Graduate Teaching Requirements

Teaching Overview

While some linguists with PhDs find jobs outside of academia, and some take research positions within academia that do not involve teaching, the majority of our graduate students aspire to academic jobs in Linguistics that will involve both graduate and undergraduate teaching. In order to be competitive for these jobs, students must demonstrate a high level of teaching ability and experience. Teaching is therefore a standard part of our graduate program, both in the form of mostly in the form of Course Assistantships, and in some cases, stand-alone Lectureships. Pedagogical training is also a component of the program.



Students are required to teach 1 CAship in their third year in the program, 2 CAships in their fourth year, and 2 CAships in their fifth year, as laid out in the schedule below. Students who wish to trade in 2 CA-ships for a lectureship must apply to the Department to do so. Another option would be for the student to team-teach a course with a regular faculty member, for training and classroom experience. Students must have advanced to candidacy before they’re eligible to teach a Graduate Lectureship.

In some cases, students may enter the program with sufficient background in Linguistics that they will be in a position to start teaching earlier in their graduate career. For such students, it would be possible to advance this plan by one year: 1 CAship in year two; 2 CAships in year three; 2 CAships in year four. Students in this alternate teaching plan must also complete the pedagogical training earlier. This timeline has the advantage of leaving years five and six completely free of teaching duties, allowing students to focus entirely on their dissertation research.

Pedagogical Training

Pedagogical training includes attending a minimum of 6 lectures in the Linguistics Department Pedagogy Workshop, to be completed by the end of the third year in the program. Approximately six lectures are offered every year.

As part of the training, students are also required to complete most of the requirements to obtain the  College Teaching Certificate at the Chicago Center for Teaching, as laid out in the schedule below. These requirements include:

  • Attend Teaching@UChicago: a one-day orientation event, held the week before classes each fall.
  • Attend one of the Fundamentals of Teaching Workshops, generally held during the first weeks of the fall quarter. Each consists of four 90-minute sessions in which students develop a set of core teaching tools to help them reach students and have a successful first experience.
  • Enroll in CCTE 50000: Course Design and College Teaching.

The College Teaching Certificate is offered to graduate students who complete workshop and teaching requirements and demonstrate the ability to teach courses in the College. To register for the program, log the completion of requirements, and track your progress, you must enroll in the CTC Canvas site. The CCT also offers two specialized certificates. One in partnership with the Chicago Language Center, focuses on second language pedagogy. Another, in partnership with the Writing Program, has an emphasis in writing pedagogy.

Department of Linguistics 6-year Teaching and Pedagogical Training Program



Teaching Experience

Pedagogical Training/Mentoring



  • Linguistics Department Pedagogy Workshop




  • Linguistics Department Pedagogy Workshop
  • HUMA 50000: Pedagogies of Writing (Optional; REQUIRED FOR TEACHERS IN THE CORE)



1 Course Assistantship



2 Course Assistantships



2 Course Assistantships (or 1 Lectureship if applicable)





Goals of Pedagogical Training

After completing their Pedagogical requirements, graduates of our program should all be able to:

  • Design and teach introductory courses in the discipline
  • Design and teach introductory and upper-level courses in at least two and ideally more than two of the following: syntax, semantics, phonology, morphology, historical linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, etc. as appropriate given the student’s main area of expertise
  • Design effective assignments for a range of courses
  • Effectively facilitate class discussion
  • Design and deliver an effective lecture
  • Describe their approach to student learning and give reasons for their pedagogical choices


Graduates should all be well-versed in methods and approaches of:

  • Undergraduate writing instruction
  • Inclusive pedagogy