2.4. What can I do to increase my chances of getting a TA offer?

Here are a number of items:

  • Be familiar with all the criteria listed in the TA offer process and criteria section.
  • Submit your application on time and make sure it is complete, accurate, and up to date. Although applications are accepted at any time, your chances are best if you submit your application prior to the deadline for the initial round of offers. This deadline is announced by e-mail sent to the CS grads mailing list. Remember that applications are not kept from year to year, so you need to reapply in the Spring for next Fall's positions. (However, applications received for Fall semester are kept on file for Spring, so you do NOT need to reapply for Spring if you have already applied for Fall.)
  • If you are a student whose native language is not English, make sure you have passed the University's TA English requirements by passing the TOEFL or SETTA test, or by participating in the University's TA English courses. If you must take the SETTA test, take it as soon as you can since it takes 2-3 weeks for us to get the results. If you have passed the test or the English class with a low score, consider retaking the test or class to earn a higher score.
  • Include a good number of preferences in your application. Also list a variety of classes in terms of level and area. Some students put too few preferences, which limits their chances. Occasionally students put too many, listing classes they did poorly in or classes they are really not interested in TAing.
  • Do well in the courses you take, and make suitable degree progress.
  • If you are a current TA, do an excellent (not just OK) job in your current assignment.
  • Work on your teaching background and potential. For example, attend workshops sponsored by the department or Center for Educational Innovation. Or take a class on teaching. Teaching improvement classes and workshops can be reported in the "other information" space at the end of the TA application form.