The Graduate School requires all PhD students at Washington University to gain teaching experience. Students in the PhD program will receive formal pedagogical training by attending a minimum of two Teaching Workshops offered by the Washington University Teaching Center, and will be expected to fulfill a total of at least 15 units of teaching experience with at least 5 units at the basic level and 5 units at the advanced level. A unit of teaching is broadly defined as an hour spent communicating with a group of students or scholars. The teaching requirements must be completed before the student submits his/her doctoral dissertation to the graduate school.
For the basic-level teaching requirement, the following experiences qualify for one unit of teaching per event:
- Teach or co-teach a laboratory session
- Conduct an organized recitation or review section of a course
- Deliver a lecture in class using notes provided by the professor of the course
- Lead a journal club session
- Host an outreach activity such as preparing and presenting a lecture and/or demonstration in science at a middle or high school
For the advanced-level teaching requirement, the following experiences qualify for one unit of teaching per event:
- Prepare from scratch and deliver a lecture in an IMSE class
- Present a seminar giving the results of the student's own research at an IMSE-wide seminar or at a national meeting. At least one unit must but no more than five units may be qualified in this fashion.
Five units of teaching at the basic level is a minimum. However, if possible, students are encouraged to have additional teaching units at this level, with ten units being most desirable for teaching development. Each student must submit to the Graduate Studies Committee a form detailing how the teaching requirement was completed.