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Teaching Assistant (TA) experience at UC San Diego is a major avenue of training for future academic careers.

Our curriculum at both the masters and doctoral level includes a teaching apprenticeship. Each year, graduate students fulfill this requirement through employment as a teaching assistant in a variety of undergraduate Music courses. Under faculty supervision, responsibilities may include conducting discussion sections, holding office conferences with students, preparing materials for classroom instruction, assisting professors in designing courses, preparing tests, and grading written papers and examinations.

Campus-wide and department-based orientation is provided to new TAs. We also have a departmental Faculty TA Advisor and graduate student Senior TA, responsible for coordinating training and serving as mentors. TA Excellence Awards are given annually to recognize outstanding teaching performance in music. The UC San Diego Commons ( has many additional programs designed to advance teaching excellence and student academic success.

Outside the Music department, there are opportunities for teaching experience in UC San Diego's undergraduate college writing programs and core courses. In recent years, topics have focused on culture, society, the arts, humanities, technology, cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary studies. Music students are desirable applicants for these positions and often find subject areas related to their own research. The experience is a positive addition to their teaching portfolio.

The Music department also employs a small number of advanced doctoral students as teaching associates for instrumental instruction and occasionally to substitute for regular faculty to teach a  course as an Associate Instructor (AI). Doctoral students may also submit proposals to teach Summer Session music courses and some of our students teach independent course offerings through UC San Diego Extension. In addition, the department maintains an active Musician Referral List for private teaching and tutoring basic skills.