How to get Teaching Assistantship (TA) in Graduate School USA ? Planning ?
One of the best sources of funding in Graduate school when pursuing Masters program like MS or MBA is to get a Teaching Assistantship. Many students do not exactly understand the way how they are awarded and how to plan or prepare yourself to get one. I will share few thoughts on How TA awarding works and what they look for, etc. If you are not sure what TA is, read this article : Teaching Assistantship (TA), GA Funding in US
What are the requirements to get Teaching Assistantship (TA) ?
TA is awarded based one or more of the following requirements below:
You will be eligible to be TA for a particular class
- If you have taken that particular class and got a good grade (Ideally “A” or “ A—“ )
- If you have taken a more advanced class than that particular class you are applying to be TA. i.e. if you have taken 700 level class and applying for a 400 level class in the same area, then you will be eligible. E.g. If you have 700 Computer Graphics, then you are eligible for 400 Computer Graphics. Read this article for Course Numbering System 100 – 900 in US
- If you have taken a similar class in your home country with most of the topics covered.
- If you have any research publications related to that topics tied to that class
- If you have some significant work experience in the area of the class you plan to be TA.
- If you are in the first semester and applying for TA, then your Academics percentage, GRE and TOEFL scores may be considered.
How to prepare yourself or Plan to get a Teaching Assistantship(TA)?
Many people do not properly plan for TA, that’s the reason they do not funding. Most of the times now-a-days it is not very common to get TA awarded right in your I20 along with your admission. Typically, students would study for one semester and then you apply for TA. Here is what you should do:
- Many students overlook the importance of taking right classes for funding. You should plan to take classes, where you see an option for TA openings in next semester. Think of it, if your senior at school has a TA for a class and he is there for next couple semesters there is no way you are going to get that TA. He has experience and most likely professors will keep their previous TA. So, if you take a class that, that is waste of your time for funding. You should take classes where your seniors will be graduating and there is potential chance of vacancy. You should talk to seniors to get this info about which courses TA will graduate in next semester.
- You should take advanced level classes that are tied an Undergraduate class. The key is, if you take a 700 level class with a 400 level prerequisite, you can apply for 400 level class if you get good grade in 700 level class.
- Having good Academic percentage or grade, GRE scores will help you distinguish.
- If you have option to do research or do conference publications, do them with your professor. You can show them to US professors and ask for funding
- Your work experience also helps. If you have option to teach to someone in Summer break or any teaching experience, it may help.
Bottom line, proper planning of classes by talking to seniors will help you get TA. Make sure you get an”A” Grade in the class.
Do you have any other tips for getting TA ?
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