Graduate teaching assistantships

Information on the Department of Classical and Modern Languages Graduate Teaching Assistantships

Announcing the 2020 competition for assistantships beginning in fall 2020

(APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 28th, 2020)

Spanish MA applicants seeking a graduate teaching assistantship must:

1) fill out an Intent to Apply form (download form) and submit to Dr. Manuel Medina, Director of Graduate Study, at

2) apply for admission to the Spanish MA program via the Online Graduate Application for Admission, including with their application supplementary materials as outlined in the instructions below. 

NOTE: strongest consideration will be given to applicants who have completed their application by the February 28th deadline.



Every year the Department of Classical and Modern Languages awards a limited number of graduate teaching assistantships to support full-time graduate students working towards the Master’s degree in Spanish. Applications are submitted in the early spring for appointments beginning the following fall.

Graduate teaching assistantships most often take the form of a one-year appointment awarded to students just beginning the French or Spanish MA program (renewable for a second year pending standing). During their first year, GTAs assume a variety of supervised duties (e.g., assistant teaching, grading, direction of conversation tables) amounting to about 20 hours of work per week. Once GTAs have completed 18 hours of graduate study (generally at the end of their first year), they are assigned to their own classrooms, teaching up to two basic language classes per semester. GTAs are expected to perform all of their duties in conjunction with a full-time load of nine graduate credit hours (three courses) per semester, completing their degree at the end of their second year.

Occasionally, the department awards one-year assistantships to current Spanish MA students who will have completed 18 hours of graduate credit by the start date of the appointment. Such GTAs are assigned immediately to teach basic language and are expected to complete their degree by the end of the appointment year.

Benefits of the GTAship
All GTAs receive:

  • tuition remission for full-time graduate study (three courses per semester, excluding summer) for the duration of the appointment;
  • a stipend for living expenses (in 2019-2020 the amount was $14,000), paid in ten equal payments from August through May.
  • university health insurance for the ten-month contract period (August-May).  (NOTE: GTAs who are awarded a second year will need to cover their own health insurance costs in June and July between their first and second years.)

GTA eligibility requirements
Applicants for a graduate teaching assistantship in Spanish must:

  • possess oral and written proficiency in Spanish at the advanced level, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages;
  • meet all of the requirements for admission into the Spanish MA program; and
  • submit a complete application for admission to the Spanish MA, including required supplementary materials, by the February 28th deadline.

GTA application process
Applicants must submit an enhanced application for admission to the Spanish MA program via the Online Graduate Application for Admission. The following materials must be included with your application:

  • Transcripts from all accredited institutions where you earned undergraduate and/or graduate credit (submitted directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies by the institution). Minimum GPA required for undergraduate work: 3.0 on a four-point scale.
  • Two letters of evaluation from professors or work supervisors (submitted directly to the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies by the evaluators). Detailed comments must accompany the evaluation form and address specifically:
    • your potential for graduate work and/or potential as a teacher;
    • your capacity for working as part of a team;
    • your communication skills in Spanish and/or English. (At least one evaluator must comment specifically on your proficiency in Spanish.)
  • A 500-1000 word essay, written in Spanish, in which you give a detailed account of the following:
    • your preparation in the field of Hispanic studies, including study abroad and/or work with the Hispanic community;
    • a positive pedagogical experience you've had (whether as a teacher or as a student). Based on that experience, what do you feel are the best qualities a teacher can bring to the foreign-language classroom?
    • your professional goals, including, specifically, teaching-related goals.
  • A sample of academic writing of at least five pages, preferably a research paper written as part of the requirements for a university-level course. (May be in English or Spanish.)
  • A current resume.
  • (for applicants for whom English is a second language) TOEFL scores. Minimum required: 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 213 or higher on the computer-based test, or 550 or higher on the paper-based test. Applicants holding a bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States are exempt from this requirement.

NOTE: While submission of GRE scores is not required for admission to the Spanish M.A. program, it is strongly recommended for applicants who wish to be considered for a graduate teaching assistantship or other university-awarded fellowship. 

NOTE: applicants who are not current students at U of L may be asked to participate in a brief telephone interview.

Requirements for awardees

Applicants awarded a GTAship must:

  • possess a Social Security Number (SSN) or arrive in Louisville by mid-June in order to secure a SSN before start of employment (August 1st 2019).
  • report to Blanca Ruiz in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages main office (Bingham Humanities 332) no later than August 1st, 2019, in order to fill out required paperwork. GTAs who fail to submit all required paperwork by the August 1st deadline risk not receiving a paycheck for the month of August.
  • attend all GTA orientation sessions organized by the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies and the Department of Classical and Modern Languages (generally scheduled during the first three weeks in August).

 GTAs must, for the duration of their appointment:

  • engage in full-time graduate study (i.e, take three graduate-level courses per semester);
  • remain in good academic standing (i.e., maintain a GPA of at least 3.0); and
  • carry out responsibly all the duties of the assistantship.

NOTE: Awardees are expected to commit themselves full time to graduate study/teaching and are strongly discouraged from holding any outside employment (whether full or part time).  Dereliction in any of the above areas may be grounds for immediate termination of the assistantship.