Penn State's TA load

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karlweierstrass
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Penn State's TA load

Post by karlweierstrass » Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:21 pm

Hi! I have been accepted to Penn State with quite generous funding ( there's a post here addressing the money part).

I talked to a couple of grad students there and came to know that the teaching load is really bad. Some of them couldn't devote the required time to research due to practically having to teach so much.

Is this one of the reasons why Penn State pays so well as compared to say OSU? Isn't this a red flag?

Cheers!

emmynoether126
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:54 pm

Re: Penn State's TA load

Post by emmynoether126 » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:08 pm

Hi! I have also been accepted to Penn State :D and was wondering about the TA load. It's 20 hrs/week for 10 months. The funding is quite generous. There is also mention of the possibility of reduced contact hours during one semester of the second year for students who pass their quals within the first year.

I suppose that the funding and the school's "reputation for producing fine teachers" is why the TA load seems high. (?)

Is it a reasonable amount of TA work given coursework, research, etc? Given the funding?

If anyone has experience with TAships, their input would be helpful.

karlweierstrass
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:15 pm

Re: Penn State's TA load

Post by karlweierstrass » Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:59 pm

emmynoether126 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:08 pm
Hi! I have also been accepted to Penn State :D and was wondering about the TA load. It's 20 hrs/week for 10 months. The funding is quite generous. There is also mention of the possibility of reduced contact hours during one semester of the second year for students who pass their quals within the first year.

I suppose that the funding and the school's "reputation for producing fine teachers" is why the TA load seems high. (?)

Is it a reasonable amount of TA work given coursework, research, etc? Given the funding?

If anyone has experience with TAships, their input would be helpful.
Well, if you're unhappy, and not getting your research done and on top of that have to teach 20hrs/week ( a lot goes into preparing for this too), I am not quite sure more money is gonna make the problems go away. People there were telling me to weigh this factor in before choosing Penn State.

pkzrd
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:43 pm

Re: Penn State's TA load

Post by pkzrd » Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:58 pm

karlweierstrass wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:59 pm
emmynoether126 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:08 pm
Hi! I have also been accepted to Penn State :D and was wondering about the TA load. It's 20 hrs/week for 10 months. The funding is quite generous. There is also mention of the possibility of reduced contact hours during one semester of the second year for students who pass their quals within the first year.

I suppose that the funding and the school's "reputation for producing fine teachers" is why the TA load seems high. (?)

Is it a reasonable amount of TA work given coursework, research, etc? Given the funding?

If anyone has experience with TAships, their input would be helpful.
Well, if you're unhappy, and not getting your research done and on top of that have to teach 20hrs/week ( a lot goes into preparing for this too), I am not quite sure more money is gonna make the problems go away. People there were telling me to weigh this factor in before choosing Penn State.
In my experience 20hrs/week isn't that bad assuming they allocate those hours conservatively i.e. 10 hours for a calculus course with ~30/40 people with 2-3 hour weekly lectures.

What's worst is (sorry I can't find a better adjective here) incompetent undergraduates.

RunningOutOfHope
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 2:04 pm

Re: Penn State's TA load

Post by RunningOutOfHope » Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:53 pm

20/hours a week for a TA is standard across most schools. However, in practice rarely are the full 20 hours used per week, perhaps only on exam weeks and such.

lee_34
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:34 am

Re: Penn State's TA load

Post by lee_34 » Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:04 am

I also got into Penn State. :D Looks like Penn state is a huge school and they definitely need a lot of cheap labors. Quite a lot of schools offer no teaching duties for first year phd student. I will be surprised if they want grad students to work that much especially there are so many qualifying exams that students need to take.



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