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Teaching Fellows & Requirements

Learning to teach is an essential component of academic training and professional development. As a Teaching Fellow, you will learn, under faculty guidance, to become an effective teacher and to evaluate student work. Teaching requirements vary by program and discipline, but most Ph.D. candidates will teach at least one to four courses.

Teaching for the first time can be a little overwhelming, but we have many advisers, mentors, and resources to help prepare and guide you along the way. 

Teaching Fellows - An Overview of the Timeline and Resources 

  1. Understand Your Program's Teaching Requirements. Familiarize yourself with the teaching requirement for your specific program, as outlined in the Programs & Policies handbook.
  2. Communicate Early and Often with Your Program. Be in touch with your program registrar or the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) at least one term in advance of teaching, to ensure that you understand the timeline, expectations, and teaching opportunities.
    1. In Humanities and Social Science programs, begin coordinating your teaching assignment in the spring of your second year.
    2. In Natural and Biological Sciences programs, you may teach as early as your first term. Most students will begin teaching by the second year. 
  3. Teaching Appointment Letter. You will receive a formal appointment letter by email once your teaching assignment is confirmed. The verification email will include important details about your teaching assignment, including the course name, instructor name, teaching level and type

Confirmed appointment letters are typically sent to Teaching Fellows in:

  • early August for Fall term courses
  • mid-December for Spring term courses
  1. Required Workshop for New Teaching Fellows. Teaching @Yale Day (@TYD) is required for all first-time Teaching Fellows and Part-Time Acting Instructors. Be sure to register and attend. Other Yale graduate students, professional students, and postdocs are welcome to attend, but registration is limited.
  2. Connect with your Faculty Instructor. Consult with the instructor of the course regularly, as they will serve as your primary guide and mentor. The Graduate School encourages Teaching Fellows and instructors to meet informally to discuss teaching by providing free meals:
  • FEAST for Teaching  Faculty instructors are encouraged to request free lunch cards for their Teaching Fellows to facilitate discussions about teaching issues once a month or four times each term.
  • Meals for Mentoring – You or a faculty member can request a free lunch together at select dining facilities on campus, up to twice each term. 
  1. Details. Details. Details. 
  • Review your semi-monthly pay slip. 
  • Note that teaching fellows typically have tax withheld and this may affect your income tax returns.
  • Consult the Deans' Expectations for Faculty and Teaching Fellows memo, sent at the beginning of each term.
  • Fill out the survey you will receive once the term begins, so we will know if your  teaching assignment is accurate and appropriate, and if it meets the expected level of effort (TF10/20).
  • At the end of the term, your undergraduate students will have the opportunity to submit an evaluation of your work as a Teaching Fellow. The University Registrar's Office will notify you by email when the results are available, so that you may integrate the feedback into future teaching assignments. 

Looking for Teaching Opportunities?

Search the Graduate Student Teaching Opportunities site to explore positions for graduate and professional students.

For Graduate Students and Teaching Fellows - Other Resources and Links:

  • Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning offers workshops, guides, and resources to help graduate Teaching Fellows improve their skills. 
  • Canvas @ Yale: Instructors may use Canvas to share access to the online syllabus, message boards, and other course details with Teaching Fellows.
  • Yale Course Search: Find course descriptions, schedules, and more in the online course catalog for the University.
  • Prize Teaching Fellows are nominated by their undergraduate students to honor outstanding graduate student instructors.
  • The Graduate School's Programs and Policies outline policies governing teaching appointments. 
  • Undergraduate Learning Assistants, funded through the Teaching Fellow program, enables some Yale College students to provide instructional assistance.

For Registrars, Staff, and Faculty:

Teaching Fellow System enables FAS departments and programs, and some professional schools, to make teaching assignments, send appointment letters, and administer payroll for Teaching Fellows. 

Problems? Questions? Concerns?

If you have any questions or issues please contact us at teaching.fellows@yale.edu or by calling 203-432-2757.