The TF Allocation Process


Enrolled full-time students in residence who have met program requirements and are in years 3 and above are eligible to TF, with priority given to students in their 3rd and 4th year. Students may not teach when receiving their UDF or any other fellowship that prohibits teaching.


In years 3 and 4, unless taking a UDF or outside fellowship, students are required to TF in order to receive their university teaching fellowship. In these years, students are guaranteed to be paid even if they cannot be placed in a TF position, and their level of support is independent of the particular TF assignment.

When beyond the five years of university fellowship funding offered at admission, students are paid based on their particular TF assignment (number of sections, level, see here: Teaching Fellow Levels)

Assignment Process:

The department registrar sends an announcement email to all students on the PS-Announce Mailman list twice a year (July AND November). Students are directed to an online survey that lists anticipated available TF slots by course and the type of position (e.g., grader, writing-intensive TF, section leaders). Students then indicate their preference by ranking TF positions from most to least preferred.

The department registrar sends lists of interested students to faculty for their review. Faculty may indicate preferred TFs or recommend that students not be assigned to their courses.

The DGS, in cooperation with the program registrar, assigns graduate students to available TF slots. Students are assigned to slots in reverse seniority order. (Some students do not teach in years 3 or 4 because they have outside funding. In those cases, students may defer their associated teaching fellowship funding up until the end of the sixth year.  Deferred teaching fellowships retain the allocation priority associated with fellowship.) This process takes into account student preferences and, if deemed appropriate, faculty preferences.

The department registrar notifies students of their initial TF assignments. If the student wishes to decline the offered position, he/she should notify the registrar immediately.

Post-Assignment Review and Changes:

TF assignments are not guaranteed, although every effort will be made to keep students in their initial positions. Students may be reassigned or have their level reduced if their original course is canceled or enrollment is lower than anticipated. Students may also be removed from a course if it is necessary to place a student in a course during their guaranteed funding period.