Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching assistantships are available for graduate students in the department. These positions are awarded based on experience, student preference, and the needs of the department. 

TAs at the University of Toronto are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3902 (CUPE 3902) Unit 1, which represents all teaching assistants, course instructors, lab demonstrators, markers, invigilators and tutors in all faculties, and Chief Presiding Officers in the Faculty of Arts and Science, who are undergraduate or graduate students or post-doctoral fellows at the U of T. The current hourly rate is $52.97  Course instructors, Chief Presiding Officers, Assistant Invigilators, Invigilators, and Peer Assistants have different pay scales, which can be found in the Collective Agreement.

Description of Duties 

All positions involve grading of assignments, tests, and exams. Some involve the teaching of tutorials. Other responsibilities are as assigned by the instructor and may include contact hours with students, preparation and invigilating in addition to the above.  For each position, responsibilities will be outlined in an online form, the Description of Duties and Allocation of Hours (DDAH), available through the TAships applications site.


As part of their allocated hours, all new students receive four hours of paid training. The Department of Linguistics provides training sessions run by experienced TAs and representatives from CUPE 3902; this training includes a session on the rights afforded to TAs as CUPE 3902 members as well as practical training in running tutorials and grading tests and assignments. Also, the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program provides free peer training for graduate students. 

Teaching & Grading Undergraduates 

Graduate students interact with undergraduates as TAs, Graders, and senior colleagues. Upper-year PhD students may also have the opportunity to serve as course instructors. The role played by graduate students with respect to undergraduates is extremely important: many undergraduates will see graduate students as role models, especially if they aspire to enter graduate school one day. Graduate students therefore function as the face of the linguistics department in their interactions with undergraduates. In the larger linguistics courses, students have limited opportunities to interact directly with the professor; the TA is therefore their main contact with the material and with the linguistics department. Graduate students also frequently tutor individual students through the LGCU tutoring program. Graduate students thus have an important role to play as educators and mentors.