Teaching Fellowships

GSAS guarantees teaching fellowships in the third and fourth years of graduate study equal to the current living stipend. Students must teach two sections, or fifths (fraction of the University rate for a full-time non-tenure-track teaching position), per term to satisfy this guarantee. Each fifth generally corresponds to teaching one section of a lecture course.

Although graduate students are not required to engage in teaching, it is considered to be a valuable part of the educational experience as well as a significant aspect of the university's fellowship program. Opportunities for teaching are usually made available to students beginning in their third year of graduate study. Such opportunities include teaching of sections in larger undergraduate courses and departmental undergraduate tutorials. At the end of each academic year, a list of courses potentially requiring teaching fellows will be circulated among graduate students. Since all such appointments are contingent upon enrollments, confirmation of appointment can only be made during the first few weeks of the course meeting. In recent years, teaching opportunities have been abundant and students have been offered an interesting array of opportunities. Departmental policies on the awarding of teaching fellowships are explained in the document distributed at the end of each year. Only in extremely unusual cases would a student teach in their second year of graduate study. This would happen only when significant coursework was taken prior to their study at Harvard, making that student, in effect, a G3 in their second year. In such a case, the total salary received would replace in whole or in part any stipend (financial aid above tuition) that may have been promised during the second year of coursework. Any request for teaching prior to the completion of all coursework will be handled and/or approved on an individual basis.



Third-year graduate students should prepare themselves for teaching by attending the Bok Center Orientation for New Teachers, usually held in the Sever Quadrangle and Emerson Hall one week before the fall term begins.


Employment Verification

Newly appointed Teaching Fellows must present the following employment verification: an I-9 form, a passport, social security number and valid photo identification (student IDs are invalid). TFs will also need to complete tax withholding forms, including a federal W-4 form and possibly a Massachusetts M-4. A voided check is needed for direct deposit of salary payments. International students who do not have United States documents must provide a passport and visa or I-20.



Five payments are made during each term on the 15th of each month (between August and December for the fall term, and between January and May for the spring term). If appointed after September 15th in the fall term or February 15th in the spring term, a Teaching Fellow will receive back pay in a subsequent pay period. G3s and G4s especially, but everyone else as well should know that 4/5 is the "standard" amount of teaching in any given academic year. It is true that you are allowed to teach up to 6/5 in a year by GSAS. But, because the teaching fellowships are now part of the financial aid promises that are made to students when they are admitted, the department must now be more mindful of equitability than ever. The Department considers 4/5 of teaching the fulfillment of the department/GSAS obligation in any given academic year. If you teach all 4/5 in the fall term (in or out of the department), you are placed at lowest priority for the spring term. That doesn't mean that you cannot be employed in the spring term, but you are not likely to be appointed early--only after enrollments warrant additional appointments.


GSAS Residential Positions

Residential positions are available to all graduate students. In early January, applications for Freshman Proctor and House Tutor positions can be made to the Freshman Dean's Office and the undergraduate dormitories, respectively. The usual stipend is room and board plus half of a teaching fifth for resident tutors or freshman proctors, and free meals for non-resident tutors. Tutors and proctors are expected to participate fully in the life of the Houses and provide academic advice to undergraduate concentrators in Art History. Graduate students may consult the GSAS Bulletin for application deadlines.



G3s are given highest priority for teaching.  G4s are given next priority.

Students should have completed all coursework and language requirements prior to applying for a teaching fellowship. Any request for teaching prior to completing all coursework will be handled on an individual basis. If all language requirements are not passed when a student is eligible to teach (G3+) or coursework is not complete, one semester only of teaching will be allowed until those requirements are met.

Regardless of any work done prior to or in the beginning of the term for a department course, an appointment as Teaching Fellow and the resulting salary is justified only by enrollments; compensation can only be guaranteed if enrollment warrants.

The Department has no separate funds for paying for course assistants who are not Teaching Fellows. It is a regrettable fact that appointments made prior to the beginning of the term may have to be rescinded or shifted depending on the enrollment for so long as the University policy excludes pre-registration we do not know what the numbers are with certainty until at least the 2nd week of the term.


Tutorial Application and Selection Process

The Sophomore Tutorial (HAA 97r), usually taken by undergraduates in their sophomore year, focuses on a specific area of art history. Up to two of these tutorials are offered each semester. Graduate students interested in teaching this tutorial are encouraged to submit proposals for subjects in their own areas of expertise. The Head Tutor may ask that a proposal be altered (e.g. if it is too broad or too narrow in scope).

The procedure for choosing instructors for the Advanced Tutorial is as follows:

To qualify as a tutor, graduate students must have completed their general examination and have had some previous teaching fellow experience.  Applications will be judged on the combined basis of the teaching fellow priority system, the applicant's qualifications, prior teaching experience, and the proposed topic. Generally, preference is given to those who have not taught a tutorial previously.

To ensure a broad range of tutorial offerings, the Department prefers to offer at least one non-Western and/or architecture tutorial.

The Methods Tutorial (HAA 98br) is an introduction to the methods and techniques of art history for new concentrators. The choice of instructors is based on priority as well as teaching qualifications.

Changes in status or availability (i.e. internships, fellowships, etc.) must be submitted to the department office in writing. Graduate students will not ordinarily teach a tutorial for two consecutive semesters. Students will be notified of their selection by letter generally at then end of the spring term. For both tutorials, sections and employment are dependent upon projected and actual enrollments.


Sections and Room Scheduling

Classrooms for sections are reserved prior to the term through a google doc.  Phantom sectioning cannot be done; rooms for sections can only be reserved for TFs that have been appointed at that time. The staff member designated for room scheduling will be in touch will all appointed teaching fellows and Head Teaching Fellows in particular.

The History of Art and Architecture Department holds regularly scheduled rooms through the regular term only; during reading period and final exams, rooms must be scheduled on a case-by-case basis.


TF/Graduate Student Office

The Teaching Fellows' office telephone number is 617.495.3342.

For large courses, Teaching Fellows are responsible for obtaining bluebooks for courses as needed from the supply room in the basement of the Science Center.

Old exams and papers from any semester should be stored (or returned to students) in the Teaching Fellows Office for one year only. After this time, they should be discarded.