The Department makes it a priority to provide students with teaching experience and mentorship. These opportunities generally take the form of teaching assistantships in a range of the department’s lower-division undergraduate courses, which help train students to teach at the undergraduate level, provide experience leading discussion sections, and offer course credit for participation in a course related training seminar (History 500). The department also provides ongoing peer mentorship and consultation through its regularly scheduled TA training workshops.
Independent course development and teaching opportunities are available to students who have passed the PhD qualifying examinations and advanced to candidacy.
Download the current T.A. Handbook.
Department teaching assistantships are merit-based and awarded by the department’s graduate admissions (for entering students) and/or financial aid committees. Multi-year TA appointments may be offered as part a department recruitment package at the time of admission, although in all cases continuation is subject to maintaining academic standards and fulfilling the terms and conditions of TA employment as spelled out in the appointment letter. Such support is not guaranteed for any fixed period, but most students are able to TA for at least two years. Teaching duties generally consist of three sections of one of the lower division survey courses: Western Civilization, U.S. History, World History, African History, Middle Eastern History, Latin American History, History of Science and/or thematic lower-division courses.
Certain advanced graduate students will have the opportunity to teach upper division undergraduate lecture classes or seminars, generally during summer session. Departmental policy precludes graduate students from supervising or assigning grades to other graduate students. Instructors of lower-division courses that involve supervising teaching assistants must hold the PhD.
Writing Program Appointments
History graduate students with TA appointments in the UCSB Writing Program get extensive training in the pedagogy of writing and experience in teaching undergraduates about the study and practice of writing as well as developing course materials. Our students have found the experience very useful for diversifying and honing their teaching skills and strengthening their position on the job market. Writing Program appointments are made through an open and competitive application process and, in a small number of cases, through nomination by the History department. For further information about these opportunities see https://www.writing.ucsb.edu/academics/positions.