Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Graduate Teaching Assistants are integral to student success at Michigan State University. Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are subject to collective bargaining agreement with the Graduate Employees Union/American Federation of Teachers. The current GEU Contract took effect May, 2019 and will last until May, 2023. Graduate Teaching Assistantships are one of the three categories of Graduate Assistantships offered at MSU.

Are you looking for a Graduate Teaching Assistant position?
We have a list of units who employ teaching assistants. Please see Teaching Assistant Employing Units

Graduate Teaching Assistants may...

Teach a Section
The GTA is assigned to teach their own class (under the supervision of a faculty of record). In some departments, GTAs are responsible for their own syllabi, course requirements, midterms, and final exams. In other departments, GTAs are provided with standardized syllabi and exams, and the GTA is responsible for covering the necessary material.

Lead a Recitation
The GTA is responsible for leading a recitation section within a large lecture course. The lecture is usually given by a faculty member and may have an enrollment of up to 500 or 600 students. The class is split into small recitation sections of 20 to 30 students which meet weekly to clarify course context or go over homework problems.

Work as a Help Room Tutor
The GTA is required to spend designated hours in a “help room” that exists to support students outside regularly scheduled classes. Was assess student stumbling blocks and work with them to master the material.

Run a Lab
The GTA is responsible for a laboratory section of class. The TA assists students with experiments and other “hands on” assignments. Lab sections are common in Chemistry, Computer Science, and other technically oriented courses.

Serve as a Grader
The GTA is assigned to one or more professors to grade papers, midterm examinations, final examinations, and other assignments.

Professional Development for Graduate Teaching Assistants...

Professional development opportunities for Graduate Teaching Assistants have been organized by the Graduate Teaching Assistant Program.  These opportunities include orientation programs in August and Lunch and Learn programs year-round.

International Graduate Teaching Assistants...

International GTAs come from many countries around the world and provide not only instruction but also bring unique perspectives to their roles. Several resources are listed on

Employing Units: Templates for GTA Offer Letters should be used to notify students of a hire.