Mentored Teaching Requirements

Every student will be required to complete four Mentored Teaching Experiences (MTE) as part of their graduation requirements. An MTE includes all teaching experiences at the University of Chicago, such as acting as a Teaching Assistant (TA) or as an instructor of record. Students are not allowed to teach additional classes outside of these Mentored Teaching Experiences. Most students will complete their MTE requirements by TA-ing for four different classes. If a student wishes to TA for a class outside the Department of Political Science (e.g. in the Core), or if a student wants to TA a second time for the same class, they must obtain permission from the DGS before committing to that TA position. 

Prior to completing three MTEs, a student may co-teach a course, serve as a BA preceptor, or act as an instructor of record. Any one such position can be counted as two MTEs. Otherwise, all teaching experiences will be counted as one MTE. 

Students who have completed their MTE requirements, and are ABD in good standing, are eligible to apply for teaching a course as instructor of record. This will count as one additional MTE, for a total of 5 MTEs. This is an option available to students who wish to expand their teaching portfolio, and is not a requirement. 

Teaching Assistantships  

Teaching assistants work with an instructor to gain experience in leading discussion sections, grading papers and exams, and in some courses, training in pedagogical methods. Students serve as TAs in political science undergraduate courses and in graduate methodology courses. TAs are responsible for leading discussion sections and grading written assignments.  

The department announces its teaching assistant needs in the spring quarter for the following academic year. Students apply and a faculty committee makes the appointments. Unexpected needs frequently arise at the beginning of each quarter and the department may need to appoint TAs at the last minute.  

Grodzins Prize Lectureships  

Advanced graduate students in political science may be selected as a Grodzins Prize Lecturers. They offer their own undergraduate courses. Course proposals should be aimed at the educational objectives of the undergraduate majors. This is not as specialized as a dissertation, but rather designed to introduce students to some of the conceptual problems and empirical underpinnings of the field. Example of previous Grodzins Prize course offerings include "Violence and Development in Africa," "Political Economy of Inequality," "Interpreting Contemporary Unrest," and "Experiments in American Politics and Policy."  

Chicago Center for Teaching  

The Chicago Center for Teaching provides support to graduate students, postdocs, and faculty through workshops, seminars, and conferences. These include the Workshop on Teaching in the College, a two-day orientation for new teaching assistants and instructors at the start of autumn quarter; the Fundamentals of Teaching Workshop, and Preparing Future Faculty Series. The Center's College Teaching Certificate documents graduate students' professional development through the process of critically reflecting on university teaching in general and their own practices in particular.