Financial Support via Guaranteed Teaching

The standard PhD student financial support package includes a teaching component.

The workload for teaching fellows (TFs) is calculated in “term fifths.” A “fifth” (1/5) is a unit of time that represents 20 percent of a full-time workload. The teaching component of the financial support package consists of the equivalent of the two-fifths rate of teaching per term for four terms, with the exception of students in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, who are offered three terms. These teaching appointments are guaranteed by the student’s academic program, provided the student has passed the General Examination (or equivalent) and met other program-specific criteria.

During those terms in which a student’s funding package includes teaching, the student is guaranteed total living expense support comparable to that being offered to current G1 and G2 students. In most cases, teaching compensation does not meet this threshold by itself, and GSAS provides a supplemental stipend (the “TF Top-Up”) to make up the difference.

It is the joint responsibility of the student and their program to identify available teaching opportunities that can be used to fulfill the teaching guarantee of two term-fifths per term. Students may teach in areas outside of their programs. Teaching appointments in the Program in General Education or other academic programs will count toward the guarantee. Students needing assistance in securing teaching should consult their program administrators for guidance.

Invoking Guaranteed Teaching

Students invoke guaranteed teaching by confirming their teaching plans through the GSAS Student Aid Portal during the annual financial aid acceptance process. Based on this information, programs then begin the process of working with students to identify opportunities for guaranteed teaching. For this reason, students must alert their financial aid officers of any changes to their teaching plans no later than July 1 for the fall term, or December 1 for the spring term.

Deferring Support

GSAS permits students to defer guaranteed teaching to a term later than noted in the Notice of Financial Support. Students electing to defer teaching indicate their intention through the GSAS Student Aid Portal during the annual financial aid acceptance process.

Students may not defer their guaranteed teaching beyond the G6 year.

Students who are considering deferring guaranteed teaching are strongly encouraged to contact their financial aid officers to review how such actions may impact their funding in future years.

Teaching Supplement (TF "Top-Up")

Eligibility

For PhD students in the humanities and social science programs of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences who (1) have invoked their guaranteed teaching and (2) are receiving total compensation that falls below the amount of the standard GSAS living stipend for their programs. The purpose of the supplement is to ensure that students with guaranteed funding do not have to teach more than two-fifths per term in order to receive stipend-level financial support.

  • Eligibility for the teaching supplement is determined on a per-term basis.
  • Students who are unable to teach because they have not met their program's prerequisites for teaching eligibility are not eligible for the supplement.
  • Students must teach the equivalent of the two-fifths rate. Supplements will not ordinarily be awarded to students who have voluntarily elected to teach less than the guaranteed two-fifths.
  • Occasionally, a program may offer a student a guaranteed research assistantship or other paid opportunity in lieu of guaranteed teaching. In such cases, these non-teaching appointments will be treated like a teaching fellowship for the purposes of calculating the teaching supplement.

Calculation

For students appointed to two-fifths of teaching each term at the senior rate in 2019-2020, the resulting supplement is $3,825 per term. This amount corresponds to the difference between the standard G1 stipend of $14,865 and the total two-fifths teaching compensation of $11,040.

  • Students who choose to work more than the guaranteed two-fifths may earn up to $3,000 in additional income each semester without any reduction to that semester’s supplement. Any earnings above $3,000 in a single semester will trigger a dollar-for-dollar reduction in that semester’s supplement.
  • When calculating the amount of the supplement, all income and funding a student receives is taken into consideration including, but not limited to:
    • teaching
    • concentration advising
    • thesis advising
    • tutorials
    • research assistantships
    • outside awards
    • other stipends

EXAMPLES

  • Student A teaches at the two-fifths senior lecturer rate in a single term and earns $11,040. Student A receives no funding from other sources.
    • Current G1 stipend rate: $14,865
    • Teaching Compensation: $11,040
    • Teaching supplement: $3,825 (= $14,865 -$11,040).
  • Student B teaches at the two-fifths senior lecturer rate in a single term and earns $11,040, but also earns an additional $1,000 from an outside award.
    • Current G1 stipend rate: $14,865.
    • Teaching Compensation: $11,040
    • Total Additional Earnings: $1,000
    • Amount of Additional Earnings in Excess of $3,000 Threshold: $0
    • Teaching supplement: $3,825 (= $14,865 – $11,040 — $0).
  • Student C teaches at the two-fifths senior lecturer rate in a single term and earns $11,040, but also earns an additional $3,500 as a research assistant.
    • Current G1 stipend rate: $14,865.
    • Teaching Compensation: $11,040
    • Total Additional Earnings: $3,500
    • Amount of Additional Earnings in Excess of $3,000 Threshold: $500
    • Teaching supplement: $3,325 (= $14,865 — $11,040 — $500).

Disbursement

Students eligible for the teaching supplement will receive monthly disbursements on or around the 1st of each month over the course of the term (September through January for fall semester, or February through June for spring). If a student’s teaching load changes over the course of the semester, the supplement will be recalculated and adjusted accordingly.

Please note that the payroll schedule for teaching fellow compensation differs from the payment schedule for the teaching supplement. TF paychecks are issued on or around the 15th of the month (August through December for fall semester, January through May for spring). Each TF paycheck is intended to be combined with the teaching supplement issued on or around the 1st of the following month and used toward living expenses for that month.