General Information on Graduate Student Academic Appointments
Student Academic Employment positions provide the single largest source of UC Santa
Barbara graduate student support. They also constitute an important aspect of graduate
training under faculty guidance. Graduate Student Academic Employment encompasses
the following positions:
- Graduate Student Researcher
- Associate In __
- Teaching Assistant
- Tutor/Remedial Tutor
These positions may all be eligible for fee remission depending on hours worked.
The Training and Rights of Academic Employment
The Graduate Division encourages all departments to train graduate students who
will be teaching or assisting in research as Teaching Assistants, Associates In
__, Readers, and/or to serve as Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs). Departments
may provide professional preparation for their students by offering classes, colloquia,
and workshops to ensure effective teaching and professional development. All departments
should ensure that students are well-prepared to assume the responsibilities for
teaching undergraduates and to succeed as professional researchers. Increasingly,
attention is turning to the preparation of students for roles not just in academia,
but also in industry, government, and public service. Graduate students who will
be new TAs are required to attend a mandatory
held prior to the start of the fall quarter.
Graduate students seeking academic employment positions should be presented with
clear guidelines concerning the application and selection process, as well as terms
of service. The procedures for posting open positions, appointing students, and
complaint resolution for TAs, Associates, Readers, Tutors, and Remedial Tutors are
specified in the
UAW and UC Agreement.
Information for GSRs on how to express a concern or file a complaint should be included in the department's student handbooks
or communicated in another formal manner to students in the department.
To be eligible for any academic appointment, graduate students must be:
Currently registered and enrolled in at least 8 units (12 units is the normal load).
Enrollment in at least 8 units is required for entry into the Graduate Student Fee Remission
(GSFR) system for fee-remission credits;
In good academic standing (requires a grade-point average of at least 3.0 in academic work,
fewer than 12 units of incomplete or no grades, and status within normative time and/or time
to degree standards);
- Chosen for academic appointment on the basis of high scholastic standing;
For Teaching Assistant positions, students must be certified as having language proficiency
in spoken English if their native language is not English. For details, please see
Teaching Assistant Language Evaluations
Students must be in an open degree status (not Education Abroad Program, EAP reciprocity, or other non-degree student status);
Perform the duties of the position to a satisfactory level;
Be eligible to work under federal and state laws.
Please note, in situations where appointments are being considered by departments/units
other than the student's home department, the employing department must verify the
student's eligibility with the student's home department. The form may be downloaded
at Eligibility Verification from Home Department.
Terms and Conditions (Limitations)
The appointment or reappointment of a graduate student to an academic title must
be for a period of one year or less. Graduate students holding these academic appointments
should be under the direction of a UC Santa Barbara faculty member. Graduate students
in teaching appointments may not supervise or evaluate other graduate students.
Additional information regarding student academic appointments can be found in
Academic Personnel Procedures for UC Santa Barbara (The Red Binder),
Section IV: Student Academic Titles.
Students who are appointed to Associate In __, Reader, Tutor/Remedial Tutor, and
Teaching Assistant titles fall under an agreement between the Regents of the University
of California and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
Implement Workers of America (UAW), and AFL-CIO pursuant to the provisions of the
Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA). For questions concerning
the contract, see the
UAW and UC Agreement.
All appointments or combined appointments are limited to 50% time (an average of
20 hours per week) during the academic terms. An exception may be granted by the
home department for a graduate student to be compensated for a maximum of 75%; appointments
above 75% require Graduate Division approval (see the exception process below).
The 50% time restriction will apply without exception for international students,
dependent upon their visa type or country of origin (consult the Office of International Students and Scholars
for further information). All continuing students may work 100% time during the
summer, provided they were registered and paid fees for the immediately
preceding spring quarter.
The total length of time a student may hold any one or a combination of the following
titles may not exceed 12 quarters: Teaching Assistant and/or Associate In __. Under
special circumstances, an exception may be granted for additional appointments beyond
12 quarters (see the exception process below). Systemwide regulation does not permit
graduate student appointment beyond 18 quarters as a Teaching Assistant and/or Associate
In order to hold academic employment, graduate students must meet the criteria stated
above. In certain cases, an Exception to Employment Policy may be requested by the
home department in order to allow a student who does not meet these criteria to
An Exception to Employment Policy must be submitted to the Graduate Division in
the following instances:
- All Associate In __ appointments
- Appointment of graduate students on probation
- Appointment of graduate students who have already worked a combined total of 15
quarters as a TA and/or Associate
- Appointment of graduate students for more than 75% time (however, the 50% time restriction
applies to international students and Associates without exception)
- Appointment of graduate students with a GPA below 3.0
- Appointment of graduate students with more than 12 units of incompletes
- Students Beyond Departmental Normative Time
Standards and Beyond Time to Degree (4 to advance/7 to completion)
The Graduate Division has delegated the authority to approve Exceptions to students’
home departments in the following instances, provided that the
student meets all other appointment criteria:
- Appointments of graduate students from 50 to 75% time
- Appointment of graduate students to serve 13 to 15 quarters as a TA and/or Associate
- Students employed while on Warning Status (but not on Probation)
In situations where a student will be employed by a department outside of their
home department, the hiring department is responsible for completing an Eligibility Verification from Home Department form and ascertaining
signature from the student's home department.
UC Student Health Insurance Program (UC SHIP)
All graduate students are assessed a quarterly fee for mandatory UC Student Health Insurance
Program (UC SHIP). Payment of UC SHIP for Teaching Assistants, Associates
in __, Tutors, Remedial Tutors, and Readers, who have appointments of 25% time (at
least 100 hours) or greater, is defined by the UAW contract. Graduate Student Researchers
who have appointments of 25% time or greater also receive payment of UC SHIP as
part of their fee remission benefit. All other graduate students must either pay
the fee or obtain a waiver. Students obtain waivers by proving to the Student Health
Services Office that they have comparable coverage under another health insurance
policy. UC SHIP provides year-round and worldwide coverage. For more information
students are encouraged to consult the
UC SHIP Information Page or call the
Student Health Office, (805) 893-2592.
Fee and Tuition Remission for GSRs
Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) qualify for full fee and tuition remission if
they are appointed for at least 35% (140 hours) in all GSR appointments combined
over the three months of the quarter. Full fee and tuition remission includes the
payment of fees (tuition, student services fee, and campus based fees), health insurance
for all eligible students, non-resident supplemental tuition for international students,
and non-resident supplemental tuition for domestic students during their first year
These benefits must be paid from the funding source that pays the student's salary.
The cost of these benefits will be charged to the funding source monthly. GSRs hired
at 25% (100 hours) to 34% (139 hours) qualify for partial fee remission, which includes payment of partial
fees (tuition and student service fee) and health insurance. These benefit charges
will also be charged to the salary funding source. Please note, if a student's fees,
health insurance, and/or non-resident supplemental tuition are being paid by an
external funding agency (e.g., foreign government, private agency), they are not
eligible for fee remission benefits.
The fee remission policy stipulates that GSRs must be paid the requisite fees at
the given percentages of hire outlined above. In rare cases, Principal Investigators
may request contingency funds from the
Office of Research when the funding agency will not allow for the payment
of fee remission for GSRs. Block grant, fellowship, or other funds may not be used
to augment grants or pay any portion of the fee remission programs.
Fee and Tuition Remission for ASEs (TA, Associate In __, Reader, Remedial Tutor)
The remissions quoted are consistent with the terms of the current UAW/UC contract. Please be aware that future wages,
terms, and conditions are subject to modification based on the collective bargaining
ASEs whose appointment is at least 25% time (100 hour minimum) qualify for a partial
fee remission (includes tuition and student services fee) and payment of health
For current fee amounts, please see Fees and Costs.
Student Academic Appointment Types
Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) Appointment Title
A GSR (title codes 3276, 3284) is a graduate student who assists faculty members
with scholarly research. Graduate Student Researchers are selected for high achievement
and promise as creative scholars; they may collaborate in the publication of research
results as determined by supervising faculty members.
A graduate student must be registered in the previous spring quarter to be eligible
for a summer GSR appointment. New students whose first quarter of registration will
be fall may not be summer GSRs prior to fall unless they register in at least 4
units in summer term.
Departments may set additional hiring criteria beyond what is noted above as long
as all students are treated consistently and a current departmental policy is on
file with the Graduate Division. Advancements are made upon recommendation by the
chair of the department, based on performance evaluations by supervising faculty
(which must be documented if advancement is withheld from an otherwise qualified
student). Reappointments and advancements are not automatic.
Teaching Assistant (TA) Appointment Title
A Teaching Assistant (title code 2310) is chosen for excellent scholarship and promise
as a teacher and serves an apprenticeship under the supervision of a regular faculty
Terms and Conditions for TA
The department chair, acting upon nominations made by department members, is authorized
to appoint TAs. However, the Dean of the Graduate Division must approve all exceptions
to appointment criteria. New students whose first quarter of registration will be
in the fall may not be TAs prior to the fall unless they register for at least 4
units in a summer quarter. The selection, supervision, and training of all TAs are
important responsibilities of the teaching department, and in particular the department
chair. All candidates for appointment and reappointment should be subjected to careful
review and recommendation.
The TA is not responsible for the instructional content of a course, for selection
of student assignments, for planning of examinations, or for determining the quarter
grade for students. A TA should not be assigned responsibility for
instructing the entire enrollment of a course or for providing the entire instruction
of a group of students enrolled in a course. The TA is, instead, responsible for
the conduct of recitation, laboratory, or quiz sections under the active direction
and supervision of a regular member of the faculty to whom final responsibility
for the course's entire instruction, including the performance of TAs, has been
Associate In ___ Appointment Title
An Associate (title code 1506) is a registered UC graduate student employed temporarily
to give independent instruction for a course.
Terms and Conditions for Associate in __
Minimum qualifications for this position require the possession of a master's degree
or equivalent training, and at least one year of teaching experience. All Associate
appointments require the review and pre-approval of the Graduate Dean and the appropriate
College/School. Associates may not evaluate fellow graduate student
appointees (e.g., TAs). If TAs are assigned, a faculty member must be named responsible
for the evaluation of the TA(s).
A Reader appointment (title code 2850) is for a student to serve as a "course
assistant," which will normally include grading of student papers and final
examinations. A Remedial Tutor (title code 2288 and 2289) assists students in understanding
course concepts, discovering solutions to problems, modeling study strategies, developing
methods for independent work, and preparing for upcoming exams.
A Reader should not be given the responsibilities customarily accorded to a TA.
Readers will usually be graduate students, but qualified undergraduates may be appointed
to this position. Remedial Tutors may be either graduate students or qualified undergraduates.
How to Hire Graduate Students
How to Hire ASEs
- Department receives funding allocations in spring and makes hiring decisions.
- The start date for students employed in this title is either September 1 (payment
broken over 4 months) or October 1 for fall quarter, January 1 for winter quarter,
and April 1 for spring quarter. Payment of students will be at the 1/9th rate.
- Appointees shall be notified in writing of their appointment. The written notice
of appointment shall specify the beginning and ending dates of the appointment.
- Department notifies students of appointment offer by sending the Notification Letter,
including any Supplemental Documentation:
- For Associate Appointments, Department completes Associate Appointment packet and
obtains necessary approvals (see Associate
Appointment Approval Process).
- If necessary, Department completes request for Exception to Employment Policy and
obtains approval (see How to Request an Exception to Employment
Policy). Department provides student with a copy of the ASE Responsibility
- Student completes hiring paperwork. Department enters student into Payroll and into
GSFR if eligible for fee remission during the academic year.
Associate Appointment Approval Process
Department submits Associate Appointment Packet to the Graduate Division at least
six weeks prior to the start of the quarter. Appointment packets must include the
- Department Letter of Recommendation (for an example, see
Academic Policies and Procedures Section IV – 3)
- UCSB Biography form with initial appointment in department (original plus one copy)
- Teaching Evaluations
- Graduate transcript
- Eligibility Verification from Home Department form if necessary (see below)
Once approved by the Graduate Division, appointments for lower division courses
go to the College of Letters & Science for final approval. Appointments for
upper division and graduate courses go to the Academic Senate and then College of
Letters & Science for final approval.
How to Request an Exception
to Employment Policy
The home department completes the
Exception to Employment Policy form, making sure to provide adequate academic
justification explaining the reason for the exception. Department submits to Graduate
Division for approval. If approved, Department will receive an approval memo and
may proceed with the hiring process.
How to Use the Eligibility Verification From Home Department Form
To obtain approval to hire a student outside their home department, the employing
department completes the
Eligibility Verification from Home Department Form and submits to the home
department for approval. Once approved, the form is kept on file in the employing
department. If the student requires an Exception to Employment Policy in order to
hold employment, the home department submits an exception to Graduate Division for
approval. Once approved, they sign the Eligibility Verification form and send it
back to the employing department.