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The Core Curriculum

Graduate Student Core Preceptorship

A highly select group of advanced graduate students is integral to the teaching of Core Curriculum courses. Responsible for their own sections of the course, preceptors are trained through a rigorous pedagogy seminar that meets weekly. 

Eligibility: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students in the humanities and social sciences who will have completed the M.Phil. and defended their dissertation prospectus by May 2023 are invited to apply for Core Curriculum Preceptorships in Contemporary Civilization and Literature Humanities. 

  • Students are not eligible to apply for Core Preceptorships before their 4th year of GSAS registration.
  • Students applying in their 4th year of GSAS registration will be considered if they have the specific approval of their departments. However, after one year of teaching in the Core, such students will be expected to complete a year of dissertation writing before being eligible for reappointment to a second year of Core teaching.
  • Students currently in their 5th year of GSAS registration may apply to be Core Preceptors for their 6th year, and after successful completion of that year, are eligible for reappointment for their 7th year.
  • Students currently in their 6th year may apply to be Core Preceptors for their 7th year only.
  • Students currently in their 7th year or beyond are not eligible.

Application consists of submission by the applicant of:

1) COVER LETTER: Your cover letter must contain the following information:

  • year of registration in GSAS in 2022-2023;
  • date your M.Phil. was received or is expected;
  • the title of your dissertation and the name(s) of your dissertation sponsor(s);
  • your phone number and email address;
  • the name of one referee (preferably someone who can speak about your teaching experience — a letter of recommendation is not required); and
  • if you are applying to teach both Contemporary Civilization and Literature Humanities, your order of preference.

In addition, your letter should indicate why you are interested in teaching Contemporary Civilization or Literature Humanities, demonstrate familiarity with the intellectual goals and pedagogical practices of the Core Curriculum, and describe your approach to teaching generally.

2) TEACHING STATEMENT: This is not a teaching philosophy. Instead, please discuss in 500 words or less how you would teach a passage or concept from one text on the Contemporary Civilization or Literature Humanities syllabus. Questions that you may wish to address in your statement include what your objectives for the lesson will be, what kind of context you will provide for the work, how you will structure the discussion, and what supplemental materials you might use. If you are applying to teach both Contemporary Civilization and Literature Humanities, please choose a text from the course that is your first choice.

3) CURRICULUM VITAE: In addition to your education and relevant work experience, your CV should list any awards, fellowships, credentials, relevant skills, workshops, trainings, and conference presentations.

4) STUDENT COURSE EVALUATIONS: Please submit all student course evaluations for classes that you have taught at Columbia in any capacity (course evaluations from other institutions are optional). Your evaluations should be complete (with student comments and statistical summaries) and in their original format. Applications with altered or incomplete course evaluations will not be considered. If you have evaluations from multiple semesters, please organize them so that the most recent ones appear first.

Please submit your application materials through the following link:

If you have any questions about submitting your application, please write to

 **Please Note: If you intend to apply to both courses, you must submit the application twice for each individual course.  

The deadline for receipt of applications is January 27, 2023.