Doctoral Program Teaching Requirement

Practical pedagogical experience is a program requirement in the doctoral programs in the Division of the Social Science. All Ph.D. students starting in 2007 and after must discharge the requirement.

1.) The minimum requirement is the equivalent of 5 teaching assistantship assignments. The entire requirement must be discharged by the beginning of the 6th year of study.

2) Only teaching positions qualify: course internships in the College’s core sequences, teaching assistantships, lectureships, preceptorships, graders and language lectors, and writing interns assigned to courses. Employment as workshop coordinators, lab or research assistants, program administrators, etc. does not qualify, even if there is significant contact with students. Enrollment in a training program or seminar to prepare a student to take up teaching responsibilities does not qualify as part of this teaching requirement. The teaching positions must be either in the College or in the Division of the Social Sciences. Positions in graduate courses in other divisions or in the professional schools or the Graham School do not qualify.

3) A lectureship is the equivalent of 2 TA assignments. A preceptorship equals a TA assignment quarter-by-quarter: a yearlong preceptorship is the equivalent of 3 TA assignments. An assignment as grader is equivalent to one-half teaching assistantship. Students receive remuneration for teaching service.

4) The standard configuration for the teaching component is 2 assignments in the 3rd year of study, 2 in the 4th year of study, and 1 in the 5th year. However, students are free to discharge the teaching requirement on a different schedule, according to their needs and opportunities. Students are remunerated for teaching assignments as they take them. Students must meet the full requirement by the beginning of the 6th year of study.

5) Divisional/University fellowships incorporate the standard teaching configuration. The fellowship stipend amount in the student’s 3rd and 4th years of study will be the fellowsip’s prescribed level of support for the year less the amount then standard for remuneration for 2 TA assignments in each year. In the student’s 5th year of study, the stipend amount will be the fellowship’s prescribed level of support for the year less the amount then standard for remuneration for 1 TA assignment. Fellowship stipends will be disbursed on this schedule regardless of the student’s actual TA assignment and remuneration.

6) Students may take no more than 4 assignments in an academic year, and no more than 2 assignments in any one quarter. With the exception of lectureships and preceptorships, students must petition the Dean of Students in the Social Sciences to hold a teaching position that will exceed the total of 5 points altogether before the beginning of the 6th year of study. Students may take lectureships and preceptorships without petitioning.

7) Where a division or university fellowship is combined with an external fellowship, the division or university’s portion of the fellowship stipend will follow the standard pattern of stipend disbursement that incorporates the teaching component, to the extent possible. Where the division does not provide any portion of a fellowship stipend, the full external stipend will be disbursed, but the teaching requirement (with remuneration) is still a condition of both good progress and any divisional support after the tenure of the external fellowship.

8) Students must have taken the equivalent of at least 3 TA assignments to be eligible for financial aid for the 5th year of study, including fellowship stipends, travel and research grants, and dissertation write-up fellowships. A student who holds a ‘terminal’ dissertation completion fellowship in the fifth year will not be required to discharge the remaining TA assignments. Students must have fulfilled the entire teaching requirement to be eligible for grants and fellowship support, including dissertation fellowships, beyond the fifth year of study.

9) Students who apply for pro forma status in the fifth year of study must have held at least 3 TA assignments and made adequate arrangements to take the remaining assignments upon their return from pro forma.

10) A student who has not met the entire teaching requirement by the beginning of the 6th year will not be eligible for the standard provision of advanced residence aid without an approved plan to discharge the requirement.

11) It is the responsibility of students to seek teaching assignments through standard processes in a timely manner. Neither the College nor the psychology department assigns students to positions without application from the student.

Applying for Teaching Assistantships

In April, graduate students apply for departmental teaching opprtunities for the upcoming academic year. Students are notified of assignments at the end of spring quarter. Most TA assignments involve leading a weekly discussion section, preparing one or more course lectures, holding office hours and review sessions, and grading. Students are able to rank their choices for assignments, but priority is given to those students who still must complete their GAI (Graduate Aid Initiative) teaching requirements.

Course Internships and Lectureships in the Social Science Division

Interns serve in the College’s Social Sciences Core or Civilization sequences. Interns are apprentices to the faculty in whose course they have been appointed. They are expected to learn from the supervising faculty member how to teach a course in the Core Curriculum to a small number of students in a seminar-style discussion class. Members of the faculty who have interns assigned to them retain full responsibility for all aspects of the course. Interns may be asked to assist the supervising faculty member in certain regards, but their main responsibility is to learn how to teach the course on their own.

Graduate students who have completed internships in SSCD Core courses are eligible to apply for appointment as freestanding lecturers in the sequence in which they interned.

Lecturers have full responsibility for teaching one or more sections of an SSCD Core course in the social sciences or civilization studies for one or more quarters. Within limits established by tradition, faculty consensus, and a syllabus of shared readings, lecturers have discretion to teach the course as they prefer. In order to maintain the intellectual and pedagogical cohesion of the curriculum, lecturers are expected to participate in the meetings of the staff teaching the course to which they have been appointed.

Students apply for course internships and lectureships in the SSCD.

John Dewey Prize Lectureships

Advanced graduate students in the Department of Psychology who are close to completing their dissertation are eligible to apply for a John Dewey Lectureship in the Department of Psychology and the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. This award supports development and presentation of a one-quarter undergraduate course that is relevant to the needs of the Department’s undergraduate curriculum. Up to two lectureships will be awarded. 

Prospective candidates should note that the award is intended to provide experience in teaching undergraduate course material that they may need competence in for future academic employment. They should conceive of the course they propose as an opportunity to engage a class in studying general issues in the field to which their dissertation is meant to contribute.

The Lectureships are announced in mid-November each year. Applications may be obtained from Mimi Maduff in Beecher Hall, B109. The deadline is usually at the end of winter quarter.

University of Chicago Summer Session Courses

Summer Session courses are those with broad, general appeal: for instance, courses that undergraduate students need to fulfill Common Core or major requirements, and that would appeal to students looking to transfer the credit to degree programs at other institutions (such as visiting undergraduates and academically advanced high school students). Course proposals are reviewed by the Psychology Department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee in early October. Courses that meet the departmental curricular needs and standard are then forwarded on to the Graham School for review.

Resources for Teaching