The Office of Graduate Studies

TA/RA Resources

TA RA Orientation Information - Spring 2017

Spring 2017 - ALL NEW TA’s & RA’s
Date/Time: Thursday, January 5, 2017
8:00-4:00pm for all RA's and 
8:00-6:00pm for all TA's 
Location: ATEC Lecture Hall, Room ATC 1.102

As part of the mandatory TA/RA orientation, you will:

  • Complete employee training as required by UTD and the state law.
  • Arrange for employee benefits.
  • Learn about University-level teaching and course management.
  • Learn about University resources available to you.


Teaching and Research Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (TA’s) and Research Assistantships (RA’s) are different types of graduate assistantships offered to students as a means to receive the financial support necessary to commit to their academic programs. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 hours (in the long semester) and must be in good academic standing each semester they are appointed. TA and RA appointments are meant to provide students with invaluable experiences in teaching, research and other scholarly activities as well as allowing students to engage in an optimal full-time graduate school experience.

Teaching Assistants:

Graduate Student TA’s are employed a maximum of 20 hours per week to help meet the instructional needs of the university. The Graduate TA, under the direction of an assigned faculty member, will aid in the teaching of one or more courses. TA’s are paid from departmental funds, appointments and reappointments are subject to several factors and are on a semester-by-semester basis.

Research Assistants:

Graduate Student RA’s are employed a maximum of 20 hours per week and are focused on assisting the research efforts of their faculty mentor in a way that relates to the student’s educational objectives. Research Assistants are typically paid from individual research awards or from externally funded contracts and grants. The Principal Investigator of the award will direct and supervise the RA’s research activities. Appointments and reappointments are subject to several factors and are on a semester-by- semester basis.

As new TAs and RAs, students take on multiple roles in the university. First, as employees, they are responsible for issues such as compliance, rules of conduct, regulation, and appropriate human resource procedures. Second, as new graduate students, learning about available resources can assist in the challenges of juggling the work of teaching and research with the demands of graduate school. Finally, in new professional roles of teachers and researchers, graduate students will learn about dealing with students, structuring learning experiences, cultural issues in a multi-cultured university, and faculty expectations of TAs/RAs.

If you are interested in obtaining a Teaching or Research Assistantship, contact your school’s program head. For more information see TA/RA responsibilities and policies, and the graduate catalog.

Other Resources

Explore the links below for various internal and external resources related to teaching and research: