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Graduate Student Handbook

Academic Honesty

From the Graduate School’s website: Academic integrity is an adherence to a high standard of values regarding life and work in an academic community. Pursuit of knowledge and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to learning are both definite aspects of academic integrity, but its basis lies in the standard of honesty.  Students at the University of Georgia are responsible for maintaining and adhering to the strictest standards of honesty and integrity in every aspect of their lives. Honesty in academic matters is a large part of this obligation. Specific regulations governing student academic conduct are contained in the Student Handbook, and these should be read to avoid any misunderstanding.  If you believe that an act of academic dishonesty has taken place, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. You are also welcome to approach Dr. Bousquette for guidance. 

Attendance in Seminars

Regular attendance in all of your seminars is a prerequisite for the success of your studies in the department. Unlike in the German university system where students are frequently absent, university seminars and lectures in the United States are organized based on the presumption that students are present at each and every class meeting. Professors in the department have individual policies that regulate attendance. However, the general rule is that, unless you have a medical emergency or other well-documented reason to be absent, you are required to attend class.


It is typically discouraged for students to audit our foreign language courses, however, it is ultimately up to the instructor whether to accept an auditor; please always consult with Dr. Bousquette before agreeing to do so. Auditors can only be allowed in courses that do not have the maximum enrollment, and all auditors must officially register as auditors through Athena. The names of registered auditors will appear on your class roll, but auditors do not appear on the final grade roll, as they do not receive a course grade. 

Building Regulations

Joe Brown Hall is locked nightly at approximately 5:00 p.m.  Your keys will give you access to the building, your office, and to the TA lab, though not to the copy/mail room. Fire doors are not to be propped open and no smoking is allowed anywhere in or around the building.  Please do not allow people unknown to you into the building after hours. 

Class Periods

All language classes 1001-2002 meet for 50 minute class periods. This means that even though 1001 and 1002 sections meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays (when all class periods last 75 minutes), we only teach the first 50 minutes. Always begin class on time and dismiss students promptly, as they often only have 15 minutes to get to their next class. 

Class Rolls

You can access class rolls for the courses for which you are the instructor of record by logging into Athena. Remember that all student data is confidential and must be handled in a secure and responsible manner. Students with a “Y” by their name under the “confidential” tab have a Ferpa restriction on their personal information and records.   For more information on FERPA, see

Classroom Keys

All classrooms in Joe Brown Hall will be opened daily.  If you are teaching in another building, please consult the administrator in that building for information on keys and access to technology.  

Classroom Technology

All classrooms in Joe Brown Hall have a computer, projector, document camera, DVD player, and white board for use by the instructor.  Dr. Bousquette will make sure that you are acquainted with the technology in Joe Brown before you begin your teaching appointment; please do not hesitate to reach out to her or to Leslie if you have questions. If you encounter problems with the technology while teaching, contact Franklin OIT noting that it is an "urgent request" with a class-in-progress. Franklin OIT helpdesk:  or 706.542.9900.


You must teach in your assigned classroom. After teaching, please clean the blackboard or whiteboard. This is a basic professional courtesy. If you rearrange the room, be sure to put the chairs and desks back in their original positions. If you need a different room for a special presentation or other reason, please ask Leslie to check availability and to make a reservation.

Cohort Meetings

If you are teaching or assisting in the teaching of a multi-section course, you will be required to attend regular cohort meetings, i.e. meetings with faculty and TAs who are teaching the same course as you. The purpose of these meetings is to exchange teaching ideas and to discuss assessment (testing and grading) as well as ideas for written and oral project prompts. 


Use your MyID to log in to classroom computers; after using a computer in a classroom, always log out.  Shut down the computer if you are the last class to use the room each day; otherwise, please do not ever do so. We ask that you kindly turn off the projector or document camera when not in use. If you should need one, laptops can be borrowed for on-campus daily use from room 204. They must be signed out and back in each day.  


Please use the copier in the work/mail room only for preparing materials for the classes you are teaching. Copiers should not be used to copy materials for your graduate seminars or for personal use. Leslie will make sure that you are acquainted with the copier before you begin your teaching appointment; if you encounter any problems with it that you are unable to solve yourself, please let her know. If the paper should jam while you are using the copier, please follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the issue before walking away. When copying, please do attempt to be environmentally conscious. Copy only what you/your students truly need, and design margins, layout, and font sizes to use as little paper as possible. 

Course Evaluations

Each semester, students fill out course evaluations for each of their classes.  Evaluations are valuable tools for departmental improvements, employment recommendations, etc.  It is up to the instructor to remind students to participate, and both Leslie and Dr. Bousquette will share the most effective ways to do so as the time comes. Leslie promotes evaluations on the department's social media channels and with flyers that you also can use in the classroom.  For example, to facilitate students’ access to the online evaluation site, we recommend posting the link on your course eLC page. It is The evaluations module is open the last two weeks of the semester, and is closed before final exams.  Instructors can view evaluations after the grade deadline has passed: 

Course Numbers

Courses numbered 8000-9999, taught by members of the graduate faculty, are advanced graduate courses and seminars which provide educational experiences at the highest level in a graduate student's program of study. Courses numbered 6000-6999 are fundamental knowledge courses; those numbered 7000-7999, except master's research (7000) and thesis (7300), are technique and professional courses. Courses numbered 6000-7999 are normally taken early in the graduate student's program of study. Joint undergraduate/graduate courses, numbered 4000-4999/6000-6999 and 5000-5999/ 7000-7999, in which undergraduate and graduate students are simultaneously enrolled, are not normally used to provide the core requirements of a graduate degree program. Such courses may be used as electives and as service courses taken in other departments. 

Center for Teaching and Learning 

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is a unit within Academic Affairs devoted to the advancement of instruction at the University. Their central mission is to provide campus-wide leadership on matters relating to instruction.  Graduate Teaching Assistants should take advantage of their TA Support Services. These include the Workshop for Graduate Teaching/Laboratory Assistants, SPEAK Test for International Teaching Assistants, TA Newsletter and Handbook for Graduate Teaching/Laboratory Assistants.  

Departmental Events

Each year, the department organizes several social and academic events, including lectures, workshops, the Fall Social, and the Spring Graduation/Awards Ceremony. Graduate students, as members of the academic community and the teaching staff of the department, are expected to attend all events sponsored by the department, including those not directly related to one’s primary field of interest. Help with the organization and execution of these events is always welcome and appreciated.

Department Head

The Department Head is the primary administrative officer of the department. Department Heads give the general direction of the work of the department and oversee its financial and academic operations. The Head represents the department in all official communications with other offices of the university as well as in official departmental communications with students. The Head of this department reports to the Dean of the Franklin College of Arts & Sciences. Department Heads in the Franklin College are responsible for all teaching, research, and service programs conducted by the department and ensure the proper execution of departmental and university policies.

Departmental Listserv

( Our department makes an effort to communicate with German majors, minors, and members of the community who have an interest in German events or other information.  Please assist us by identifying students or individuals in the community whom we could add to the Listserv.  


Each semester, there are posted dates during which a student may drop a class without impacting their transcript, or add a class if there is room available.  Students may drop one, some, or all of their classes through the drop/add period without receiving any grade. However, students who fail to drop a course or wish to withdraw from a course after the designated drop/add period for a term (or the last day of drop/add for the related summer session), but before the designated withdrawal deadline, must withdraw through Athena. Absences during the drop/add period do count; please consider a student’s attendance record as beginning concurrent with their enrollment. 


The platform we call eLc (short for “e-Learning Commons”) is an online learning management system supported by the university. Through eLC you will manage your gradebook, record attendance, post homework checklists, prompts, study guides and other materials from your class meetings, etc. Dr. Bousquette will familiarize you with eLC before you begin your teaching appointment, though training workshops are also offered through the CTL: 


Your UGA email will be an important source of communication with the department, your students, the Graduate School, and UGA in general.  As an instructor you will be sent course and student information, withdrawal notices, grade deadline reminders etc.  UGA will also send weather alerts, parking information, and other notices.  Please make a habit of checking this email address regularly—at least once a day—and respond to emails in a professional and timely manner. We suggest you use your UGA email address for all teaching and departmental matters.  You may choose to forward your UGA mail to another address but it is recommended that you communicate with students through your UGA address to reduce the likelihood of your message ending up in junk mail. 

Final Exams 

A final examination schedule is produced each semester by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. Language courses from 1001-2002 will be scheduled for “mass” exams, the times for which appear on the syllabus and are published at Locations vary and will be provided to you each semester. Individual instructors have the authority to manage students who have conflicts with the final examination schedule. For example, a student with three final examinations scheduled within the same calendar day or two examinations at the same time may petition to reschedule one exam to a different time or day. You are welcome to contact Dr. Bousquette if you are unsure what to do.  

Finding a Sub

Every class should be taught as scheduled, and it is not acceptable to cancel class for personal reasons. If you must miss teaching because of illness or other serious reason, please notify Leslie and Dr. Bousquette immediately, so that we may try to find a substitute for you.  At the beginning of every semester, it is good to identify which graduate students or faculty members might be able to fill in for you if needed. Even if you have made arrangements for a substitute, you should always let Leslie know when you will not be teaching your class.


Please take care when grading student work. Written homework and anything else that is not automatically computer-graded should be turned back to the students as soon as possible, so that they may benefit from your feedback. Dr. Bousquette will discuss feedback and grading with you as part of your departmental TA orientation, and is happy to consult with you about best practices at any time. When assigning final course grades, please remember that the department has set grading cut-offs for all language courses (1001-2002), which are found on the syllabus and must be adhered to. Please use eLC to manage your students grades throughout the semester, not only at the end. 

Graduate Advisor

 You already will have been in contact with the graduate adviser (currently Dr. Joshua Bousquette) during the application process. During your course of study you will meet with him before or at the beginning of every semester for advising, i.e., to discuss course offerings and degree requirements. He is your first go-to person for all questions and problems relating to your course of study. 

Graduate Student Representative

The Graduate Student Representative is elected each year by the current cohort of departmental graduate students.  This representative attends faculty meetings and relays policies, ideas and information that result from these meetings back to the other graduate students. Serving as a liaison, the Graduate Student Representative also brings information to the faculty from the students. 

Inclement Weather

The University of Georgia implements the following procedures for announcing operational changes during periods of inclement winter weather. By policy, the university makes one of three announcements: UGA is open and operating on a regular schedule; UGA is closed; or UGA will delay opening until a specific time.  An all-campus e-mail is the primary means to distribute such announcements. The announcement also is posted to the UGA home page (


The department organizes a weekly Kaffeestunde in the Joe Brown lobby, where students of German from all instructional levels are encouraged to come together to practice their conversation skills in a relaxed, informal setting. Leslie regularly posts social media reminders about Kaffeestunde and has graphics you can use in class and on eLC to remind your students and urge them to attend. You are also encouraged to attend Kaffeestunde as often as you like, and your help in organizing would also be very welcome; please see Dr. Carroll. 


You are welcome to use the kitchen and break area in Room 123. Please be courteous when using this shared space: Keep track of any food you place in the fridge, and be sure to remove it if you do not plan to eat it or if it will go bad; Wash any dishes you place in the sink; Help out by occasionally wiping the table or counter if it looks like it needs it. There is no one person who is in charge of cleaning the kitchen, rather, its upkeep is our shared responsibility. The kitchen is used by faculty, staff and graduate students from our own department and the Department of Comparative Literature. Undergraduates are not permitted to use or occupy this area.

Language Requirement

All MA students in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate competency in a foreign language equivalent to completion of the third semester of study.  MA students may also prove proficiency by successfully completing a translation course, or passing a translation exam offered each semester.

Language Program Coordinator 

One of the primary responsibilities of the Language Program Coordinator (currently Dr. Ryan Carroll) is to educate TAs through the pre-service orientation, the pedagogy seminar (GRMN 7500), classroom observations and regular meetings. The coordinator also designs and maintains the language curricula at the beginning and intermediate levels (GRMN 1001-2002), selects textbooks (with input from faculty and TAs), writes detailed syllabi, and helps to conduct assessment. 

Language Resource Center (LRC) 

The LRC located in Gilbert Hall supports the teaching staff and students in the teaching, learning and research of language and culture with software and web-based instructional materials. The LRC also sponsors lectures and workshops related to language teaching. 

Leaving Athens

What to do before you leave Athens after concluding your studies: Turn in keys, give forwarding address and non-UGA email address to department administration.  Clean out desk, shelves, and closet in TA Lab.  Shred any personal items, donate unneeded items, etc.  

Lending Library 

Germanic & Slavic Studies stocks films and books that may be checked out by students, faculty and staff.  Please return films and books in one week unless needed for extended use. Leslie has a sign out sheet. 

MA Committee 

The MA committee will guide you through your final year, administering the MA exam and portfolio/thesis defense. You will select the committee members yourself (preferably by the end of the first year, or at the end of the third semester at the latest). In most cases, all committee members will be from the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies. Students whose work involves other departments may request outside faculty to serve on their committees, but the committee chair must be from our department. 

MA Program Degree Options 

Students pursuing an MA degree may choose from two degree tracks (literature or linguistics) and two options within each track (non-thesis portfolio or MA thesis). Non-thesis students take a full load of courses throughout their four semesters of study, completing their degree with a portfolio of materials from their coursework and/or teaching, along with a 6-8 page critical reflective essay written in consultation with the student’s major professor. Students who write an MA thesis conduct more independent research and take fewer courses in their final semester; rather, they take an independent study with their MA committee chair. In addition to the German MA, students are able to enroll in a three-year dual degree program, coordinated with the Department of Language and Literacy Education, in which students earn both an MA in German and an MAT in World Language Education.

MA Reading List 

The MA reading list serves as the primary library of material for which the student is responsible for his or her MA exam. It is comprised of 1) the discipline-specific reading list for either literature, linguistics, or second language acquisition and foreign language pedagogy; and 2) supplemental readings added in consultation with the student’s major professor and committee members. For all students, supplemental readings may be determined largely by the individual student’s coursework; for students writing an MA thesis, the reading list may also reflect scholarship germane to his or her research project. Students should meet with committee members to discuss the reading list as early as possible, in their third semester.


All graduate students are assigned mailboxes in room 205. Please check your mailbox regularly. Although information is frequently conveyed via email, mailboxes are still used to distribute information, supplies, and campus mail.  Students may also place items in your mailbox if needed.  

Mentorship Program

The mentorship program forms a central component of your pedagogical training here in the department. Before you begin your own teaching appointment as the instructor of record, you must complete at least 1 (usually 2) semesters of mentoring under your assigned TA mentor(s). During this time, you will meet regularly with your mentor to discuss teaching ideas, lesson plans, assessment, and grading. You will be present as an assistant in the mentor’s course, and depending on the expectations of your mentor, you will also design and teach portions of the course on a regular or semi-regular basis. You should spend approximately 13 hours per week in tasks related to your mentoring assignment; your mentor will review their expectations with you at the onset of your appointment. 


Graduate Students are provided with shared office space, a desk, chair, shelves, and access to computers, a printer, a shredder, and a scanner.  It is each student’s responsibility to keep their office clean and conducive to work.  Please do not leave open food out, as it may attract pests.  A paper recycling bin is located in the hallway, and should be used for all non-sensitive paper items that you are discarding.  Cans and bottles should also be recycled in the provided receptacle.  Boxes should be placed next to paper bin, to be removed by janitorial staff.  Keep office locked when unoccupied.

Office Hours

You must schedule at least one office hour/week per course you teach or assist, and also offer additional office hours by appointment. Appointments with students should always be held in your office. Please post your name and office hour times on your office door, along with an envelope to accept notes or homework from students.

Orientation for New TAs

Each fall, UGA hosts 2 important orientation sessions for new Graduate Students.  One is an Information Fair, and the other is an orientation for Teaching Assistants (required).  It is important that you attend all UGA and departmental orientation sessions, as each will cover essential information to your success as a graduate student and teacher.  Leslie will provide you with a detailed schedule.


You will be paid the last day of every month, starting on August 31 and ending on May 31. Please set up direct deposit through OneUSGConnect in order for your paycheck to be deposited directly into your bank account. If you do not have a bank account, please establish one as soon as you can.   Direct Deposit is now required for all employees.  If you do not have direct deposit set up in time, your first check will be physical check. Please discuss alternate arrangements with Leslie.

Placement of Students 

Students are placed into undergraduate German courses based primarily on their previous high school or university German courses. High school students with previous German who did not take the AP German or SATII German test are required to take the departmental placement exam administered by the Testing Center at Clarke Howell Hall. They are then placed according to their exam score. University students with previous German continue in the course sequence they started. If it seems that students in your class have not been placed correctly, please have them contact Dr. Bousquette; it is important to the success of your course that you identify these individuals as early as possible, preferably on the first day. 


Printers are available for graduate student use in the graduate computer lab.  If you are printing a test or other materials for your students, please print a single copy in the lab and then use the copier in room 205 to make extras.  If you need paper or ink, or if you encounter any technical issues, please contact Leslie.  


Remember that your appointment as a TA is a professional one. As part of the teaching staff, you represent the department. Always support your colleagues and the courses you teach. Also consider professionalism when thinking about your attire. While you are very welcome to dress with personality and panache, your clothing should be neat, clean, and workplace appropriate. If you use social media such as Facebook or Instagram, it is recommended that you do not accept friend requests from your students until after they have finished your course or even after you have left the university; naturally, you should also be mindful of what is depicted there. It is advisable to set your privacy settings so that only friends can see your posts. 


Graduate students must register for a minimum of 3 hours of credit during any semester in which they use University facilities and/or staff time. A student who holds a teaching assistantship must register for a minimum of 12 hours of graduate credit  during fall and spring semesters and nine hours of graduate credit during the summer semester.


Kris Petti in the Franklin Business Services office can help you with Human Resource, payroll, travel expense, and employment questions.  
Leslie Geiser, Administrative Associate
Leslie will be happy to assist you in these areas: course scheduling, student information, room reservations, publicity of special events, website, flyers, offices, keys, mail, supplies, copier questions and problems, faxing, office phones, forms, signatures, and more.

Study Abroad

The department offers a variety of academic-year and semester-long study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students in Germany and Switzerland. If you or your students are interested in learning more about exchanges, contact the study abroad advisor, Dr. Sager. Typically, Dr. Sager will arrange to visit your class once per semester, in order to make students aware of these opportunities. Our department also offers an annual month-long summer course at the Goethe Institut in Freiburg, facilitated by Dr. Crawford, who actively promotes the program during every fall semester. 


Markers for white boards; paper and toner for the printers; and other supplies are kept by the department office.  Some supplies are located on (and under) the mailroom table. Please ask Leslie if you need something that is not accessible.  As with all resources, please be mindful of waste.  Keep caps on markers, print only when necessary, and remember to collect supplies you take to other buildings.  

Syllabi (GRMN1001-2002) 

Detailed course syllabi are prepared by the Language Program Coordinator (currently Dr. Katie Carroll). Each syllabus contains detailed policies regarding matters such as grading, attendance, late work, etc. as well as a daily schedule that lists homework assignments and pages to cover during each class meeting. Although some changes to the daily schedule are permissible and to be expected, individual instructors may not make edits or exceptions to the course policies—these must be implemented identically in all sections. Dr. Carroll will be happy to discuss this with you should you have any questions. 

TA Observations

The Language Program Coordinator observes each TA at least twice every fall and once every spring semester; this is not a disciplinary measure, but rather a basic part of each TA’s pedagogical training. In the spring semester, other departmental faculty will also conduct TA visits as well. These visits are designed to offer you constructive feedback about your teaching. You will be notified ahead of time when you will be observed and will discuss the observation once it is completed.  Please see the TA Observation Form in the appendix for more information.

Teaching Assignments

Teaching and mentoring assignments are made by the Language Program Coordinator in coordination with the Department Head. Assignments for the coming semester are generally announced as early as possible, though they may change at a later date due to enrollment or other needs. In order to provide thorough and varied pedagogical training as well as to allow our TAs to build a more expansive resume, every effort will be made to give TAs the opportunity to teach at as many different levels as possible during the time that they are here. 

Textbooks and Mind Tap

Dr. Chapman will supply you with desk copies of the textbooks for the courses you teach. These materials are yours to keep, so feel free to write in them.  The first- as well as the second-year textbook also come packaged with an online platform called Mind Tap. Dr. Bousquette will help you register for this program, and will provide you with a thorough introduction prior to the beginning of your appointment. 

Tutoring and Translation for Pay

The department is sometimes contacted by individuals in need of tutoring or translation help. If you are interested in tutoring or translating when opportunities arise, please let Leslie know.  Please note that it is not permissible to tutor your current students for pay.


The Academic Resource Center offers free tutoring to all UGA students, including in German; please share this resource with any students who seem to be struggling in your course. They also operate a Writing Center staffed with writing specialists who offer guidance to both undergraduates and graduate students alike; many of our own graduate students have benefitted greatly from writing assistance through this program. Call 706-542-7575 for more information or visit:


The University has a set drop and withdrawal date published on the UGA academic calendar. The drop date is usually the fourth day of class. After the drop date, you must process a withdrawal for students who would like to leave the course. Withdrawals can be instructor-initiated (for non-attendance) or student initiated. You must assign a grade to a withdrawal. Usually a WP (withdrawal pass) is warranted. If you have questions, please see Dr. Bousquette. 

Support Germanic and Slavic Studies at UGA

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies appreciates your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. 

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