As I have read from other questions in this SE site, for all international students who apply in PhD program, it is required that to be TA for that department they have applied to. And in the other hand amount of money that will be paid as fund to that student is highly dependent on his/her progress on teaching and being a TA.

So with regard to this context, as a MSc. student with unfortunately severe stuttering, cannot become a TA or teacher (only in such cases that I should speak to teach a group of students, however in any non-speaking ways to teaching or being TA I have no problem)

My questions:

  1. Is speaking required in all types of TA-ship and teaching? In other words, are there any other tasks that are considered to be part of TA-ship and teaching which do not require speaking/lecturing?
  2. What are the chances of me being funded? (Are there any exceptions for getting funded for such students?)

More context about me

  • Currently MSc student (in Iran) and interested in applying for PhD program to North American universities.
  • Field of study/interests : computer science/software

My background/achievements

  • BSc. and MSc. GPA > 18 out of 20 (Also #1 in BSc.)
  • Graduated from most prominent university in Iran, Sharif Univ. of Tech.
  • If your question is only about the USA, you should probably say so. There are also international students in Europe, who may or may not need to be TA.
    – Alexandros
    Mar 9, 2015 at 11:10
  • 1
    No not all international students TA (not even in the US) many international students get funding by other means, such as research assistants. This of course depends on the program and school. Mar 9, 2015 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Not all TAs teach. Many are just graders. Some folks serve as research assistants instead.

That being said, there have been many professors who have been stutterers. It's no reason to avoid graduate school and certainly you should try to get as much teaching experience as you can in graduate school. Your school is required by law to give you the accommodations and support you need to be a successful scholar.


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