Academic Instructors

Student academic appointments

Some graduate students are awarded a student academic appointment position within the school that combines academic training with work responsibilities. 

What positions are available?

There are three types of SAAs in The Media School: 

  • Associate instructor: a student who assists in teaching a course
  • Graduate assistant: a student who assists faculty with grading and other course administrative tasks 
  • Research assistant: a student who assists faculty with original research 

How are SAAs assigned?

SAA positions are typically available during fall and spring semesters.

Mid-semester, The Media School invites graduate students to request assignments for the following semester using an online form. Requests are compared to faculty/course needs, and students are notified of assignments.

Instructors of record

Occasionally graduate students are selected to be the primary instructor of a course, rather than assist a faculty member. This assignment is known as a graduate Instructor of Record. IoRs are paid the same as other SAAs, but the position involves more responsibility and provides increased levels of teaching experience.   

The instructional needs of The Media School guide the selection of IoRs. Graduate students are considered based on their teaching experience, relevant topical expertise and adequate progression toward their degree.   

IoRs attend monthly professional development meetings with the director of graduate studies to discuss pedagogical topics, issues surrounding their specific course, etc. 

Per university policy, international students must pass the Test of English Proficiency for Associate Instructor Candidates exam to be eligible for an IoR appointment.


SAA benefits include a stipend, health insurance coverage and a fee remission. SAAs are required to be enrolled full time during the time of employment (minimum of six credits each semester).