Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Description of the teaching component of graduate studies

Graham Thomas Poster SessionWe have found that communication and organizational skills gained by our graduates during their teaching assignments have provided them with competitive advantages in their professional development and success as scientists beyond Penn State. Therefore, teaching is an integral part of our Ph.D. training program. Teaching involves many activities in the BMMB department. One form involves assisting a faculty member or full-time instructor in teaching an undergraduate laboratory course. The teaching assistant (TA) usually leads a group of twenty to twenty-five undergraduates through the completion of their assigned experiments and assists the laboratory instructor in grading. The classes in the BMB Department are taught by faculty or full-time instructors; thus, students are not expected to lecture in formal courses. Students are required to teach for two semesters, beginning in the spring of their first year and concluding the following fall semester. Prior to their teaching assignments, students undergo TA training and orientation. Another form of teaching, which usually occurs later in your Ph.D. studies, involves training undergraduate students and incoming graduate students in your thesis laboratory. Many of our faculty credit their ability to be effective mentors as lab heads to their experiences teaching undergraduate students in a laboratory setting during their graduate or postdoctoral studies.