PRIMES UTA Program in Chemistry

The PRIMES (Partnership for Retention Improvement in Math, Engineering, and Science) Program provides our talented chemistry majors the opportunity to teach in our labs and recitations. PRIMES UTAs (undergraduate teaching assistants) have proven to be invaluable resources for our senior instructors and uniquely qualified mentors to novice STEM students. More than 90% of our UTAs so love this program that they enroll for multiple semesters!


ELIGIBILITY:  PRIMES is open to chemistry majors that have completed through Chem 341-343 with a 3.0 minimum GPA in Chemistry, a faculty recommendation, and an interview with the PRIMES faculty member.

COURSEWORK:  UTAs enroll for 1 credit hour in Chem 430: Practicum in Chemistry Education (CUE) for each semester they teach for a maximum of 3 hrs though some opt for 4th and 5th stints for stipend only.

  • Chem UTAs train with other STEM majors in Math, Physics, and Geosciences in a pre-semester workshop. They participate in periodic seminars and PRIMES community blogs during the semester.
  • Chem UTAs normally teach either one GenChem or Organic laboratory or 2 recitations normally in Chem 201, 202, 201H, 202H, 341H or 342H.
  • Chem UTAs also earn $1400/semester in addition to earning the upper-level credit.

PRIMES: Faculty Member: If you are interested in applying or want more information contact: Jenny Jokinen, 852-9004 or .


“This program helped me to improve my public speaking skills, time management, creative thinking, and critical thinking.”

“It has given me metacognitive skills that have allowed me to use my time more efficiently not only as a UTA but as a student as well.”

“ forces me to look at problems at different angles, which deepens the level of understanding that I have towards the topic.”

"Being a TA forces you to improve a huge variety of skills as a student. It looks great on grad school applications, it makes you a better speaker, it makes you moreorganized. Honestly, I don’t see any downsides to being a TA."

“As a UTA, I feel like I have gotten a better grasp on a lot of the material. I knew the material before teaching, but when I had to teach, I had to learn it at a different level so that I could explain it to a group of students."

“the experience has taught me to approach my own school in different ways interms of efficiency and critical thinking…and the stipend meant I didn’t need to get an off-campus job!”

“I loved working with my senior instructor and got to know other professors too.I feel like I’m a valued member of the department.”