Positions posted on this page are restricted to members of CUPE 3902 Unit 1. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3902 Unit 1 represents University of Toronto students, mainly graduate students, working as Teaching Assistants, Teaching Laboratory Assistants, markers, graders and instructors.
Currently Available Positions
Please review the TA Application System Instructions.
Department Standards and Policies are available in the Geography Department office and in the CUPE Local 3902 office. Posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Collective Agreement.
Teaching Assistantships (TA) FAQs
Students holding teaching assistant (TA) positions provide a variety of services to undergraduate courses including marking assignments and running tutorials and laboratory sessions. These positions are considered both a source of funding and a form of professional training.
Students may TA at any of our three campus locations (St. George/downtown, UTM/Mississauga and UTSC/Scarborough). Students with a TA component in their base funding package who do not apply for TA positions, or who decline positions they are offered, are considered to have forfeited this funding and will have their total funding reduced accordingly.
The department assigns students to their subsequent appointments in May/June for the following academic year.
Once subsequent appointments are assigned, the department will circulate remaining available TA positions and application instructions to incoming and current students in July.
Additional positions may be posted throughout the year and are circulated to students as they become available.
Notices announcing positions to be filled are available via the Geography and Planning TAships website (under "Employment Opportunities"). There, you will find information about available TA positions (including the submission deadline) and a link to the department TAship system where you will be able to submit your application online. You will need to log in with your UTORid and password. Clicking on the "Application" link will allow you to complete the application form.
If you do not yet have a UTORid (which is to be activated on campus at Robarts library), you can use the JOINId that you received approximately 3-5 days after you submitted your online application for admission in an acknowledgement email from U of T. Once you have activated your JOINid, you can use it to log onto the TAship system and start applying to positions. View SGS resource for more information on JOINids.
TAship postings are also distributed on the Graduate Listserv and on the Central HR & Equity Job postings website.
Fall/Winter session: TA positions to be filled are announced by end of June; TAship offers are made no later than the mid-August.
Summer session: TA positions to be filled are announced by mid-March; TAship offers are made no later than end of April. There are also emergency positions advertised throughout the year.
The Department of Geography & Planning considers the following when making appointments:
- the minimum threshold qualifications required for a posted position
- academic qualifications
- previous experience, and, for continuing students, previous satisfactory employment under the provisions of the Collective Agreement.
As stipulated by the Collective Agreement, students who have lapsed are ineligible for a TAship appointment.
Primary appointments are made for the Fall/Winter Session (September–April), for Full (Y) courses and/or Half (F or S) courses.
There are also a few positions available for the Summer Session (May–August), for Full (Y) courses and/or Half (F or S) courses.
Students who accept TAships should be available for the entirety of the term in which the course is running, from the first day of classes up until the term ends and/or the university closes.
Yes. TAs may be assigned to lead tutorials and help with marking and course administration in courses taught on all three campuses (Downtown Toronto/St. George, Mississauga and Scarborough). Although graduate students’ preference as to the campus location of their TA appointment will be taken into account, both the initial TA appointment and subsequent appointment obligations may be met through position(s) on any one of the three campuses (UTM, UTSC, or St. George) in courses in the same discipline as the initial appointment. Over the course of a PhD program, TAs can anticipate working on more than one campus.
Students should be ready to travel to the campus where the course in which they work as TAs is offered (for invigilation, office hours, lecture attendance, tutorials, exam marking, etc.) as often as required.
Yes. If you are a tutorial Teaching Assistant, TAs have the opportunity to request evaluations for the tutorial/lab sections they are leading. The undergraduate office will send a link to the evaluation to students registered in the tutorial/lab section. Once grades have been submitted for the course, the evaluation results will be sent to the TA.
Marking Teaching Assistants do not get course evaluations.
Incoming Graduate Students
Yes, almost all PhD, MA, and MSc students must work some hours as TAs as part of their funding package. The number of hours varies according to other sources of funding but is usually in the range of 160 hours.
Some students may decide not to take on any TA work. If you are thinking of not working as a TA in your first year, you must contact Teaching Assistant Admin Geography & Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org, to make sure that you are fully informed of how this decision may impact your funding package.
Incoming students who wish to work as TA during the upcoming Fall/Winter session – including those who have TA hours included as part of their funding package – must apply to the TA positions that will be advertised at the end of June.
Students will have about three weeks to apply, and the outcome of their application will be communicated to them via email by mid-August.
There are also emergency positions advertised throughout the year.
Incoming students who want to TA are encouraged to apply to as many positions as possible, as this will maximize the likelihood that they receive a TAship. They are invited to use the "Comments" section of the application form to indicate to which of these positions they would prefer to be assigned.
Returning Graduate Students
After they have held their first TA appointment (usually in the first year of their PhD), PhD students are entitled to five more subsequent appointments (that is, six appointments in total). These appointments are usually held during the Fall/Winter session. Students holding a subsequent appointment are "guaranteed" to be offered a certain number of hours. Based on their preferences, one (or more) TA position is earmarked for them. TAs are informed of these earmarks by early July.
Teaching Assistants seeking renewal for their first five subsequent appointments (i.e.,Fall/Winter appointments two through six) must confirm their intention to take up their next subsequent appointment and must fill out a Course Preference form to indicate their preferred subject areas, courses, and campus location. This is done through the online TAship system.
Mid-May: an email will remind students holding subsequent appointments to indicate their preferences. "Anticipated course offerings" for the upcoming Fall/Winter session to help TAs indicate their preferences on GGR TA website. 20 days from receipt of email is the deadline for indicating course preferences for students holding subsequent appointments for Fall/Winter-session courses.
Due consideration is given to TAs’ preferences as to the nature and location of their TAship appointments. Where possible, students are assigned positions reflecting their preferences. When this is not possible, TAs are assigned to courses in fields in which they are or should be qualified to assist.
TAs starting either their fifth or sixth subsequent appointment have a one-time-only right to continue as a TA in the course in which they were employed in the previous year.
Students who want additional TA hours are invited to apply for the TA positions advertised at the end of June; for the various emergency postings advertised throughout the year; and for Summer-session TAships. All students are welcome to apply for these postings; however, additional hours cannot be guaranteed.
Yes, students holding subsequent appointments may indicate their preference to work fewer hours than what they are entitled to. The hours that they choose not to work are forfeited and cannot be carried forward to the following academic year.
Once during their employment, TAs have the right to defer a subsequent appointment (i.e., to delay an appointment to a non-consecutive academic session). Deadline: mid-August. TAs may indicate their wish to defer their next subsequent appointment when filling out their Course Preference Form in April. They may also request a deferral of their subsequent appointment at any time until mid-August by contacting the TA coordinator and informing her of their decision.
TAs may indicate their wish to defer their next subsequent appointment when filling out their Course Preference Form in April. They may also request a deferral of their subsequent appointment at any time until August 15 by contacting the TA coordinator and informing her of their decision.
Once during their employment, TAs have the right to defer a subsequent appointment (i.e., to delay an appointment to a non-consecutive academic session). Deadline: August 15.
TAs thinking of declining their subsequent appointment and/or of working fewer hours than their entitlement must consult Teaching Assistant Admin Geography & Planning, email@example.com, to make sure that they are fully informed of how these decisions may impact their funding package.
After their sixth Fall/Winter appointment, PhD students who have an entitlement with the Department of Geography & Planning have the right to additional appointments of at least 70 hours per academic year.
The application process is the same as above.
Students are eligible to apply for TAships that have a starting date before their convocation date:
November graduation: students graduating in November are eligible for: F- and Y-term TAships (starting in September).
March graduation: students graduating in March are eligible for: F- and Y-term TAships (starting in September); S-term TAships (starting in January).
June graduation: students graduating in June are eligible for: F- and Y-term Summer-session TAships (starting in May).
For further questions regarding TAships, please contact Teaching Assistant Admin Geography & Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org.