Teaching Assistant Positions in Chemistry

Teaching assistant Judy Hines

The Department of Chemistry employs many graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) to teach introductory and intermediate chemistry courses. Although the majority of our TAs are associated with the chemistry department, we often have positions available during the fall and spring semesters for TAs from other departments.

Eligibility Requirements

Graduate students with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or a closely related field are eligible to apply. A minimum of two years of college chemistry is required to teach in our introductory-level General Chemistry courses (CHEM 103, 104, 108, or 109). The majority of successful applicants have also studied physical chemistry. Completion of one semester of physical chemistry is required to teach in courses beyond the introductory level.

Non-native English speakers must have a satisfactory score on the SPEAK test. Those who scored a 26/30 or higher on the speaking section of the iBt TOEFL test or 8.0 or higher in the speaking section of IELTS are exempt from the test. Candidates needing the SPEAK test, should email undergrad@chem.wisc.edu as soon as possible to schedule the test. The test usually needs to be taken at least 2 months prior to the start of the semester.

Description of Duties

A teaching assistantship in Chemistry is a 45 percent appointment, averaging 18 hours a week over an 18 week period. Most of the positions available are in the General Chemistry courses, which include lecture, lab, and discussion. A faculty or staff instructor oversees the course and teaches the lectures. TAs are responsible for two sections of students (~22 students per section) and teach the lab and discussion classes for those students. Other responsibilities include attending lectures and staff meetings, holding office hours, proctoring exams, and grading. Responsibilities for TAs in the other courses are similar, but there will be differences depending on the course.


Teaching assignments are planned around each TA’s own class schedule. Applicants need to have some open blocks of time during which they are available to teach. Those with very full class schedules can be difficult to accommodate. Exact section assignments are not finalized until about a week before the start of classes. Some lab sections meet in the evenings.

How to Apply

Interested candidates can apply via the Student Jobs website. Positions will be posted in late June for the fall semesters, late October for spring semesters, and late March for summer positions. The ensured consideration date is six weeks prior to the start of the training. When applying you will need to upload a copy of your resume and unofficial copies of all college transcripts.

Non-native English speakers will also need to upload their SPEAK test results (if available), or if exempt, their TOEFL or IELTS scores.


Email:  undergrad@chem.wisc.edu
Phone: (608) 263-2424

Teaching Specialist Positions in Chemistry

Interested candidates who are not students need to apply as teaching specialists (TS). These positions are advertised on the Jobs at UW-Madison website. Approximate posting dates are mid July for fall positions, mid November for spring positions, and mid April for summer positions.