Teaching Requirement (PhD)

Students are required to teach for one semester in direct contact with students unless the student has post-baccalaureate teaching experience at the college level.  If post-baccalaureate teaching experience – the student must provide official proof in the form of official letter/memo from supervisor at the location the teaching occurred.

Regardless of the students graduate program or major, all students teaching courses in the Department of Biological Sciences are required to enroll in BIOL 69500PD, Tchg Asst Prof Development. This is a one-credit course devoted to supporting teaching assistants during their first semester of teaching.

 All students whose native language is not English must take the OEPT.  The Oral English Proficiency Test (OEPT) is a computer-based test used by the OEPP to screen prospective teaching assistants for language proficiency. Candidates respond to a variety of questions, present information, and speak extemporaneously on various topics. The responses are recorded and evaluated by at least two trained raters. A score of 50 or higher is required for certification.

If a student does not meet the required score for certification by OEPT (at least 50), the preferred option for those who score 45 or 40 is to be enrolled in ENGL 62000, Classroom Communication for International Teaching Assistants. Students who complete this course consistently report improvements in their English communication skills that positively affect their work as teaching assistants, their graduate studies, and their professional development. Click here for information about enrolling in ENGL 62000.

Students who score 45 on the OEPT may retest after 6 months, if they feel they can improve their score. Only departmental liaisons can request a retest; the OEPP does not accept retest requests from students.

Students who score 40 on the OEPT may be enrolled in ENGL 620 at the request of their department. Those who are not enrolled in ENGL 620 may retake the OEPT after one year if they feel they can improve their score.

Students who score 35 on the OEPT may retest after one year if they feel they can improve their score. They are not eligible to enroll in ENGL 620 – a score of at least 40 on the OEPT is required.

Students may not be registered for both the OEPT and the ENGL 620 course concurrently.

Students who took ENGL 620 and were not certified at the end of the semester should take the course again in order to be certified. Students may not retake the OEPT test once they have taken the ENGL 620 course.

Students who score 35, 40 or 45 on the OEPT are encouraged to consider PLaCE Short Courses and other options listed in Resources in ESL for ways to work on improving their oral English before retaking the OEPT.

If the student does not pass the OEPT and will be a Teaching Assistant that semester, the student will need to register for the ENG 62000 course.  Students can TA while being enrolled in the course