Mentored Experience Requirements

Doctoral students at Washington University must complete a department defined Mentored Experience. The Mentored Experience Requirement is a doctoral degree milestone that is notated on the student transcript, when complete. Each department has an established Mentored Experience Implementation Plan in which the number of semesters in which a student must engage in a Mentored Teaching or Mentored Professional Experience is defined.  The Mentored Experience Implementation Plans outline how doctoral students within the discipline will be mentored to achieve competencies in teaching at basic and advanced levels.  Some departments may elect to include Mentored Professional Experiences as an avenue to complete one or more semesters of the Mentored Experience Requirement. Doctoral students will enroll in LGS 600 (Mentored Teaching Experience) or LGS 603 (Mentored Professional Experience) to signify progression in completing the overall Mentored Experience Requirement for the degree. Please note: A committee is looking into the MTE and there may be updates to the policy.

Mentored Experience Implementation Plans

A department defined requirement for PhD students to engage in mentored teaching activities and/or other mentored professional activities. The requirement includes information related to the role of teaching or professional experiences within the discipline, the department’s plan for supporting and offering pedagogical training, the normal sequence of opportunities for a PhD student, and the number of semesters required. Departments have the opportunity to send updated Mentored Experience Implementation plans to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and International Affairs each academic year.

Current Departmental Plans

Mentored Experience Student FAQs

How many semesters do I need to enroll in the Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE) Course?

Each department has established the number of semesters required for the MTE. This is an academic requirement that necessitates enrollment for each applicable semester. Thus, disciplinary expectations and academic program design should guide this decision. All departments have a set teaching requirement that is standardly enforced for doctoral students within their department. Departments are encouraged to create developmental pathways designed to foster independent teaching and communication of disciplinary content. The requirements are made publicly available on the VPGE website. Departments are encouraged to review their teaching requirements and amend them as necessary each academic year to account for emerging changes in their respective fields.

How many semesters do I need to enroll in the Mentored Professional Experience (MPE) Course?

Only doctoral students whose department’s defined Mentored Professional Experience as applicable toward the Mentored Experience Requirement may enroll in LGS 603. The Mentored Experience Implementation Plan for each department defines the number of required semesters, if applicable.

May I teach for University College as part of the Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE)?

Teaching in University College as part of the Mentored Teaching Experience is only permissible when faculty mentorship is clearly embedded into the student’s pedagogical experience.  The faculty mentor should be listed as a support person with the label Mentor. Students will enroll in LGS 600.
Students may elect to teach in University College independently.  In this case, teaching in University College is considered work and part-time instructor status is the appropriate classification. Academic credit should not be awarded for teaching that exceeds the minimum standard of the MTE. Contact University College about their part-time instructor compensation. Individual schools’ part-time employment policies remain in effect.

Am I able to teach as a primary instructor as part of the Mentored Teaching Experience (MTE)?

Yes, once students have completed the minimum pedagogical competencies associated with mentored teaching, the department may assess the students’ ability and interest to determine if the opportunity to teach as a primary instructor (with faculty support), proves advantageous for the doctoral student. A faculty member must be listed as a support person with the label Mentor. Students will enroll in LGS 600.

I completed my department’s defined mentored experience requirement. Can I continue to teach or engage in a professional experience?

Yes, students who completed the department’s mentored experience may continue to teach if they are hired as an adjunct instructor. Students who completed the department’s mentored experience may continue to engage in a professional experience either as an extracurricular activity or as an internship, either paid or unpaid. Students may not enroll in LGS 600 and LGS 603 after the Mentored Experience requirement is complete.

Can I use a paid experience to count toward my department’s Mentored Experience requirements?

No, paid experiences may not be counted toward your degree requirements.  However, professional experiences that encourage the exploration of diverse careers are certainly supported by the the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and International Affairs. Students should always heed the part-time employment policy when considering engagement in a paid professional experience. Students are also encouraged to meet with the Director of Institutional Development for guidance on how these experiences fit into individualized career goals.

My department does not offer the Mentored Professional Experience as an option to fulfill the Mentored Experience requirement. Can I still engage in an MPE?

No, MPE is an academic endeavor that is applied toward a degree requirement.

Can I participate in a paid mentored professional experience?

Students may participate mentored experience as part of an internship, externship, or other similar experience. Students may not enroll in LGS 603 for a professional experience that is paid; this includes paid Curricular Practical Training (CPT) experiences.

Mentored Experience Department FAQs

How often should Mentored Experience Implementation Plans be reviewed and updated?

Departments may update their Mentored Experience Implementation Plans (formally Teaching Implementation Plans) at any time. Generally, students should be held to the defined plan that was in effect when the student was admitted. However, plans that are expanded to become more inclusive of diverse options may be offered as the guideline to students who were admitted in a previous term. Under no circumstance should a student be required to complete more semesters of the Mentored Experience than what was defined by the department when the student was admitted to the PhD program.

The Director of Institutional Development will send a call for review to the Mentored Experience plan during the Spring term of each academic year.  Departments are encouraged to review the plan to determine if any changes are needed.

Are AM students allowed to complete a Mentored Experience?

AM students are not eligible for enrollment in LGS 600 (MTE) or LGS 603 (MPE).  AM students engaged in teaching activities must be compensated by the department.

Can we count a student’s previous semester’s engagement in a mentored professional experience toward the Mentored Experience requirement?

Yes, the department has the right to apply those experiences toward the students’ semester requirements for Mentored Experiences. Note, students will not be retroactively enrolled in LGS 603 to account for these activities. The department will need to track any activities completed in a previous semester independently of SIS.