GTA Information - Department of Computer Science - Purdue University Skip to main content

GTA Information

Applicants must be certified in oral English proficiency by one of the accepted methods (TOEFL within the last 2 years, IELTS, or OEPT.) See details here at Methods of Oral English Proficiency Certification. If you meet one of these, send your proof of certification to Shelley Straley.

CS students needing to take the OEPT should contact Shelley Straley well in advance. Non-CS students should contact their Graduate Coordinator to arrange a test.

English-certified graduate students may complete this GTA application.

Non-native English-speaking students must be oral English certified in order to apply to be a GTA. See our Oral English Proficiency page for more information.

GTA applications typically open mid-semester for the following term. An email is sent to all CS graduate students when the application is open. After the application deadline, faculty and instructors give preferences for specific applicants. Assignments are then based on English proficiency, faculty preferences, student preferences, student grades, past work experience, past TA evaluations, academic progress, and departmental need.  When assignments have been released, an email will be sent informing students of the preliminary GTA assignments. There are usually multiple rounds assignment updates.

GTA position begin one week prior to the start of the semester, and end on the day grades are due, the Tuesday after finals.

Students employed as GTAs are expected to:

  • Be professional and dependable.
    • Complete assigned duties promptly
    • Attend lecture, lab, recitations, PSO, GTA meetings, office hours, exams, etc. as required by supervisor
    • Use polite, respectful behavior to all regardless of background in accordance with University policy
  • Be helpful.
    • To the students
    • To the faculty/instructor
    • To your fellow GTAs
  • Be effective.
    • Complete all required GTA training (see more regarding training below)
    • Create a positive environment for learning
    • Seek advice/additional training as needed 

GTAs in CS typically conduct laboratory, recitation or PSO sessions, grade homework assignments and projects, hold office hours, and perform other administrative tasks. Specific duties are determined by the instructor(s) of the courses to which they are assigned.

GTAs are expected to be physically present on campus for the entire dates of employment. 

GTAs are eligible to apply for continued funding if they maintain satisfactory academic progress and satisfactory teaching work performance. 

For employment purposes, GTAs must be registered for a minimum of six (6) credit hours for international students and three (3) credit hours for domestic students.

Graduate students teaching for the first time in the CS department must attend all Teaching Orientation sessions and complete all online training the week before their first semester of teaching. Returning GTAs are expected to take the Brightspace GTA training course every year.

  • What skills and course knowledge are needed?
    • The CS GTAs support more than 50 courses per semester, so a wide range of skills and knowledge are needed. Often, there are opportunities for:
      • students willing to GTA grad courses they have done well in.
      • students strong in Java and C for the large freshmen classes
      • students who have done well in CS 503-Operating systems, to GTA both the grad and undergrad OS courses
      • students who have done well in grad security and database courses.
  • How do I improve my application?
    • To improve your application in addition to getting oral English certified, you should do well in your CS classes and help faculty to get to know you through those classes. Faculty cannot hire GTAs, but they can request or prefer you if you are qualified. Submitting preferences only for your favorite courses and no others limits the number of courses that you are considered for. Include positive preferences for at least 10 undergraduate courses and all graduate courses you earned an A in.
  • How are GTAs selected and assigned?
    • Qualified applicants are hired based on the following considerations:
      • Department need (based on course enrollment)
      • Applicant preferences
      • Applicant grades and relevant knowledge
      • Prior performance as a GTA (if applicable). Student evaluations, faculty evaluations, and staff evaluations are used in consideration.
      • Faculty preferences—faculty cannot hire GTAs, but their preferences are considered in the assignment process.
      • Student background and relevant experience
      • Priority—priority is given to CS graduate students in good academic standing. Due to more applications than available positions, incoming CS MS and non-CS students are typically not well-positioned to receive an offer until they have Purdue CS grades available for review during the assignment process.
  • When do GTA positions start and end?
    • GTA position begin one week prior to the start of the semester, and end on the day grades are due, the Tuesday after finals.
  • I was assigned to the “Dev” Pool. What does that mean?
    • The Development “Dev” pool is a dedicated content development group focused on creating assignments or other material for CS courses. Faculty partner with the development group to create high quality course material (labs, homework, projects, exams, etc.) for department courses.
  • I have a GTA funding offer. Why didn’t I get a GTA assignment?
  • I’ve received a GTA position. How do I get the tuition remission on my account?
    • The Graduate and Academic Services Office will send your name to the Bursar’s Office to have the tuition remission added to your account. This is done after GTA assignments are released and, usually, done in batches. It may be close to the start of term before remissions are sent to the Bursar’s Office. Once received, the Bursars Office will adjust your bill.
  • What happens if I apply late?
    • Course pools and the assigning process will have already started, so you may not receive fullest consideration.
  • I am qualified for a GTA position, why didn’t I get an offer?
    • There are many factors that might inhibit you from getting a GTA offer such as:
      • Restrictive preferences
      • Over-registration
      • More applicants than available positions
      • Late application/preference form
      • Poor prior GTA evaluations
      • Poor academic performance
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024 8:44 AM

Department of Computer Science, 305 N. University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907

Phone: (765) 494-6010 • Fax: (765) 494-0739

Copyright © 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the College of Science.