A Teaching Assistant (TA) assists faculty with the general duties of preparing for class and provides logistical support or coordination as needed for coursework, course/AV set up, room scheduling, transportation, etc. They may NOT assign grades or serve as substitute instructors in the absence of the instructor of record, nor can they hold office hours. Courses requiring technical support related to specific software or machinery may require a Technical TA. For more information about this position visit the Technical and Administrative Positions webpage.

Students in good standing are eligible for positions as teaching assistants. They normally are GSD students, although occasionally a student from another Harvard school may serve as a TA at the GSD. 

Teaching Assistant Responsibilities 

Teaching Assistants (TA) may be responsible for the following: 

  • Reserving classrooms and setting up equipment 
  • Taking attendance 
  • Managing Canvas* 
  • Making copies
  • Collecting assignments** 
  • Providing technical or logistical support for in-class lessons 
  • Scanning and posting readings 
  • Arranging separate review sessions, as requested by the instructor 
  • Interfacing with the library, CRG, and other GSD offices  on behalf of the instructor or class
  • Assisting with studio or course preparation prior to the start of the term

Teaching Assistants may not:

  • Assign grades
  • Serve as substitute instructors in the absence of the instructor of record
  • Hold office hours (note: exceptions are permitted for students hired as a Technical TA for the purposes of providing technical and/or tutorial support; see the Technical and Administrative Positions webpage for more detail)
  • Access student data

*TAs may perform all administrative functions within Canvas with the exception of those related to student data. Student data includes but is not limited to student work, academic progress and grades, and enrollment information. In no case are TAs granted instructional access. 

**Due to restrictions protecting student data, TAs may only collect student work outside of Canvas, either physically in the classroom or via file transfer from the instructor. 

Teaching Assistant Compensation

 As of July 1, 2023, the minimum salary for a TA role is $21.00 an hour, and typically work 3-7 hours per week.  

TAs may not assist faculty in any professional or personal work not directly related to instruction or research at the GSD. 

Students who have been awarded federal work-study as part of their financial aid package may use these funds for their TA positions, in which case a portion of the student’s salary will be paid by government funds. 

Hourly rates for the same type of job with the same level of experience must be paid at comparable rates across the GSD, and a work-study student cannot be paid more than a non-work-study student for the same type of job. 

Teaching Assistants must complete the TA Orientation before receiving hire paperwork. Please contact Pilar Raynor Jordan to initiate the hiring process.

Getting Hired: For Students

Students seeking employment at the GSD should familiarize themselves with the GSD Student Payroll procedures, and may not begin working until they have been formally hired by the GSD.

In alignment with the University’s Inclusive Hiring Initiative, faculty are encouraged to invite all students to apply for any TA job openings by posting the opportunity to CREATE, the GSD’s online portal for internships and jobs, or by announcing the opportunity to all students enrolled in the corresponding course. Many students are already using CREATE to seek on- and off-campus work; posting/applying to positions through this platform allows broader access both to open positions and qualified candidates.

Students can work a maximum of 20 hours/week in total, inclusive of all jobs combined at the University when classes are in session, and 40 hours/week in total during breaks. Students should not be incurring overtime pay. 

Hiring for Faculty

Go to Hiring Students: Information for Facultypage.