Since its inception in 1939, the Teaching Fellow Program has expanded from a few individuals to more than 1,200 per year. Teaching fellows (TFs) have become valued and important members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and play an important role in the education of Harvard College students. As TFs, graduate students teach part-time as an integral part of their training for the PhD or, in exceptional cases, for a master’s degree.
TFs assist with courses under the supervision of course heads, who hold formal teaching appointments. The teaching fellowship is not a formal teaching appointment: only those holding appointments as professor, lecturer, or preceptor are responsible for the structure and content of a course. While duties may include teaching sections, conducting tutorials, recommending grades, and supervising independent study projects, each TF experience can vary. For example, some TFs may supervise a tutorial, while others work as a team with the course head and other TFs in larger classes, sharing responsibility for grading examinations, problem sets, and papers. Graduate student teaching is supervised and regularly evaluated by the faculty.