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Graduate Assistantships

For fall admissions, January 5 is the Priority Placement deadline for applications. Applications received prior to January 5 will be given first consideration for assistantships and financial incentives. We will continue to accept applications until March 1, but the availability of assistantships and incentive packages diminishes after the Priority Placement deadline on January 5. 


The English Department employs a large number of graduate teaching assistants each year. Assistantships are thus available to most students who qualify for them and apply early. Depending on their levels of experience and areas of emphasis, teaching assistants may tutor in the Writing Center or teach their own sections of freshman composition, composition for international students, technical writing, creative writing, or literature.


Teaching Methodology Courses. All teaching assistants, regardless of experience, must take an appropriate pedagogy course or courses during their first year of teaching at OSU. Depending on the area of emphasis and teaching assignment, they may take:

  • ENGL 5213: Composition Theory and Pedagogy
  • ENGL 5223: Professional Writing Theory and Pedagogy
  • ENGL 5243: Teaching English as a Second Language

Writing Center tutors also take a one-hour course, ENGL 5201: Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy.


First-year Teachers. Teaching assistants who have not taught English at the post-secondary level typically spend the first year of their assistantships as tutors in the Writing Center. During this year, they also take appropriate teaching methodology courses (see above) and observe experienced teachers.


Course Load. Each fall and spring semester a teaching assistant teaches six credit hours (two 3-hour courses) or works twenty hours per week in the Writing Center. A few assistantships are available for students who assist with editing the Cimarron ReviewMilton Quarterly, or American Indian Quarterly, or with the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) program. Customarily, teaching assistants take no more than six to seven hours of graduate course work per semester. Some assistantships are available in the summer, during which a teaching assistant teaches three hours and takes three hours of course work. 


Tuition Waivers. All students who have assistantships pay in-state tuition rates; that is, the university waives the nonresident portion of their tuition. The University will also pay the remaining resident tuition for six hours of qualifying courses each fall and spring semester. In addition, Teaching Assistants also receive a monthly stipend during the academic year, and single-person health insurance. Students are responsible for resident tuition for courses taken in excess of this limit, and for all fees. Students must fill out a FAFSA form to be eligible.


Time Limits. A teaching assistant not on strict academic probation is eligible for financial support under the following conditions. MA students receive three years of support. PhD students receive five years of support. Support is contingent upon satisfactory progress toward the degree. If exceptional circumstances exist, MA and PhD students in the final year of financial support may petition the Head of the English Department for an additional year's support. Such cases will be judged on an individual basis and in light of Departmental policies and staffing needs. 


How to Apply for a Graduate Assistantship

Prospective students who wish to apply for assistantships should check the appropriate box on the online application form and complete the Assistantship Application. 


Offers of assistantships are mailed to students a week or two after offers of admission. Students who have already begun their graduate program at OSU should submit an application form to the English Graduate Office no later than March 1 for the following fall semester or by October 15 for the spring semester. 


For more information, please contact the English Graduate Office at: or 405-744-9469. 



JuDean Howerton, Assistant to the Department Head, 205 Morrill Hall,
Teaching Assignments, Classroom Scheduling, Departmental Business


Robert Estes, Senior Financial Assistant, 207 C Morrill Hall,
Employment and Benefits, Travel Arrangements, Tuition Waivers, Departmental Finances


Brenda Maxwell, Administrative Support Specialist II, 308 Morrill Hall, 
English Graduate Student Studies, Graduate Student Records, Applications/Admissions, Plans of Study 


Charissa Prchal, Administrative Assistant, 205 Morrill Hall,
Copying and Scanning, Equipment and Film Checkout, Department Directory 


Carefully read all communication from staff, both email and paper documents. Respond to all requests for information, complete and return all forms, even if your response is “Does not apply to me.” In most cases, we need responses from ALL TAs; it is better to provide too much information than too little. 


Teaching Program Directors

Rhetoric and Writing Studies

An Cheng, Director
302B Morrill Hall     

Creative Writing

Lisa Lewis, Director
107B Morrill              

Screen Studies

Graig Uhlin, Director
311D Morrill          


Carol Moder, Director
211C Morrill Hall

International Composition

Frances Junnier, Director 
401-5 Morrill         

Writing Center

Josiah Meints, Director   
440 Student Union             


First Steps

U. S. Students

  • Notify the English Graduate Office of your intent to attend.

  • Sign and return the TA offer letter to indicate your acceptance of the offer.

  • If you are applying for loans or other financial aid, 

    complete the FAFSA and Graduate Student Resources Form.

  • Activate O-Key Account.

  • Review upcoming courses. Contact Graduate Director for advisement.

  • Complete academic enrollment

    • Enroll in courses

    • Obtain OSU Student ID Card at 113 Math Sciences Building, Bring photo ID

  • Visit the English Department to complete employment paperwork

  • Attend TA Orientation  (mandatory each semester)

International Students

  • Notify the English Graduate Office of your intent to attend.

  • Sign and return the TA offer letter to indicate your acceptance of the offer.

  • Complete the Financial Guarantee.

  • Contact the Graduate College to confirm the funds  you must guarantee.

  • Activate O-Key Account.

  • Review upcoming courses. Contact Graduate Director for advisement.

  • Attend ISS Orientation

    • Apply for work permit

    • Apply for Social Security Card

    • Enroll in courses

    • Obtain OSU Student ID Card

  • Visit the English Department to complete employment paperwork

  • Attend TA Orientation  (mandatory each semester)


Enrolling in Courses

  1. Contact the Graduate Director to discuss courses. Have the Advising Hold lifted from your O-Key account.

  2. Enroll in courses. Following the instructions here.You must take six (or seven credits) to receive the tuition waiver; you may not enroll in more than six credits without the permission of the Department Head

A. Enroll in the appropriate Pedagogy course(s) to support your teaching assignment:

  • ENGL 5210 Writing Center Theory and Pedagogy (1 credit)

  • ENGL 5213 Composition Theory and Pedagogy (3 credits)

  • ENGL 5223 Professional Writing Theory and Pedagogy (3 credits)

  • ENGL 5243 Teaching English as a Second Language (3 credits)

B. Enroll in an additional elective (3 credits)


Employment Paperwork

  1. Visit the Department after July 1 to complete employment paperwork (International Students complete the paperwork during Orientation Week). Completing the paperwork before the rush of Orientation Week helps ensure you will receive your first paycheck on time.

    You will need the following documents/information:

  • Social Security Card (required by the University) If you have lost your social security card, the Social Security Administration can give you a one-page (free) verification containing full name and Social Security Number.

  • Government-issued photo ID, University photo ID, or Passport

  • Voided check (for direct deposit) The University uses direct deposit for all paychecks. If you would like to use a local bank, open your account before completing your paperwork.


TA Orientation

You must attend orientation before each semester you are a TA. Orientation is held Monday-Friday the full week before classes begin in the fall, Wednesday-Friday before classes begin in the spring.


If you think you may miss part of orientation, you must receive approval from the director of the program for which you will be teaching.  


Employment Equivalent

TAs in the English Department are considered to be employed 50% FTE (Full-Time Equivalent). A 50% FTE schedule is six credit hours of courses and 20 hours of work, either teaching two courses or tutoring 20 hours in the Writing Center, or teaching one course and tutoring ten hours. 


Teaching Schedule

A preliminary teaching schedule will be distributed by email , usually in July and November, as soon as undergraduate enrollment numbers stabilize. This schedule is subject to change as enrollment shifts and the Registrar calls for course changes. Confirm your final schedule during TA Orientation. 


Although every attempt is made to accommodate teaching preferences, no schedule can accommodate everyone. A little flexibility goes a long way in getting a preferred schedule in upcoming semesters.


Check your schedule to ensure that you have no conflicts with your own coursework. Alert JuDean Howerton of any conflicts or errors as soon as possible, so she may adjust the master schedule. 


TA Benefits


Monthly Stipend

You will be paid for the nine-month academic year. Your pay is deposited directly into your bank account on the last working day of the month, one-half your monthly stipend amount for August, full months for September through April, and another half-month for May. December pay is deposited before winter break. If your employment paperwork is delayed, you may not receive your first payment until the end of September.

A “Payroll Advice” will be sent to your email account 7-10 days before pay day. Check your Payroll Advice to confirm that you are being paid the correct stipend; advise Robert Estes if the amount is not correct. Also, contact Robert as soon as possible if you have not received a Payroll Advice, have not been paid, or have any questions about your pay. The sooner you ask, the easier the fix.

Health Insurance

The University provides health insurance coverage for TAs. Your coverage begins on the first day of the semester, if all employment paperwork has been completed. If you are employed as a TA in spring and again the following fall, your insurance coverage will continue uninterrupted, even if you are not employed for summer. See the University Health Services insurance site for more information.

Tuition Waiver

As a TA, you receive a waiver of non-resident tuition and up to six credits of resident tuition. You are responsible for university fees (about $650/semester), books, and other expenses.

Each semester you must sign a Graduate Tuition Waiver Agreement – a contract between you and the university. The university agrees to pay your tuition; you agree to remain enrolled in at least six hours of appropriate coursework and to complete your work assignment. You must repay the full amount of your tuition if your enrollment drops below six credit hours (you withdraw from a course) or if you do not complete your work assignment. 

Tuition waivers post as a credit to your Bursar account after the final drop/add date, usually in the second week of the semester. Resident and non-resident waivers post separately. 

Departmental Communication

Carefully read all departmental communication, both email and paper documents. Respond to all requests for information, complete and return all forms. In most cases, a work project is dependent on responses from ALL TAs; it is better to provide too much information than too little.

Mailboxes and Offices

All instructors and staff have mailboxes in the English Department Main Office, 205 Morrill Hall, where students can also submit assignments. Anyone can leave materials in your mailbox, but because USPS mail is distributed to these boxes, only you can remove materials from your mailbox. Check your mailbox at least once per week.

GTAs who are teaching in-person classes and/or serving as program ADs have assigned desks on the 4th floor of Morrill Hall. Writing Center Tutors who are not teaching are welcome to use the unassigned “fishbowl” desks on the 4th floor. All GTAs will be issued a key to Morrill Hall, for 24x7 access to these workspaces.

Both GTAs who are teaching and Writing Center Tutors should see Charissa Prchal in M205 regarding desk assignment, building key, and mailbox location.


Email and Listservs

Your email will be used for official university communication.

There are several departmental mailing listservs. You may belong to several different lists, depending on your TA assignment. You will receive an instructional email when you are added to any list.

  • OSU-English-L : All English faculty, instructors, TAs and staff
  • OSU-EnglishGrad-L: English Graduate Students only, no faculty
  • Complist-L: Composition Instructors
  • TESOLing-L: TESOL and Linguistics faculty and students


Other Communication

The Department of English Policy and Procedures Manual describes both university and department policies and procedures relating to instruction, class preparation, scheduling, and TA reappointment. Read it carefully, refer to it often.



Revised 2023

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