Instructional Support

The Office of Undergraduate Education (OUE) administers the Instructional Support Fund, which pays teaching fellows (TF) and teaching assistants (TA) in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

OUE expects departments to adhere to all GSAS policies on teaching fellow appointments, including those that give preference for teaching fellow appointments to students to whom a guarantee of teaching was offered at admission. After these students have been assigned, departments and course heads are expected to consider and prioritize all other qualified applicants from within GSAS.

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Section Allocation Tool (SAT)

Each spring, departments make requests for course discussion and lab sections for the upcoming academic year in the OUE's online Section Allocation Tool (SAT). OUE makes preliminary section allocations based on historical and estimated enrollment data, and FAS target section sizes—which vary depending on the type of course. Final section allocations are contingent on actual enrollment numbers.

Teaching Fellow (TF)

A TF is a Harvard graduate student who—as part of their education—assists a faculty member with course instruction. Information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TFs can be found on the GSAS website.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

In certain instances, a TA may be hired to join the teaching staff for a course; information on the expectations for and responsibilities of TAs can be found in the FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook.


Appointment Start and End Dates:

  • Fall TF/TA appointments start on August 1 and end on December 31
  • Spring TF/TA appointments start on January 1 and end on May 31

Helpful resources for departments appointing TFs/TAs:

TFs/TAs in General Education Courses

The Program in General Education makes its section allocations and teaching appointments separately from OUE.

Undergraduate Course Assistants (CA):

Undergraduate student instructional support staff are hired as Course Assistants.

Questions? Please contact us at