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The Undergraduate Writing Program

Applying to Teach in the UWP, 2020-2021

Update as of October 26, 2020: The hiring process for teaching University Writing beginning in fall 2021 is still being determined. We will be updating our site about eligibility and application instructions as soon as we know.

In the fall of 2019, the Undergraduate Writing Program will solicit applications from graduate students interested in teaching University Writing, Columbia's required first-year writing course.  Note: On average, we receive over one hundred applications for approximately fifteen positions per year.

Information Meeting for GSAS and SoA Graduate Students:  Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 1:00-1:45pm in Dodge Hall, Room 511.

Representatives from the program will speak about how to apply and what the program involves, and will take questions from students.


Graduate students in the following categories are eligible to apply:

  • Students across Arts & Sciences Ph.D. programs who will be entering their sixth or seventh registered year of study in the fall of 2020, and Ph.D. students in English during their funding years, in coordination with their department.
  • 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 2020-21 academic year are eligible to apply.  All interested Research Arts Film students should consult with their adviser before applying.


Appointments are for two years, except for instructors who will begin teaching in their seventh year of graduate study.  They will be appointed for one year only.

In the first year, most instructors teach one section of University Writing per semester. During their appointments, some instructors may be assigned to serve as consultants in our writing center.

These appointments will carry a combined stipend and salary, amount TBA.  Additional benefits involving tuition and fees vary, and will be described in individual offer letters.

Training and Development

All incoming instructors are required to take a preparatory seminar, Teaching Writing: Theory and Practice (English G6913), which meets in the spring 2020 semester.  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 for items 1-5 in pdf format to the Undergraduate Writing Program, 310 Philosophy Hall, by noon, Monday, October 21, 2019:

  1. Application cover sheet, which is attached on the right.
  2. Letter of application describing your teaching philosophy, interest in teaching writing, and relevant experience. 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, which is 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 Monday, October 28, 2019

Send your application as one file, with items 1 - 5 in that order.  The email heading is to read: "UWP 2020-2021 Application."  Please send it to

All applicants will be notified as to whether or not they will be invited to the interview round by Monday, November 18, 2019.

We will conduct half-hour interviews with the selected applicants between December 4 and 12, 2019 and announce appointments before the end of the calendar year.