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GTF/GTA Information

Graduate Teaching Fellow (GTF)

Some departments on campus use Graduate Teaching Fellows to teach introductory courses as the Professor of Record.  A Graduate Teaching Fellow is a student in her or his second (or, for the MFA, third) year of study who has demonstrated clear mastery of her or his discipline, along with excellent presentation, interpersonal and organizational skills.  As is the case for a GTA, a Graduate Teaching Fellowship is an honor reserved only for our best students.  To be selected, the student must have successfully completed at least 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline in which she or he is expected to teach, be enrolled full-time (for no more nor less than 9 graduate credit hours per semester), and have successfully undergone pedagogical training with mentoring.  While the GTF will have primary responsibility for the course being taught, weekly formal mentoring by a full-time faculty member is required.  GTFs will only be selected if they clearly have the ability to balance their own academic responsibilities with those of their assignment. GTFs will receive on-going feedback from their mentor and must be formally evaluated by their mentor and their students.

GTFs currently receive a stipend of $8,700 per year ($4,350/semester) plus an in-state tuition award ($6,000 for the academic year, or $3,000 per semester) applied directly to their tuition bill.  GTFs enrolled may pay the remainder of their tuition based on in-state tuition rates.  It is expected that GTFs will teach two sections of a 100-level (or, with prior approval from the Graduate College, a 200-level) course each semester as Professor of Record.  This category is very limited, with assignments given only in circumstances where there is a compelling reason for a student to serve as the Professor of Record.

GTFs are required to be on campus for training during the week before classes begin in the Fall. Specific programs will notify GTFs of training dates.  A contract for a GTF runs from the Monday of the week before classes begin till the day grades are due.

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA)

A limited number of academic programs recommend students for Graduate Teaching Assistantships, typically for a student’s first year of study.  Program Coordinators work closely with other faculty in their department when selecting teaching assistants.  A GTA can be awarded to a student to work within an academic department to directly assist with undergraduate teaching. Serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for a University course is a demanding responsibility, reserved for only our best students.  A GTA will directly and regularly assist an instructor with teaching responsibilities for two sections of a course each semester.  This usually involves instructing two labs, discussion groups, clinicals or other equivalent activities for a course in which the instructor conducts the main lectures.  Though some teaching may and should be required, a GTA is not responsible for the conduct of a course or for assigning final grades. Specific course sections are assigned by the Graduate Program Coordinator or an assigned teaching mentor based upon the needs of the department. A GTA will report directly to her or his teaching mentor and must have weekly contact with that mentor.  A GTA must be formally evaluated by his or her mentor each semester. 

Ideally, a GTA is in training to become the “Professor of Record” for an introductory course in his or her second year and earn the title of Graduate Teaching Fellow.  Not all graduate programs have Teaching Fellows.  Reappointment as a GTA or appointment to a Teaching Fellowship is competitive and, therefore, not guaranteed.

In order to receive a Graduate Teaching Assistantship, a student must be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours, but no more than 12 graduate credit hours.  The stipend for a GTA is $8,000 for 20 hours of work per week for the academic year ($4,000 each semester), plus a $3,000 in-state tuition award ($1,500 per semester) applied directly to the tuition bill.  GTAs enrolled for only 9 credit hours in a term may pay the remainder of their tuition based on in-state tuition rates.  GTAs enrolled in more than 9 credit hours in a term must pay the additional tuition based upon their status as residents or non-residents of Virginia.

GTAs are required to be on campus for training during the week before classes begin in the Fall. Specific programs or the Graduate College will notify GTAs of training dates.  New GTAs are also required to meet with their teaching mentor and attend a Graduate College Orientation for Teaching Assistants during this week or the weekend before classes begin, at a time to be announced.  A contract for a GTA runs from the Monday during the week before classes begin till the day grades are due.