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The Undergraduate Writing Program

Applying to Teach in the UWP for the 2021-2022 academic year

This academic year, the Undergraduate Writing Program (UWP) will hold two separate periods for graduate students to apply to teach University Writing, Columbia’s required first-year writing course. This change is designed to align the UWP’s hiring of doctoral students with the other Core courses (Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilizations, Art Humanities, Music Humanities, and the Global Core).

  • MFA students from the School of the Arts are eligible to apply in fall 2020 for fellowships beginning in fall 2021.

  • Doctoral students from GSAS departments outside of English and Comparative Literature are eligible to apply in spring 2021 for fellowships beginning in fall 2021.  We will update this page with details about those applications in January 2021.

Note: For the 2020 fall application season, the UWP anticipates hiring six MFA candidates.

Teaching in the UWP Information Session for SoA Students:
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020 01:00 PM EST
Watch Zoom recording of info session.
Representatives from the program will offer an overview on how to apply and what the program involves, and will take questions from applicants.


Eligibility for SoA Students

SoA students in the following categories are eligible to apply:

  • SoA Writing students currently in their first or second year of study are eligible to apply.

  • SoA Theatre students currently in their first or second year of study should confer with the Director of Academic Administration regarding eligibility.

  • SoA Film students who will be Research Arts in the 2021-22 academic year are eligible to apply. All interested Research Arts Film students should consult with their adviser before applying.


Appointments are normally for two years. 

In the first year, most instructors teach one section of University Writing per semester.

These appointments will carry a combined stipend and salary, amount to be provided by GSAS at time of offer from the UWP.  Additional benefits involving tuition and fees vary and will be described in individual offer letters.

Training and Development

All incoming SoA instructors hired in fall 2020 are required to take a preparatory seminar, Teaching Writing: Theory and Practice (English G6913), which meets in the spring 2021 semester (Mondays 2:10-4pm on Zoom; no other sections will be offered for the spring).  All instructors are expected to participate in ongoing staff development activities, which currently include small-group staff meetings and semesterly orientations.

Application Procedure and Deadline

To apply, please email as one file the following materials in pdf format by Monday, December 7, 2020, 5pm, EST:

  1. Application cover sheet; attached on the right side of this webpage.

  2. Letter of application addressed to the hiring committee describing your teaching philosophy, interest in teaching writing, relevant experience, and any diversity you would bring to the program. If you have background or interest in one of the areas in which we teach themed classes, please demonstrate that in your letter. To see a list of our themed offerings and links to course descriptions, please visit the UWP homepage.

  3. C.V.

  4. An academic essay you have written that demonstrates your ability to work with sources to construct an argument of your own. (This sample should be no longer than 10 pages. If you wish, you may submit 10 pages of a longer paper.)

  5. Comments on the sample student essay; attached on the right.

  6. One letter of reference from someone -- a former or current employer, manager, or supervisor -- who can speak in detail about your professionalism in a full-time, part-time, paid, or volunteer position.  Recommenders should email their letters to by Friday, 12/11/20 at 5pm, EST.

Send your application as one file, with items 1 - 5 in that order.  The email heading is to read: "UWP 2021-2022 Application."  Please send it to