Ph.D. Teaching Assistant Policy

All students seeking the Ph.D. degree will serve as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for at least one, but not more than two, semesters. Additional elective experience as a TA may be completed, if agreed upon by the student, research mentor and instructor of record of the prospective course.
Each student enrolled in the graduate program in nutritional sciences, seeking the Ph.D. degree, is strongly advised to complete the TA assignment during the second and/or third year of their Ph.D. program.
The TA assignment will be made in consultation with the individual student, student’s research mentor, instructor of record of the course and the Professor-in-Charge of the GPN. Assignments to TA positions will be made no less than 12 weeks in advance of the semester in which the student will serve as a TA to allow coordination with the student’s classes and research assignments, research mentor’s expectations and the prospective instructor of record for the course.

This policy applies to Ph.D. students enrolled in the graduate program, beginning with the Fall 2010 semester. Students must complete this TA requirement no later than nine months before the final oral examination (dissertation defense). Students who do not fulfill the TA requirement will not be allowed to schedule the final oral examination.

Expectations and Duties of TA

Each student will engage in duties assigned by the instructor of record for the course to which the TA has been assigned. Duties required of the TA will be determined and agreed upon by the instructor of record and TA before the first class session of the semester. Duties may include all of the following or a combination of the following activities.

  • Attend class lectures [up to three (3) hours per week]
  • Assist with preparing course assignments and examinations
  • Assist with administering course assignments and examinations
  • Assist with grading of course assignments and examinations
  • Prepare and conduct study, review and/or recitation sessions
  • Present up to six lectures
  • Coordinate work of undergraduate TAs when needed
  • Hold one office hour per week
  • Write a reflection paper on the TA experience (details to be provided by instructor of record)

Course Credit

Each student assigned as a TA will enroll in NUTR 602 for 2 credits. To earn these 2 credits, 6 to 7 hours of work per week must be performed. The instructor of record for the course to which the TA has been assigned will be responsible for assigning a letter grade for the TA at the end of the semester in which the TA requirement has been completed. This instructor of record will also provide a letter of formative evaluation to the assigned TA by the end of the semester. If the TA assignment also fulfills Didactic Program in Dietetics course requirement, the instructor of record will provide a letter of documentation of course completion to the Didactic Program in Dietetics Director by the end of the semester. The TA may also complete the didactic course, NUTR 589, Fundamentals of College Teaching in Nutritional Sciences, for 3 credits; however, completion of this didactic course is not a pre-requisite or co-requisite for completing the TA experience.