TA Opportunities

Schedule Form for TAs

Chemistry Department Teaching Assistant

Teaching assistants in the chemistry department supervise and teach recitations and laboratories. It is necessary for teaching assistants to prepare for teaching labs and recitations. In addition, teaching assistants 1) grade recitation quizzes, lab reports, homework, and exams; 2) hold office hours; 3) attend weekly staff meetings; 4) proctor exams.


Undergraduates, PhD students from all colleges, master's students from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) are eligible to apply. Master's degree students from outside LAS are NOT eligible to apply. 

For consideration, candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Strong communication skills
  • At least one full year of college chemistry; preference will be given to candidates with more courses
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team
  • Strong professional skills
  • Must attend TA training in August for the two weeks prior to the start of the fall term (weekdays only); the training is 8 hours on each week day. If you can’t attend training for the full time, you cannot serve as a TA in chemistry. 
  • Must be available for teaching responsibilities for the entire semester - THROUGH the end of finals week.


  • Attend training on weekdays August 14th through August 23rd (weekdays only). Training occurs the 8 business days prior to the start of classes in the fall. The training start date is based upon the university academic calendar. If the start date of the fall semester changes, TA training will change as well.
  • Prepare for recitations and laboratories – this includes carefully learning material that you are unfamiliar with
  • Teach laboratory and recitation sections
  • Follow and enforce all safety rules in the laboratory
  • Grade homework, lab reports, quizzes, and exams according to the directions provided by the course instructor
  • Hold office hours in the general chemistry help center
  • Proctor exams
  • Attend weekly staff meetings

Graduate TA Positions for Non-Chemistry Majors

Additional Requirements:

  • Score of 60% or higher on a general chemistry exam (see below for details)
  • International students MUST take the ISU OECT (Oral English Certification Test formerly SPEAK/TEACH) and earn a score of 1 or 2; students without a score will not be considered. For information about OECT, visit: Center for Communication Excellence
  • Master's degree students from the colleges of Engineering, Business, Human Sciences and Agriculture are NOT eligible to apply.

Compensation for Graduate TA positions:

  • Graduate students in a Master’s degree program:
    • ½ time positions earn $10,188 split equally over 5 months plus ½ graduate tuition
    • ¼ time positions earn $5,094 split equally over 5 months plus ¼ graduate tuition
  • Graduate students in a Ph.D. program:
    • ½ time positions earn $10,188 split equally over 5 months plus full graduate tuition
    • ¼ time positions earn $5,094 split equally over 5 months plus ½ graduate tuition

½ time positon = 20 hours per week
¼ time positions = 10 hours per week

Application Process


  1. Complete the application.  If you have taught before include your teaching evaluations along with your application by June 14th.
  2. Applicants will be contacted by email regarding date, time and location of exam. The exam will cover material taught in a full-year U.S. general chemistry course for physical science majors. Topics covered: Principles and quantitative relationships, stoichiometry, chemical equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, thermochemistry, rates and mechanism of reactions (kinetics), changes of state, solution behavior, atomic structure, periodic relationships, chemical bonding (Lewis structures, VSEPR theory, and hybridization), and significant figures.

Undergraduate TA Application

Additional Requirements:

  • Junior or senior status (exceptionally well-qualified sophomores will be considered)
  • Overall GPA of 3.00 or greater
  • B or higher in general chemistry

Compensation for Undergraduate TA positions

Pay rate: $15 per hour

Undergraduate TAs work an average of 10 - 15 hours per week. A typical teaching assignment consists of one or two 50-minute recitation, one 3-hour lab, one help center hour, and one 60-minute staff meeting per week. Teaching assistants are paid on an hourly basis for preparing for class, proctoring, and grading (of exams, lab reports, homework assignments, and quizzes). Most of the general chemistry classes have evening exams, so exam proctoring and grading usually takes place in the evening (6 PM to midnight).

New undergraduate teaching assistants are required to attend TA training from August 9th to August 18th - again the pay would be $13 per hour and prior to the start of school, the hours are likely to be around 30 - 40 hours per week.

This is great experience for undergraduates; teaching is an excellent way to really learn chemistry well and looks very good on applications for employment and graduate school. This is also a good way to get to know our chemistry faculty well and to gain references.

Application Process

  1. Complete the application. If you have taught before include your teaching evaluations along with your application by June 14th.

Applications are evaluated as they are received – so early submissions are encouraged.

Questions about the application process should be directed to:

isuchemistry@iastate.edu 515/294-6361 (Adam Wade) or visit 1605 Gilman Hall.