Teaching assistantships are competitively awarded. These awards require you to do work for the department in exchange for a full tuition waiver (fall and spring semesters) and a monthly stipend. TAships require approximately 20 hours of work per week.
TAships are yearly assignments; students must apply for renewal of these awards every year. Renewal depends on successful progress in the degree program and successful work performance, whether in the office, the classroom, the Writing Center, or as a Research Assistant to a faculty member. Masters students can apply for a maximum of two years of funding, PhD students for three years. We offer an occasional fourth-year of support to literature students who are working to complete their dissertations; fourth-year support is highly competitive. Please note that the number of TAships granted to the department is designated by the Office of Graduate Studies and varies from year to year.
The work students do for the department is important. We need and we expect excellent, responsible teachers and tutors, office workers and RAs. It matters to us that students do their jobs well and take them seriously. This work is also a crucial part of professional development and will serve students as they develop their C.V.s, their teaching portfolios, and their academic credentials more generally. We expect and we will enforce the highest level of professionalism from our students.
Teaching assistants who will be teaching at Southern Miss for the first time (regardless of previous experience elsewhere) will be required to take a teaching practicum, ENG 690. The practicum focuses on ENG 101 the first semester, and ENG 102 the second, and provides TAs with syllabi, readings and assignments for their classes. It is a 6-credit course, but the credits do not count towards degree requirements.
Enrollment Requirements for TAs
Students on assistantship or work study MUST be registered for 12 hours in the fall and spring semesters and at least 1 hour in the summer. Failure to enroll in enough hours will mean that your tuition waiver will not take effect and you will be billed for your tuition. Since most students do not take more than 3 classes (9 hours) each semester, students may sign up for their additional hours under English 791 (“Research in English”). English 791 requires no work and will not count toward the degree. It is a placeholder class that ensures that students can maintain full-time status.
Please note: Because of the way the computer system works, you will be billed if your enrollment drops below the required number of hours for even a minute. This means that if you drop a class, even if you sign up for 791 hours immediately thereafter, you will still have triggered the billing process. To avoid this, please do all adding and dropping of classes through the Graduate School rather than through the Registrar’s Office.
TAs are paid $10,000 over nine months (September-May) at the end of each month.
The following paperwork must be completed and returned to the Student Employment Office, located at 125 McLemore Hall, before you can receive your first paycheck:
- Federal Form W-4
- Mississippi Employee's Withholding Exemption Certificate
- I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification
- State Directory of New Hires
- Direct Deposit Form
- Election to Discontinue Printing Direct Deposit Advice
- Drug Free Workplace
All required forms can be found here.
Those students who have been assigned one or more courses to teach must also fill out a Verification of Faculty Credentials form, and must have official transcripts sent to:
Student Employment Office
118 College Drive #5014
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001.