Undergraduate TAs

Undergraduate TAs (or UTAs) work to support one of the department's courses during a given semester. UTAs work under the supervision of the course’s instructor, head TAs (HTAs), and PhD student TAs (if the course has one). In large courses, UTAs may work primarily with the HTAs. Masters students may also serve as UTAs.

UTAs are hired each semester (between midsemester and reading period) for the following semester's courses. Interested students apply through a process that is managed by the meta-TAs. Each course sets its own evaluation process, which may involve a combination of surveys, focus groups, review of prior TA performance or course experience, interviews with instructors or HTAs, or other mechanisms. The same process and criteria must be used with all applicants. The instructor and HTAs provide a ranking of candidates to the Meta-TAs, who then use a stable matching process to assign UTAs to courses. Timelines and application details are documented on the TA program hiring page.


Teaching Assistants (TAs) are an integral part of the Brown Computer Science program. Nearly every class in Brown CS will hire undergraduate TAs, and they perform much of the work that makes the course run smoothly. TAs work closely with their fellow TAs, the HTAs, and the instructor(s) to make a course run smoothly. TA duties can include:

Each course has its own policies on what responsibilities TAs will have before and during the semester (determined by the instructor and HTAs).  These responsibilities can amount to no more than 10 hours per week of work across the semester. The UTA missive has more details and guidance regarding the UTA role.

Why Be a TA?

TAing is popular among undergrads and considered by many to be enormously rewarding. It offers Brown CS students the opportunity to get to know their peers better while working closely with a member of the faculty. Over the course of the semester, TAs will develop a deeper understanding of the material while gaining a type of leadership experience that potential employers look for in recent graduates. TAing is a paid position, that may involve couse credit (see the UTA missive for details).