CCAS Dean's Graduate Instructorship

Instructorship Program

The CCAS Dean’s Graduate Instructorship (DGI) offers exceptional PhD candidates the unique experience of designing and teaching their own undergraduate courses, while obtaining financial support for their dissertation research. Awardees design and teach undergraduate seminars in their areas of expertise, enabling undergraduates to engage intellectually with the cutting-edge research programs of our advanced PhD candidates.

Awardees teach a one-semester course and receive the standard Graduate Assistant salary and stipend in their respective departments (typically $11,500). In addition, the DGI covers required tuition for the semester (up to 9 credits). Fellows whose tuition is covered by external funds receive instead a research fund of $500. Up to three (3) fellowships are awarded each semester.

(This award was previously known as the CCAS Dean’s Graduate Teaching Fellowship.)

Eligibility and Conditions

  1. Applicants must be CCAS PhD candidates in residence for their teaching semester;
  2. Applicants must be in candidacy (“ABD”) which, in most programs, entails all required coursework completed, qualifying examination passed, and dissertation proposal approved;
  3. The DGI may not be deferred;
  4. No student may receive more than one DGI while enrolled at GW;
  5. Awardees must not have exceeded the eight-year limitation on time to degree in the teaching semester, even if CCAS has granted an extension;
  6. Receipt of the DGI increases by one the total number of funded semesters that the awardee should expect to receive as a PhD student at GW, either from internal or external sources;
  7. Before preparing an application, candidates should consult their director of graduate studies, director of undergraduate studies, and department chair to assess the interest of the department in the proposed course and to ensure that it meets departmental teaching needs.


Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee. Candidates must complete the online application form. Email and paper submissions are not accepted. The form requires uploading the following documents as a single PDF file:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Unofficial GW transcript
  3. Syllabus based on this GW template.

Students must also request two letters of support:

  1. A letter of recommendation (< 1,000 words) from a GW faculty member attesting to the candidate’s promise as a lead instructor and the merits of the proposed course. To request a confidential letter, candidate must share this recommendation link with the recommender. By sharing the link, candidate agrees to waive their right to access and examine the letter, now or at any time in the future. Candidates who wish to request a non-confidential letter should contact the Office of Graduate Studies for instructions.
  2. Letter of support from department chair (< 300 words). Candidate must share this link with the chair. The letter should include, as appropriate, a specific departmental plan for covering any services the applicant would otherwise provide to the department as a Graduate Assistant during the semester in question, including any financial support that might be required from CCAS to replace the awardee. No applicant will be placed at a competitive disadvantage for the DGI as a result of this information.

Letters emailed or delivered to CCAS will not be considered.

Please remind writers to notify you after submitting letters. CCAS cannot respond to inquiries about missing letters. CCAS will only notify you when your application is complete. Direct questions to the CCAS Office of Graduate Studies at

Important Dates:

October 3, 2017 - applications accepted for AY2018-19

November 3, 2017 - deadline for complete applications and all supporting materials from candidates applying to teach in Fall 2018

January 26, 2018 - deadline for complete applications and all supporting materials from candidates applying to teach in Spring 2019