last updated July 10, 2021
If you’ve stumbled upon this page, there’s a good chance you’re interested in applying to teaching positions in computer science or data science. If that’s the case, I hope the information here is of use to you. It may be particularly helpful for candidates applying without PhDs.
Before and while writing these materials, I referenced the applications of several earlier MS-only teaching faculty applicants, including Kevin Lin, Michael Ball, Jacqueline Smith, and Adam Blank. Kevin and Adam have their materials available on their websites. I also referenced the materials of other teaching faculty, like Josh Hug and John DeNero, and tenure-track faculty whose resources I found online.
Feel free to reach out via email if you want to chat about the process (or even just to tell me that you looked at this page!). I benefitted immensely from talking to others who went down this path in the months leading up to the application cycle.
In my CV, I put teaching first and put the scholarly activities I had engaged in towards the end.
I changed the first sentence and last paragraph of my cover letter for each unique position I applied to. In the last (technically, second last) paragraph of my cover letters, I listed at least three existing courses in the department I was applying to that I’d be interested in teaching. This forced me to look at the department’s undergraduate program and gauge whether or not I’d be excited to go there. I also used this paragraph to identify new courses that I thought I could bring to the department, if applicable.
I really struggled with getting started on my teaching statement because I wasn’t really sure what my “teaching philosophy” was. Looking at others’ teaching statements helped me get an idea of how to format mine. I ended up breaking mine into sections, dedicating one section each to various “components” of courses I had taught by that point. (A “component” is loosely defined here.)
I sent a “teaching evaluations” document to every school I applied to, whether or not it was required (for schools that didn’t allow additional file uploads, I appended this to the end of my teaching statement). My evaluations document contained the numerical rating (out of 5 or 7) and all written comments received on the official course evaluations for every course I taught or TA’d. I’ve only uploaded the first page here as I don’t feel comfortable posting all of the written comments publicly; email me if you want to see them. (The entire document is 30 pages long!)
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
I was a bit worried with the amount of overlap between my teaching statement and diversity statement, but I think it ended up working out.
Only a fraction of the positions I applied to asked for a research statement. I hadn’t done a ton of formal research when I applied, so I treated it more like a “scholarly activities statement”.