Teaching assistantships

Explore assistantship opportunities for our graduate students.

Graduate teaching assistantship appointments are integral to the success of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre. A teaching assistantship appointment varies by area and may not necessarily have teaching responsibilities. Teaching assistantships may be assigned work in technical or clerical areas or to other tasks.

Students who are awarded an assistantship must enroll in a minimum of six credit hours of coursework each fall and spring semester during which the assistantship is assigned. Degree applicants seeking an appointment as a teaching assistant must indicate their desire to be considered for an assistantship position at the time they submit their music, dance or theatre application.

New students who are applying for admission to a graduate music program will indicate their teaching assistantship preferences in their supplemental music application during the admission process. You are encouraged to ask the three recommenders listed on your music application to address your teaching ability and the probability of your success as a teaching assistant in the recommendation letters submitted in your music application. Current music graduate students should follow the instructions below to apply for a teaching assistantship.

Current music students should consult their faculty advisor for any available assistantships.

Current dance students should consult Becky Dyer for any available assistantships. An application may be required.

Current theatre students should consult Rachel Bowditch for any available assistantships. An application may be required. 

Typical awards are 25% assistantships, which means ten hours of work per week. Teaching assistants with 25% appointments receive:

  • Tuition remission covering all of the non-resident portion of tuition, reducing tuition to the resident tuition cost
  • A further remission of 50% of the resident portion of tuition (excluding university, program, and special course fees, and international student health insurance)
  • $6,146 stipend per fall and spring semester, distributed over bi-weekly paychecks throughout the course of the semester

Current tuition and fees may be calculated using the ASU Tuition Estimator. TAs must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

New ASU music grad students: If you are currently applying for a graduate music degree at ASU, then your music application is also your TA application. No other application is required. In your music application, be sure to indicate that you are interested in a TA position.

Graduate music steps to apply

In accordance with Arizona State University requirements, if your native language is not English, you must meet spoken English requirements before being eligible for a teaching assistantship. The spoken English requirement is met by one of the following:

  • Attaining a score of 26 or better on the speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT®.
  • Attaining a score of 8 or better on the speaking portion of the IELTS
  • Passing the ASU SPEAK Test with a minimum score of 55.
  • ITA Teacher Training Course - a free course completed at ASU in the semester prior to receiving a teaching assistantship

(Test scores must be taken within two years of the semester of admission.)

SPEAK Test Information

The SPEAK Test is administered online by the ASU Language Lab. The SPEAK test should be completed no later than March 1 for fall admission. 

SPEAK test registration

Register for the SPEAK test online.

Preparing for the SPEAK test

In addition to the application for assistantship, those applying for a teaching assistantship in class piano or piano preparatory teaching are required to upload as part of the music application a video demonstration of piano teaching in English, including two complete lessons (20–30 minutes each), preferably of students at different levels. Individual and/or group lessons at any level are acceptable. If you did not upload your teaching demonstration to your music application, please email MDTadmissions@asu.edu for instructions on submitting your recording.

Composition applicants wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship must submit complete application materials and portfolios by the application deadline of Dec. 1. Those who are invited for an interview will then be considered for any available assistantship positions and must complete an online theory diagnostic exam. Instructions for the exam will be sent to applicants at the time they receive their interview date and time confirmation email. Additionally, those who complete a live composition interview will be scheduled for TA interview with the theory faculty.