TF Appointments & Payments

Course heads select and hire their own Teaching Fellows (TFs) and Teaching Assistants (TAs) according to FAS guidelines for the employment of teaching staff.  FAS guidelines require that course heads give priority to qualified third- and fourth-year Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) students (i.e., G-3 and G-4 students). When the pool of qualified GSAS students has been exhausted, students from other Harvard graduate degree programs may be appointed as TFs, and teachers not currently registered in any Harvard graduate school may be appointed as TAs.  Ordinarily, a TA can be appointed for only four academic years, whether teaching in one or two terms each year.  FAS guidelines require that the appointment of a TA be accompanied by a letter from the course head indicating that the pool of qualified GSAS students has been exhausted and describing the candidate’s academic background and teaching ability.  Course heads are welcome to use this template as they craft a letter of support for a TA appointment. A curriculum vitae (CV) including an outline of the prospective TA’s previous and current work should be sent with this letter to the Gen Ed Office via email or campus mail.  Because of financial constraints, TA and non-GSAS TF appointments may be rescinded if enrollments are less than expected.

When applying to teach in a particular course, experienced TFs can expect the course head to consult other faculty members for whom they have previously taught. TFs whose previous teaching evaluations have been unsatisfactory are not ordinarily re-appointed to teach sections in Gen Ed courses (see Q Course Evaluations).

Once a TF has been chosen to teach a particular Gen Ed course, the Gen Ed Office will e-mail the TF about completing the necessary paperwork to process their appointment.

Appointments for fall term courses begin on August 1st and end on December 31st, and appointments for spring term courses begin on January 1st and end on May 31st.  First- and second-year students in GSAS are normally paid the junior rate. GSAS students with advanced academic background in the field may qualify to earn the senior rate.

Any TF with a specific question about his or her appointment should consult the relevant Course Coordinator. TFs from other countries with questions about tax exemptions, social security, and other related issues should consult the Tax Services Office at 1033 Massachusetts Ave., 2nd floor (617-495-8500).

Payment Schedule
Pay dates subject to change. In order to receive payment in the first month of the term, TFs and TAs must complete their appointment paperwork by May 31st for the fall term and by Oct. 31st for the spring term. Payments may otherwise be delayed.

Teaching appointments extend for five months.
Teaching Fellows (TFs) are paid in five installments on the 15th of each month.
Teaching Assistants (TAs) are paid in five installments on the last business day of each month.