Financial Support & Awards for Graduate Study

Departmental Teaching Assistantships

General Information

MA students completing the Option A or B concentration are eligible for a maximum of two years of appointments as teaching assistants. MA students in the coordinated program in History and Library and Information Science and in the Public History specialization have three years of eligibility. Doctoral students have four years of eligibility (see below). Teaching assistants must carry a two-course load per semester.

Applications for new and returning teaching assistants are due on December 1. Applications are available on the department’s web page and in the departmental office. New applicants must also have a complete admissions file by the December 1 deadline. Selection of new teaching assistants is based on the strength of the applicant’s admissions file and, for currently enrolled students who are not serving as TAs at the time of their application, on their performance in the graduate program.

Salary, benefits and certain conditions of employment are governed by the MGAA (Milwaukee Graduate Assistants Association) contract. For further information, see the union web site at


Second and third year (Public History coordinated degree and doctoral students) renewals of teaching assistantships are granted on the basis of a student’s progress toward degree, strong classroom performance, and good academic standing.

Progress Toward Degree. To be eligible for renewal of a teaching assistantship, MA and PhD students must have completed 12 credits during the previous academic year.

Strong Classroom Performance. Teaching assistants will have their appointments renewed only if their classroom performance remains strong and only if they fulfill other duties as required by their teaching assignments (i.e. attendance at the TA orientation and fall and spring teaching workshops). Judgments about teaching performance are based on student evaluation forms and assessments by supervising instructors. Teaching assistants will not have their appointments renewed if they perform poorly in the classroom (e.g. consistently negative evaluations or excessive complaints) or if they fail to perform other duties related to their assignment adequately.

Good Academic Standing. Teaching assistants must maintain at least a 3.33 average and have no incomplete grades to be eligible for renewal. Any incomplete grades at the end of the spring semester must be cleared before July 15th to maintain eligibility. Incomplete work must be submitted to the instructor at least one week before the July 15th deadline so that there is adequate time for the instructor to grade the work and process the necessary forms. It is the student’s responsibility to make these arrangements with the instructor in advance and to inform the Director of Graduate Studies that the incomplete has been cleared.

Fourth Year Renewal for Doctoral Students. It is expected that a funded doctoral student serving as a Teaching Assistant will satisfy the language requirement and take preliminary exams during the third year of funded doctoral study. A mandatory meeting of the doctoral student, her/his advisor, and the Director of Graduate Studies must be held at the end of the second year or the beginning of the third year of funded doctoral study to review funding opportunities for the student once she/he has attained dissertator status. During the third year of funded graduate study, the doctoral student, with the help of the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, must apply for fellowships that are available from UWM and other sources that will help to support the student during the fourth year of graduate study. A student who does not receive a grant or fellowship by the end of the third year of funded doctoral study will be eligible for a fourth year teaching assistantship, provided that she/he has completed the language requirement and passed the preliminary examination.