Availability of Positions

We allocate Teaching Assistants (TAs) based on student enrollment, and jobs are assigned based on the previous year's enrollment. Positions may be eliminated depending on enrollment. In these cases, we make every effort to find replacement positions, if possible.

Start and End Date

TAs may start working one week before the semester begins and cannot work after final grades are submitted. Faculty members must make their own payment arrangements if they want TAs to work either before or after the semester. TAs must be in contact with faculty members as soon as they receive their job offers.


Amounts are determined in compliance with the Harvard Graduate Student (HGSU) contract and pay is based on job title, not degree status. Course Assistants (CAs) are paid an hourly rate and receive a weekly paycheck. Teaching Fellows (TFs) and Course Coaches (CCs) receive a flat per-course salary. HGSU TF and CC positions are paid on a bi-weekly payroll schedule and Non-HGSU TF and CC positions are paid monthly.

Number of Hours TAs May Work

On average, most Course Assistants work 8-10 hours per week. Each faculty member sets a limit for the number of hours per week they expect CAs to work. CAs must be aware of this limit and communicate with faculty member if they may exceed the limit.

Teaching Fellows and Course Coaches are salaried positions and do not submit hours. The overall expectation is these positions work an approximate average of 10 hours per week over the appointment period for standard courses. Therefore, the expectation is TFs/CCs typically work between 8-12 hours per week. Positions in MPP1 core courses may be more intensive and receive additional compensation.


Direct all tax questions to the Harvard Tax Services office (617-496-6800). If you are an international student, check with the Harvard International Office to see if your home country has a tax treaty with the United States.

Other Jobs in Combination with TA Jobs

TAs are required to inform the Associate Director of Academic Planning Julie Burgholzer if they have other jobs at Harvard University. In most cases, this isn't an issue, but there are some university-wide limits related to total number of hours worked and particular combinations of positions.

International Students

International students with appropriate visa status may serve as TAs. They must obtain a Social Security Number by the end of the academic year in order to work. It is the student’s responsibility to work with the Harvard International Office to ensure that required paperwork is in order.

Course Conflicts with Job Assignments

TAs are required to identify course schedule conflicts before accepting offers.  Students will not be released from required courses that conflict with TA commitments. 

Taking the Course for Credit

Students may not work as members of the teaching team for a course in which they are enrolled for credit.

Eligibility for Employment

TAs must be enrolled full time as students at HKS during the semester they work.  Exceptions for students at other Harvard schools will be infrequent, and individuals who are not current Harvard students are generally ineligible for these positions.

HKS/Harvard Codes & Policies