First-year graduate students typically serve as Teaching Assistants during the first 2 semesters of their graduate student tenure. Beyond the first year, students are either supported as a Teaching Assistant or as a Research Assistant, depending on the availability of research funding to their PhD advisor.
All students supported as teaching assistants are expected to meet their teaching responsibilities, which can extend as long as several days beyond the end of the semester. Therefore, students should not plan any holiday travel until they are certain it will not conflict with their teaching responsibilities, which will be assigned approximately 1 month prior to the beginning of the semester. Students should also understand that meeting their teaching responsibilities is part of making progress toward their degree.