There are many teaching resources available to our graduate students in computer science here at UC Davis. Whether you are interested in improving your abilities as a TA, or you plan on teaching computer science professionally in the future, we have departmental and university-level resources to help you.

Teaching Assistant Requirements

For information on what is required to be a TA at UC Davis, and the application process in our department, see the current students FAQs page.

Departmental Resources

The main departmental resource is ECS 390: The Teaching of Computer Science. This seminar, taught in Fall Quarter of every year, is required of all TAs in our department.

Individual observations of discussion sections are done by the instructor of ECS 390 during Fall Quarter. The instructor of ECS 390 will let you know more about this during the class itself.

University-Level Resources

Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE)

The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) promotes excellence in undergraduate education at UC Davis. They collaborate with faculty, graduate students, and instructors to implement evidence-based instructional practices and develop and explore innovative solutions that enhance learner-centered instruction.

Some of their resources that our students have utilized in the past include:

See CEE’s website for a full list of resources.

Professors for the Future (PFTF)

Professors for the Future (PFTF) is a year-long competitive fellowship program designed to recognize and develop the leadership skills of outstanding graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who have demonstrated their commitment to professionalism, integrity, and academic service. This unique program, sponsored by Graduate Studies, focuses on the future challenges of graduate education, postdoctoral training, and the academy. Professors for the Future is designed to prepare UC Davis doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars for an increasingly competitive marketplace and a rapidly changing university environment.

Note that PFTF is only available to PhD students past their qualifying exams. For more information, see PFTF’s website.

Assisting Students in Distress

See this guide for information on how to assist students in distress. Remember that if you find yourself in a situation with a distressed or distressing student, there are additional resources on campus to help both the student and you.

Types of Teaching Positions

Within the United States, there are many options for teaching computer science at the higher education level, depending on the type of degree you have.


Those with an MS degree have some options for teaching roles available to them.

  • Lecturer at a four-year university
  • Professor at a community college


More teaching roles are available to those with a PhD.

  • Tenure-track faculty at a four-year university
    • This is not purely a teaching role; it also involves research.
  • Adjunct faculty at a four-year university
    • This may not be purely a teaching role, though it depends on the university.
  • Lecturer at a four-year university
  • Professor at a community college