B. Teaching Assistants

(1)   Description

Teaching assistants engage in the same kinds of supervised instruction as teaching fellows but are not eligible for teaching fellow appointments or for membership in the HGSU-UAW. I.e., they are individuals who are not enrolled at Harvard, or they are students enrolled in the Division of Continuing Education, or they are students in Harvard non-degree programs outside of GSAS. Ordinarily, teaching assistants will have received at least the AB before the appointment begins. TAs may or may not hold a doctorate.

Appointments are submitted as TA Hire actions via AURORA per the TF/TA Appointment Schedule set annually by OUE. TAships are effective only during the term of teaching, are generally part-time, and are ordinarily limited to four academic years, dependent upon the individual’s remaining eligibility within the FAS eight-year rule (see "Appointment Parameters"). Whether appointed for a single semester or both, any appointment within an academic year will result in that year counting as a full year of teaching for the purpose of this requirement. After the fourth year of teaching, if the individual is judged to be critical to the course, exception approval can be sought to teach additional years, up to a cumulative total of eight years.

(2)   Appointment Process

Candidates are selected by course heads on the basis of teaching ability and other criteria. No formal search is required.

Information for department administrators about teaching assistantships is also available on the Office of Undergraduate Education website: https://oue.fas.harvard.edu/tfta-instructional-support. Zoe Fonseca-Kelly, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, can also be contacted (zoefonseca-kelly@g.harvard.edu) with any procedural questions about teaching assistant appointments. 

(3)   Salary

The salary is based on a two-step scale that is set annually. Teaching assistants are paid at the junior rate unless they have completed two years of study toward an advanced degree relevant to the teaching assignment, or taught two years at the university level.

(4)   Documentation Requirements

GSAS reviews each pending TA Hire action in AURORA to confirm the following:

  • The hire is eligible to serve as TA:
    • Is not an active student in GSAS or a graduate degree program in a Harvard School other than DCE
    • Holds a bachelor’s degree
    • Has served as a TA for less than four years; if TA has served for greater that four years, an exception approval must be attached
  • The TA is eligible for their pay rate. For senior rate, they must have one of the following:
    • Two years of graduate study in a related field
    • Two years of relevant teaching experience post-grad; or
    • A PhD
  • The total FTE (including any other concurrent jobs at Harvard) will not exceed 1.0; exceptions must include necessary approval(s)
    • Please note: If the total FTE will exceed 1.0 and a postdoc or research role is involved, additional approval from Research Administration is needed

To facilitate GSAS review, TA hire actions must include (as attached documents):

A.  A letter of support from the department (one letter per academic year) confirming:

a.  The need to seek someone outside of the pool of Harvard graduate students (none found/were available/qualified to fill the role)

b.  That all guaranteed teaching needs for students have been met

B.  A current CV (one copy per academic year)

C.  Any necessary exception approvals, the most common of which include:

a.  Time over 1.0 FTE

i.  Research Administration approval if TA holds a postdoc or RA position and will be exceeding 1.0 FTE

b.  TA teaching more than four years

Letter of support and current CV are only required with the first hire of the academic year and not for subsequent TA hire actions for the same person.