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Note: The annual deadline to apply for an assistantship is January 15.

Teaching Assistantship

ENGL 516 class, photo by Kristen McPeek

The M.A. in Technical Communication (MATC) program offers teaching assistantships over a two-year period. The positions are competitive, and the number of new assistantships available each fall varies. Assistantships carry stipends of at least $10,451 per year plus a waiver of in-state or out-of-state tuition and fees. They are renewable for a second year given satisfactory performance in both teaching and graduate coursework.

Graduate teaching assistants teach three courses a year, starting with one course in their first semester. In a week-and-a-half workshop before classes begin in the fall, and in a course during their first semester (ENGL 598), they receive intensive training in teaching freshman composition, including mentoring in pedagogy and composition and rhetorical theory. MATC teaching assistants may use ENGL 598 as an elective course toward their MATC.

Teaching assistants receive intensive training in teaching freshman composition and work with a faculty mentor as well as peers in the teaching assistantship program. MATC teaching assistants have the opportunity to teach an introductory technical communication course in their second year.

Writing Center Assistantships

In addition to the teaching assistantships, the MATC program also offers competitive assistantships in the Writing Center, which carry the same stipend and waiver of tuition/fees. Students interested in this position must apply for a teaching assistantship, but also include an additional page in their application that discusses their experience with and interest in writing center work (see directions below). This assistantship may be renewed for a second year, given satisfactory performance in the Center and in graduate work, but a student may choose to switch to a teaching assistantship instead.

The graduate writing center assistant is responsible for holding several consultation hours in the Center each week, for mentoring new consultants, for designing and producing resource materials for students and professors, and for helping the Director coordinate writing workshops and Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) activities. Previous experience in a writing center is highly encouraged.

How to Apply for Assistantships


To apply for a Teaching Assistantship, submit the following materials online through the Graduate College Graduate Admissions Application system at

  1. Submit all required MATC program application materials, by January 15, in addition to the following materials.
  2. Compose a one-page, single-spaced statement indicating why you would like this assistantship, what special qualifications you bring to it, and how the experience will affect your later professional plans. If you are interested in the Writing Center Assistantship, include a second one-page, single-spaced statement that discusses any previous writing center experience you have had and tells why you would like to be considered for this position.
  3. Complete the Teaching Assistantship for English Composition Application form. Your responses to the questions and the student essay in this application offer us more information about your background. We believe that as writers and students you have had enough experience to assess how a piece of writing can be improved.

Submit the above materials online through the Graduate College Graduate Admissions Application system. Students are responsible for making sure that all application materials have been received.


To apply for a Teaching Assistantship, complete the following steps:

  • Complete items 2-3 above.
  • Obtain three letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic work.

For current students, all Assistantship application materials must be submitted directly to the Director of the M.A. in English.

Students are responsible for making sure that all application materials have been received.

Students who secure an assistantship are also eligible to apply for the Graduate Residential Scholars Program (GRSP). Participants in Graduate Residential Scholars Program live in an on-campus residential community of graduate students representing diverse backgrounds and disciplinary interests. Each scholar must first be awarded a graduate assistantship from their program; the total award of the assistantship and the GRSP award includes a stipend, full waiver of tuition and fees, and free housing in the new and fully furnished University Park apartments.

GRSP awards will be made to new graduate students from programs across the campus. Applications–including both the full Teaching Assistantship application and the separate GRSP application–from students who wish to be considered must be in the hands of the Director of the M.A. in English by January 15.

To apply to the GSRP meet the requirements listed on the Graduate College website as well as meet the English Department deadline of January 15 for ALL materials for admission and assistantship to be submitted.