Teaching Assistantships

Income from Teaching Assistant (TA) positions makes up a portion of the Physics graduate student annual stipends. All SFU Physics graduate students will be notified each term when Teaching Assistant (TA) positions are posted. Students should consult with their senior supervisors prior to applying for TA positions for advice regarding their TA workload in relation to their courses and research.

TAs are assigned in Base Units (BU). A base unit represents a maximum of 42 hours of work per term. A full TA load is five base units.

Applying for Teaching Assistant Positions (New Students)

It is typical for MSc students to be fully funded by awards and TAs for their first two terms, with the balance of the stipend received as a Research Assistantship (paid through senior supervisors’ research grants) in the third term.  Depending on department TA needs, students will receive four or five base unit TAs during their first two terms in the graduate program as a component of their guaranteed funding. The amount of the RA in the third term will depend upon how many total BUs the student TAed in the first two terms. Typically, new MSc students should apply to hold a minimum of four TA base units during the first two terms in the program to ensure they receive the TA component of their guaranteed funding.

PhD students will typically have confirmed supervisory relationships prior to beginning their graduate programs, and should consult with their senior supervisors regarding TA loads.

Major Entrance Scholarship or NSERC scholarship holders should check with the the Graduate Program Assistant to confirm their funding structures before submitting Teaching Assistant applications.

Applying for Teaching Assistant Positions (Current Students)

Confirm Your Funding for the Upcoming Semester

Each term your senior supervisor is asked to confirm the funding arrangements for each of their students. Please confirm your funding for the upcoming term with your senior supervisor to determine whether or not you are required to hold a teaching assistant position as part of your stipend.

By the end of their first term in the program, most students will have submitted an Approval of Supervisory Committee form to formalize an arrangement with a senior supervisor. In some cases this is not possible. If you do not have a senior supervisor, please confirm your funding for the upcoming term with the Physics Graduate Program Assistant.

Check the Physics Postings Page

Students who will not be funded by their supervisors through Research Assistantships should apply for TA positions.

At least eight weeks before the beginning of the semester, the Physics department will post Teaching Assistant positions on the Physics Postings page. The Graduate Program Assistant will send an email to your SFU email account notifying you that the postings are up. Students admitted in the Fall term can expect to receive this notification in June.

Pay close attention to the "Closing Date" on the positions. This is the deadline for applications.

Submit a TA Application Through the Online Application Form

Follow the instructions on the Physics Postings page to submit your online TA application.