The Department of Chemistry offers teaching assistantships, research assistantships, fellowships, or a combination of these to all qualified graduate students for their full tenure in the program. Teaching opportunities for first-year students include classroom or laboratory instruction, which usually requires about 20 hours per week.

Teaching assistantships

The Department of Chemistry employs approximately 80 graduate teaching assistants (TAs) each academic year. All first-year graduate students will serve as TAs for at least one year. 

TAs are given the opportunity to teach chemistry to undergraduate students, which is an important aspect of the graduate program and an essential part of the teaching mission of the University of Iowa. Teaching assistants are held to high standards of ethical behavior, technical expertise, and integrative communication. They learn the challenges and rewards of teaching along with developing skills in problem solving, leadership and organization.

Graduate teaching assistants are professional instructors at the University of Iowa. The expectations for this role are documented in the teaching assistant handbook for the Department of Chemistry.

The quality of education at the University of Iowa depends on the instructors in the classroom. The Department of Chemistry is proud to be a part of the professional development of those instructors by training, evaluating and coaching our graduate teaching assistants. Success of this program is evident each spring when the department selects the departmental teaching assistant awardees. In addition, The Office of the Provost selects thirty graduate teaching assistants from the entire university to award the Council on Teaching Outstanding Teaching Assistant. These are competitive awards and the selection of chemistry teaching assistants illustrates the high standards set by the Department of Chemistry and the commitment of its instructors to the educational mission of the university.

The University of Iowa College of Education offers a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching to PhD students. This certificate program offers coursework and supervised experience to prepare PhD students for careers in post-secondary education. 

Fellowship Incentive Program

Additionally, the University of Iowa Graduate College offers a $500 incentive to any graduate student who submits a proposal for a nationally-competitive fellowship under the guidance of a fellowship advisor. The student does not have to receive the fellowship to receive the $500 incentive. The fellowship advisor for graduate students in chemistry is Amy Charles. Full details are available online.

The Graduate College

The Graduate College offers a wealth of information about funding for graduate students through additional methods. You can learn more about funding your education on their site: