Teaching Assistant

An academically qualified and registered graduate student in full-time residence chosen for excellent scholarship and for promise as a teacher, who is assigned to assist in the delivery of instruction under the active supervision of a faculty member. A majority of graduate students who perform instructional functions are assigned to the Teaching Assistant title.

Responsibilities

  • Assist the supervising faculty member by conducting discussion, laboratory or quiz sections that  supplement faculty lectures
  • Grading assignments or examinations
  • May provide input into the development of assignments or exams, and hold office hours

The final responsibility for the content of the course rests with the supervising faculty member. A Teaching Assistant is not independently responsible for the instructional content of a course, selection of assignments, planning, examinations, determination of student grades or decisions on grade appeals; and is not assigned full instructional responsibility for an entire course.

Academic Qualifications for Teaching Assistants

  1. Enrollment Requirement — For new and continuing graduate students:
      • Enrollment in at least 12 units (full time) during the current quarter — ONLY Readers and Tutors can be employed Part-Time (8 units)
      • Combined campus wide employment of no more than 50 percent time (220 hours of assigned workload) or less during any academic quarter.
  2. Grade/GPA Requirement — For continuing graduate students, during each of the three most recent quarters of enrollment:
    • Completion of 8 units or more of upper division or graduate level credit courses.
    • A letter grade of C, S, or above in all courses completed.
    • No more than two incomplete (I) grades except where stricter school policies apply.  In the Henry Samueli School of Engineering, ALL incomplete (I) grades must be cleared prior to Fall quarter.
    • A cumulative GPA of 3.1 or higher for Teaching Assistants (TA)
    • Satisfactory academic progress toward the degree objective
  3. 12 Quarter TA Limit
    Graduate students who have not advanced to candidacy for the doctorate may be appointed as a Teaching Assistant for a maximum of 12 quarters including the full period of the current or proposed appointment. Following advancement to candidacy, a doctoral student is allowed to be appointed to an additional 6 quarters for a total maximum of 18 appointment quarters. An allowable quarter is counted for any quarter in which the student is compensated, at any amount/rate or percent time. Eighteen quarters is the maximum any student may be appointed, irrespective of whether the student has chosen to enroll in more than one graduate program at UC Irvine. As per UC policy, a 19th quarter will not be approved.
  4. English Language Proficiency Requirements
    All international students, including those with Permanent Resident status, who wish to serve as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate must pass an oral English proficiency exam approved by UCI. The only exemptions to this exam are given to students who have U.S. citizenship or meet the English language proficiency requirement for admissions purposes.In order to establish eligibility for appointment as a UCI Teaching Assistant (TA) or Teaching Associate, international students are required to pass a campus-approved test, or if eligible, by an exemption granted by the Program in Academic English.Campus- approved tests:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Testing (TOEFL iBT) is administered by ETS in U.S. centers and abroad;
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is available in over 140 countries including the U.S.;
    • Spoken Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) is available at UCI only after a student is admitted;
    • Test of Oral English Proficiency (TOEP) is administered at UCI and is only an option if a student fails to pass the TOEFL iBT, IELTS or SPEAK.

    Assessment for exempt students

    The assessment consists of an oral screening conducted by instructors or academic coordinators from the Program in Academic English and is only available to international students who were waived from the English language proficiency requirement for admissions purposes. Based on the outcome of the assessment, international graduate students will either be required to pass one of the tests noted above prior to appointment as a Teaching Assistant or Teaching Associate or will be exempted from further testing.

    Process for requesting an assessment: The graduate program requesting an exemption for an international graduate student should email TOEP@uci.edu with the following information: (1) the student’s information (name, UCI ID number, email address) and (2) confirmation that the student has been waived the English language proficiency requirement for admissions purposes. The staff in the Program in Academic English will then contact the student directly to set up an appointment for an Oral Screening, which will be assessed by instructors or academic coordinators in the Program in Academic English. The outcome of the Oral Screening will be sent to the Graduate Division within 5-7 business days of the assessment.

    For more detailed information on these exams of spoken English proficiency, including the respective passing scores and how to determine is an international student is eligible for an exemption, please review the English Proficiency Chart.

    To help UCI graduate students strengthen their oral English proficiency, UCI offers a Program in Academic English/ESL.

  5. Doc2A Definition & Guidelines
    By definition, a Doc2A student is enrolled more than 9 quarters past their advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D.  The Doc2A quarter count begins with the quarter immediately following their advancement to candidacy date.  The university does not receive state funding for students who are in Doc2A status nor are they included in official enrollment counts.  Graduate students in Doc2A status may be appointed to GSR/GSAR titles at the hiring department’s discretion, provided they are making satisfactory academic progress; and to ASE titles at the hiring department’s discretion if they are within the 18-quarter service limit for Teaching Assistants and Teaching Associates; meet academic qualifications including enrollment and grade/GPA requirements; and meet English language proficiency requirements for Teaching Assistants and Teaching Associates (for international and U.S. permanent resident students who are not citizens of countries where English is the primary or dominant language).

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