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TAing Physics Graduate Courses

TA duties for graduate courses depend on whether the course is or is not cross-listed as an undergraduate course.

A.  Graduate Courses that are cross-listed as both 100- and 200-level courses:

Some graduate courses are "mezzanine" courses; i.e., they are cross-listed as 100- and 200-level courses.  TAs assigned to these courses have the same responsibilities as TAs for the corresponding undergraduate courses.

1.  TAs assigned to PHYS 110/210 have the same responsibilities as TAs for undergraduate courses required in the Physics major:

2.  TAs assigned to the following mezzanine courses have the same responsibilities as TAs for elective courses for the Physics major:

  • PHYS 134/234 -- Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 152/252 -- Introduction to Particle Physics I
  • PHYS 160/260 -- Introduction to Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics
  • PHYS 161/261 -- Introduction to Extrastellar Astrophysics and Cosmology
  • PHYS 172/ APPPHYS 272 -- Solid State Physics

B.  Graduate Courses That Are Not Cross-Listed with a 100-level course:

TAs for graduate courses that are not cross-listed with an undergraduate course typically do not lead discussion sections, although they are welcome to. 

Teaching Assistantships for these courses are 25% appointments.   As a TA you will spend 10 hours per week, averaged over the quarter, on the TA responsibilities listed below.

  1. Hold office hours (2 hours per week) -- students are polled to identify a time that works for those students who are likely to come to office hours.
  2. Grade problem sets.  Grades must be entered on Canvas and graded problem sets must be returned to students at least two days before the next problem set is due.  Canvas is used to send out announcements to the entire class about common mistakes on the problem set that has just been graded.
  3. Write solutions to problem sets -- if there are multiple TAs for a class, the TAs take turns writing solutions.
  4. Assist with miscellaneous tasks, which may include
    • Submitting possible questions for the exam -- you are not responsible for writing the exam since that is the instructor's responsibility.
    • Proof-reading the exam; taking the exam to assess clarity and the length of the exam; writing up solutions.
    • Leading review sessions before the exams.
    • Administering the exam; making sure there are "blue books" available, etc.
    • Grading the exam; entering grades on Canvas for courses that do not use Gradescope; returning paper exams to students or releasing exams on Gradescope; generating statistics for the exam.