Teaching Assistantships (TAs)

The TA process timeline:

The password for the online TA system is *not* your email/Kerberos password. It is unique to the Department website, e.g., how you log into the Architecture website to change your profile, add projects, etc.

  1. Approximately four weeks before the start of a term, the Department’s Administrative Officer, Andreea O’Connell, designates which subjects will have one or more TA positions. Most positions are "one-half TA" (50% effort), 10 hours/week, with a few exceptions.
  2. Each discipline area director receives a list of students in their discipline area who must have a specific type of student employment (usually a TA position) as designated in their financial package. Each area then assigns every student on this list to a specific TA or other appropriate position.
  3. Next instructors/discipline area staff use the new online system to both create the job and assign it to the student identified above (see instructions). This triggers headquarters to review the job and confirm student eligibility before the job is posted to the Department website showing that a student has already been selected to fill the position.
  4. After all students from each discipline area list have a job assignment, instructors may assign a student not on this list to other positions not filled in the step above. The same process is followed whereby instructors/discipline area staff use the online system to both create the job and assign the student. This again triggers the headquarters review/approval process.
  5. About two weeks before the term starts, students receive an email with a link to information on student employment and instructions on how to view jobs and apply for an open position using the new online system.

First preference for TA positions is given to students enrolled in graduate programs in the Department of Architecture. If there is no Architecture graduate student available or qualified for the position, next preference will be given to undergraduate students enrolled as majors in the Department.

System for instructors to review TA's

We have a helpful new resource that may assist you in the TA selection process in future terms. Beginning in the Spring 2017 term instructors in subjects with one or more TA's received an email invitation to complete an evaluation form for each of their TA's. We now have the results of those evaluations — in other words, the beginning of a repository organized by student name. As you consider students applying for TA positions you can check to see if any evaluations exist for the student by contacting Tonya Miller. If any evaluations exist for that student you will receive a DropBox invitation to review them. Alternatively you can review hard copies kept in a binder in Tonya's office (7-344A), across from headquarters.

The repository’s usefulness will of course increase as more term evaluations are collected. Please be aware that although TA's are not formally notified that these evaluations take place, they can at any time request to view their own individual results.

TA Compensation

I-9 Form

All employees and student workers are required on or BEFORE their first day of work, to complete Section 1 of the I-9 form and bring it to the Atlas Service Center (E17, 1st floor). The I-9 Central Representative will complete section 2 of the form and record the work authorization information into the SAP HR Payroll system.


TA salaries are set by the Department in conjunction with Institute guidelines and are paid at the end of each month. The Institute is obliged to withhold Federal and Massachusetts State income taxes, and the appropriate forms must be filed before payment can be made.

The few full-time (100%) TA positions available pay $13,104 per semester and require approximately 20 hours of work per week at the master’s level. Half-time TA’s (approximately 10 hours per week) are also available with corresponding rate of pay of $6552 per semester. Note that these positions are salaried and not hourly jobs, so the number of hours quoted may vary from week to week.

TA Duties

The duties of a TA include assisting faculty members in grading homework, quizzes, classroom and laboratory instruction, preparing apparatus or material for demonstrations, and conducting tutorials and discussion sections. They may also include tasks such as ordering supplies (see Studio & Design Workshop Budget Allocation sheet) for design studio projects, preparation of class readers, contacting outside reviewers, reserving special lecture and jury spaces, securing audio visual equipment, etc. There is a mandatory TA training for all TAs at the start of each Fall and Spring term.

TA Training

At the beginning of each term, all TAs are required to attend a training session that provides guidance in administrative matters such as purchasing, reimbursements, travel, room reservations, open houses and much more. For more information on the TA training, contact Cynthia Stewart (617-253-4408).

*rates vary with changes in Institute tuition. Please consult the Registrar’s current tuition rates.