APPLICATIONs for 2015/16 will be accepted through the application site during the following Two-week periods:

For Autumn Quarter: August 10 - 24, 2015

For Winter Quarter: October 23 - November 6, 2015

For Spring Quarter: February 5 - February 19, 2016

For Summer Quarter: May 16 - 30, 2016


  • The Department of Physics uses a collaborative learning model (tutorial worksheets and group problem solving) for the PHYSICS 20, 40 and 60 series courses. This model is also encouraged for the other undergraduate courses.
  • Required training for all TA's is provided in PHYSICS 294 (Teaching of Physics) offered Autumn and Winter quarters, which should be taken before becoming a TA for the first time. Although it is neither ideal nor encouraged, TA's may, on a case-by-case basis,be allowed to take Physics 294 concurrently with their first TA appointment.
  • For TA appplicants who are NOT Physics graduate students, preferenceis given to those who have completed Physics 294 in advance of their application to TA.

Full policies for Teaching Assistantships in Physics can be found on this website: Becoming a Teaching Assistant in Physics.

Before you apply, please read the following:

  1. All applicants: Read Requirements for Employment as a TA , expectations for all TAs, and the TA responsibilities for the courses of interest in specific links on this page: Becoming a Teaching Assistant in Physics.
  2. International Students: Those applying for a teaching assistantship for the first time must be screened for readiness to use English in a teaching role (English accuracy, fluency, and communication are evaluated). See for information on scheduling this exam. You must complete this before we can offer you a Teaching Assitantship.
  3. If you are offered a position and this is your first time serving as a TA for the Physics Department, you must attend the TA Orientation run by the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning  (VPTL). See the schedule on their website.  The VPTL orientation is offered only in Autumn quarter; if you are a first-time TA in a quarter other than Autumn, you should instead view the Major Stanford Policies video and TA Orientation 2014 video.  In addition, you must register for PHYS 294, Teaching of Physics (practicum, offered Autumn and Winter quarters only), if you have not already completed PHYS 294.
  4. Obtain approval to serve as a teaching assistant from your research advisor before you accept a Teaching Assistantship. Be sure the time required for teaching is consistent with your advisor's research expectations for you.
  5. Read the course descriptions below. Read the detailed expectations for each type of course, linked to this page: Becoming a Teaching Assistant in Physics.
  6. If you wish to apply for a position in a PHYS 20 or PHYS 40 series course, please bear in mind that these are now 50% appointments. Please read the detailed responsibilities for TAing the PHYS 20 and PHYS 40 series, discussion section or lab, on this page: Becoming a Teaching Assistant in Physics.
  7. After reading the terms of a TA appointment near the bottom of this page, click on the link at the bottom of this page to go to the application.

For detailed desciptions, see the Registrar's Explore Courses website

20 SERIES: Non calculus-based introductory physics for lifescience and pre-medical students; three-quarter sequence, equivalent to AP Physics B or GCE A-level. PHYS 21, 23, 25 are lecture courses; PHYS 22, 24, 26 are 1-unit pass/fail labs. TA's are assigned to either two discussion sections or two lab sections per week. 50% TA appointment; 20 hours/week. Responsibilities of Head TAs for the PHYS 20 series are listed here.

  • Physics 21/22: Mechanics, Fluids and Heat, lecture/lab (Autumn)
  • Physics 23/24: Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, lecture/lab (Winter)
  • Physics 25/26: Modern Physics, lecture/lab (Spring)
  • Physics 21S/23S: (Summer)

40 SERIES: calculus-based sequence for physical science and engineering majors, as well as prospective physics majors who may not have the background for the PHYS 60 series (see below). Students without much physics background begin the 40 Series in the Winter quarter of their freshman year. Students with AP Physics C background often begin with Physics 45 in the Autumn. Labs are one unit, pass/fail. TAs are assigned to either two discussion sections or two lab sections per week. 50% TA appointment; 20 hours/week. Responsibilities of Head TAs for the PHYS 40 series are listed here.

  • Physics 45/46: Light and Heat, lecture/lab (Autumn)
  • Physics 41/42: Mechanics, lecture/lab (Winter)
  • Physics 43/44: Electricity and Magnetism, lecture/lab (Spring)

60 SERIES: advanced freshman physics for students with strong backgrounds in math and physics and an interest in the Physics or Engineering Physics major, or a related discipline. PHYS 62 and 64 are one-unit pass/fail lab courses. Physics 67 is a two-unit pass/fail lab courses that has both a lecture and lab component, with an emphasis on statistics, probability and data analysis. TA's are assigned to either two discussion sections or to two lab sections per week. 25% appointment; 10 hours/week.

  • Physics 61/62: Mechanics and Special Relativity lecture/lab (Autumn)
  • Physics 63/64: Electricity, Magnetism and Waves, lecture/lab (Winter)
  • Physics 65: Quantum and Thermal Physics (Spring)
  • Physics 67: Introduction to Laboratory Physics (Spring)

PHYSICS 70: Foundations of Modern Physics (Autumn), required of all physics majors who have gone through the 40 Series. 25% TA appointment; 10 hours/week.

PHYSICS 15, 16, 17, 50: Courses on astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology for non-science students. 25% TA appointment; 10 hours/week.

  •  Physics 15: Stars and Planets in a Habitable Universe (Autumn, Summer)
  •  Phyiscs 16: The Origin and Development of the Cosmos (Winter)
  •  Physics 17: Black Holes and Extreme Astrophysics (Spring)
  •  Physics 50: Observational Astronomy Laboratory (Autumn, Summer)

UPPER DIVISION COURSES:  25% TA appointment; 10 hours/week.

Lab Courses

  • Physics 100: Introduction to Observational Astrophysics (Spring)
  • Physics 105: Intermediate Physics Lab I: Analog Electronics (Autumn)
  • Physics 107: Intermediate Physics Lab II: Experimental Techniques and Data Analysis (Winter) - Physics 107 satisfies the universityWriting in the Major (WIM) requirement; TA's receive an additional stipend
  • Physics 108: Advanced Physics Laboratory: Project (Winter, Spring)

Lecture Courses Required For the Physics Major

  • PHYS 110/210: Advanced Mechanics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 112: Mathematical Methods of Physics (Winter)
  • PHYS 120; PHYS 121: Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I & II (Winter, Spring)
  • PHYS 130; PHYS 131: Quantum Mechanics I & II (Winter, Spring)
  • PHYS 170; PHYS 171: Thermodynamics, Kinetic Theory, and Statistical Mechanics I & II (Autumn, Winter)

Elective Courses

  • PHYS 113 -- Computational Physics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 134/234 -- Advanced Topics in Quantum Mechanics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 152/252 -- Introduction to Particle Physics I  (Spring)
  • PHYS 160/260 -- Introduction to Stellar and Galactic Astrophysics (Winter)
  • PHYS 161/262 -- Introduction to Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics (Spring)
  • PHYS 172/AAPPHYS 272 -- Solid State Physics (Spring)

GRADUATE COURSES:  25% TA appointment; 10 hours/week.

Courses that are also cross-listed as undergraduate courses are listed above.  Graduate courses that are not cross-listed with an undergraduate course:

  • PHYS 211 - Continuum Mechanics (Winter)
  • PHYS 212 - Statistical Mechanics (Winter)
  • PHYS 216 - Back of the Envelope Physics (Autumn)
  • PHYS 220 - Classical Electrodynamics (Spring)
  • PHYS 230 - Graduate Quantum Mechanics I (Winter) 
  • PHYS 231 - Graduate Quantum Mechanics II (Spring)
  • PHYS 262 - General Relativity (Autumn)
Please read the following terms carefully.
I agree to be available for the entire quarter, from the first day of instruction through the entire final exam period. There will be no unexcused absences allowed.
I agree to be on campus and available during the final exam period to grade exams. (This is mandatory.)
I have approval from my research advisor to serve as a teaching assistant.
I have read the requirements above and understand and will abide by the conditions and restrictions stated on this application and as listed in the  Requirements for Employment as a TA and the responsibilities of a TA for the courses that I am applying for listed at the relevant link on the Physics TA Home Page.
I understand that TA assignments are tentative and are subject to change or cancellation, depending on course enrollment, and that first priority for assignments is given to students in the Physics Ph.D. program.
I will supply all requested information, truthfully and accurately, to the best of my knowledge.
I agree to be in email contact with the course instructor one week before classes start.