student writing in journal

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The department offers graduate teaching assistantships to those M.A. or Ph.D. candidates whose application materials and prior experience suggest the ability to create and teach first- and second-year composition courses. Through an orientation and active support systems, the assistantship invites students to engage with the range of options available to teachers of college-level reading and writing. Specifically, we encourage GTAs to develop individual teaching strategies that take full advantage of relationships between and among personal, professional, and ideological ways of reading and writing.

Graduate teaching assistantships can be offered to qualified students in Language and Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, and to those pursuing interdisciplinary Ph.D.s. The graduate committee evaluates applications for the fall semester in February. Please consult graduate application materials for specific deadlines. The average assistantship is offered for two years (or four semesters) but may be offered and accepted for a lesser term at the discretion of the committee. Under special circumstances, assistantships may be offered for research duties.

First-year graduate teachers must undergo a rigorous pre-semester orientation and attend mentoring meetings twice monthly with the GTA mentor and fellow graduate teachers. GTAs are also required to enroll in English 5519: Problems in Teaching English. During their first year, graduate teachers are responsible for preparing and teaching English 110 in the fall semester and English 225 in the spring semester. During their second year, graduate teachers continue to teach first- and second-year courses and are also responsible for an additional service assignment to be chosen by the Director of Graduate Studies. Graduate teaching assistants are remunerated at $4,000 per semester and the remission of six hours of tuition. Students holding an assistantship are expected to take at least six hours per semester. Teaching and research assistants are evaluated by the Director of Composition and/or the GTA mentor during the spring semester of each year.

The deadline for GTA applications is January 15.

Click here for the GTA Application

Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowships

Every year, the Department of English will select one or two I.Ph.D. students who do not currently hold GT positions as Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellows. The Davis Fellows will receive a stipend of 8,000 for teaching one course per semester during the year of the fellowship.

Davis Fellows will also choose a teaching mentor. The Mentor and Fellow will meet two to three times each semester to help plan courses and discuss pedagogical issues. The mentor will observe the Fellow’s class at least once during the year and write a teaching observation letter to be kept in the Fellow’s file.

Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis once a year. Students may reapply for the awards, but applicants who have not previously held the fellowship will receive priority consideration. Students without other University funding will also be privileged.

The deadline for Ilus Davis applications is March 1.

Applications should include:

  • An Ilus Davis application. Submit to English I.Ph.D coordinator
  • 250-500 word statement explaining what role the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship will play in the applicant’s development as a teacher and scholar
  • A sample course syllabus and rationale
  • A teaching observation letter (or general recommendation letter if a teaching letter is unavailable).
  • Click here for the Ilus Davis application.

Application Form

GTA Application (PDF)

Ilus Davis Application (PDF)

Helpful Resources

Grad Resource

Getting into Grad School

Purdue’s Online Writing Lab

Contact Info

Director of Graduate Studies

Dr. John Barton
Cockefair Hall 112

Contact Info

English Department