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School of Engineering Teaching and Course Assistantships (TAs and CAs)

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The aim of the School of Engineering’s Teaching and Course Assistantships (TAs and CAs) program is to provide funding and teaching opportunities to graduate students, while enriching the undergraduate curriculum.

Stanford Engineering partners with various departments to fund students underrepresented in the field of engineering with teaching and course assistantships. Teaching assistants (TAs) and course assistants (CAs) serve in the introductory engineering fundamental courses such as Introduction to Electronics, Programming Methodology, Introduction to Science of Materials, Dynamics, Applied Mechanics: Statics, Engineering Economy, Introduction to Chemical Engineering, Introduction to Optimization, Bioengineering, Engineering Thermodynamics, etc.

Each TA/CA uses the award as part of their graduate support and is required to work 20 hours per week. Since Stanford does not have separate professors for undergraduate and graduate courses, TAs/CAs are supervised by faculty who could eventually bring them into their research labs.

The diversity-based TA/CA program awards involve more than just financial aid. The packaging of each award ties the funding to a faculty sponsor or learning program. Through the financial aid awards and assignments, the academic experiences of graduate students are enriched. For example, research assistantship (RA), teaching assistantship (TA), or course assistantship (CA) awards provide students with teaching and research opportunities. In these assistantship assignments, students are given flexibility to move back and forth from an RA-ship, TA-ship, or CA-ship as determined by the faculty sponsor and the Engineering Equity Initiative. Although the program is intended mostly for PhD students, it is also useful for MS graduate students interested in continuing on to the PhD program because the funding is portable (students can negotiate to work with any tenure-track faculty member) and students can connect with a research team and, most importantly, with a faculty sponsor.