Why become a TA?

<p>Is there any specific reason why anyone would want to be a TA?</p>

<p>Money maybe? Doesn't seem like too much work either...just a little tedious with all the grading.</p>

<p>You also get some units that go towards grad school reqs.</p>

<p>assuming you're talking about an undergrad -- access to the professor (and hence good letters of rec), the recognition and responsibility may look good to grad schools or future employers.</p>

<p>for a grad student -- its typically a requirement in order to get paid. Grad school (PhD programs) is typically free at better schools, often even pays you to attend! The quid-pro-quo is a requirement to spend a certain amount of time as a TA or RA.</p>

<p>Do any departments even let undergrads TA? I know you can grade for like $12/hr in the math department</p>

<p>
[quote]
Do any departments even let undergrads TA?

[/quote]
I think they're officially called "undergraduate assistants". See, for example
<a href="http://www.lsic.ucla.edu/classes/lifesci/central/ua/application.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.lsic.ucla.edu/classes/lifesci/central/ua/application.html&lt;/a>
<a href="http://www.psych.ucla.edu/undergraduate/fieldwork-internships/psychology-192-educational-practices-in-psychology%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.psych.ucla.edu/undergraduate/fieldwork-internships/psychology-192-educational-practices-in-psychology&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>
[quote]

Do any departments even let undergrads TA? I know you can grade for like $12/hr in the math department

[/quote]

Readers, who grade course assignments, are not the same as TAs. Much fewer responsibilities for readers. TAs need to lead discussions and hold office hours. This is on top of their research commitment and their own coursework. Some departments allow exceptional 4th year undergrads to be TAs. I personally don't like this idea though</p>

<p>
[quote]
Is there any specific reason why anyone would want to be a TA?

[/quote]

A TA-ship is required for PhD candidates in my department. Other than this requirement, there is a lot of funding associated with a TA position. It was either free tuition or free housing, I don't remember, though it is likely to be the latter. Usually professors would like to save their fellowship money for other students, so in order to fund their PhD students, they can make them TAs once they are qualified. Within engineering, there are very few M.S students who can become TAs, most are PhD candidates. And absolutely no undergraduates.</p>