director, the Composition Program Director or through application by experienced TAs.
  • Research Assistantships: RAs do research and editorial work with English faculty.


Applications for GA's, TA's and RA's are accepted once a year, in spring before the fall semester in which the assistantship begins.

  • GA's in most cases are recruited by the Graduate Director, consulting with the Writing Center director and the Composition Program Coordinator on the basis of GRE scores, transcripts, and letters of application and reference.
  • The Director will call for TA and RA applications in early spring for the next academic year. Applicants for TA and RA should send a letter, writing sample, and a list of references from the graduate faculty who can address the applicant's writing strengths and suitability for teaching composition.

In the application letter, students should indicate which type of assistantship they are applying for and describe their qualifications for the position. The Graduate Director will meet with the Writing Center Director and Composition Program Director to review applications and make appointments. Because of the scope of orientation and professional development activities for Writing Center and composition teaching, GA's and TA's will keep their work appointments for the school year rather than change duties except in extraordinary circumstances.

To apply for a TAship, a student must have completed 18 hours and R_C 5100. In addition, TA's must be strong writers with speaking and social skills suitable to successful teaching (such as those outlined in the Graduate School TA evaluation form). The recommendation of the student's 5100 teacher is a requirement for appointment.

Reappointment to TA positions: In most cases, successful first-year TAs will be reappointed if they are making successful progress toward the degree. We will ask that candidates apply by letter, and the review committee will review evaluations.

RAs are appointed by the Graduate Director.


  • GAs in the UWC will be evaluated by the Writing Center Director through the 5120 grade and the evaluation form provided by the Graduate School.
  • TAs will be evaluated by their mentors each semester (who teach 5122 and 5124) through the course grade and the form to the Graduate School. TA evaluations will also include a narrative which addresses the areas we have indicated for evaluation for composition teachers.
  • RAs will be evaluated by the Graduate Director and the faculty they work with through the form to the Graduate School.