Description of Duties by Position - Please see the allowable duties for each position as agreed upon by the UC and Union in the table below. The red "X" indicates a duty that is not allowable under that position as agreed upon by the Union. Following the table are written descriptions for each position; both convey the same information. 

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Teaching Assistants_

A Teaching Assistant (TA) assists in the instruction of any upper or lower division course at the University under the supervision of a faculty member. The TA primarily assists the faculty member in charge of the course by conducting discussion or laboratory sections that supplement faculty lectures and by grading assignments and examinations. Graduate students registered full-time (twelve units or more) may be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours/week) as Teaching Assistants during the academic year.

Teaching Assistants and others appointed on academic titles at 25 percent time or more for the quarter are eligible for payment of partial fee remission of 100 percent of the annual education and registration fees and 100 percent of the Graduate Student Health Insurance fee. For Teaching Assistants, these fee payments are credited to students’ accounts prior to the beginning of the quarter. The Graduate Student Academic Title Pay Rates webpage provides information about current salary rates for teaching assistant, reader, and tutor positions.

TAs with appointments between 25-50% (10-20 hours per week) must pay the remaining balance of fees:

  • $263.69 per quarter (residents and non-residents who have advanced to candidacy)
  • $263.69 + $5,034.00 per quarter (non-residents who have not advanced to candidacy)

TAs with appointments under 25% (less than 10 hours per week) must pay the full balance of fees:

  • $5,543.59 (residents and non-residents who have advanced to candidacy) 
  • $5,543.59 + $5,034.00 (non-residents who have not advanced to candidacy)


A Tutor provides tutoring to small groups (three or more) of undergraduate or graduate students who require additional help to understand a course or topical material. In some instances tutoring may focus on improved use of the English language.



A Reader, on the other hand, assists a course instructor by grading homework, papers, or exams. Graduate students may be appointed up to 50 percent time (twenty hours per week) as Readers and Tutors.



All appointees must be registered full-time and in good academic standing, i.e., maintain a GPA of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work and must not have more than a total of eight units of F and/or U grades overall. Graduate students can hold positions as TAs, tutors or readers, and undergraduates can hold positions as tutors and readers.

Incoming graduate students must complete their first quarter at UCSD before they can TA for a course in ECE. However, incoming graduate students can TA in other departments as long as they meet the requirements of that department.

All UC San Diego graduate students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate oral competency in the English language before they can be appointed as a Teaching Assistant. This requirement will be enforced irrespective of how long a student has been at UCSD, whether a student has TAed before, or were waived out of the language requirement for admission to the MS/PhD program. Based on a student's last language exam, they can use the table below to plan how they will fulfill the language proficiency requirement:
1) Retaking the TOEFL/IELTS and getting a higher TOEFL/IELTS Speaking Sub-score of 28/8.5 and higher.
2) Taking the English Language Certification Exam (ELCE) upon receiving a TA offer.
3) Taking 1-2 classes to enhance your conversational and instructional English skills.

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What does it mean to be ELCE eligible?
The English Language Certification Program (ELCE) is a 10-minute assessment of your language proficiency and knowledge of basic course content. It will be a Question and Answer format - you are not being evaluated on answering questions correctly, but rather on how you communicate.
Please note that we only test students who are selected to be TAs; you are not tested if you apply to be a TA.  
  • If you pass the assessment, you are eligible to TA.
  • If you do not pass the assessment, you will need to select from one of the following options to be eligible to retake the ELCE:
    • Depending on the resource you select, you must provide evidence of your participation and completion. This may include
      • A transcript of the class and at least a “B” OR 
      • A letter from the resource used outlining attendance and skills developed
    • Upon submitting the transcript or letter, we will verify that you are eligible to retest.
  • If you would like to bypass the language proficiency requirement, you may try to do so by retaking the TOEFL and getting a higher TOEFL speaking score of 28 and higher. I would only recommend retaking the TOEFL if you believe you can score 28 or higher on the speaking section. Otherwise, I would wait until you come to UCSD to take the ELCE upon a TA offer.
What does it mean to be class eligible?
Being class eligible means that you must take 1-2 classes to enhance your conversational and instructional English skills. Acceptable courses you can take through the English as a Second Language program include
  • Effective Oral Presentation
  • Advanced Conversation
  • Advanced Fluency & Pronunciation
  • Pronunciation & Fluency
  • Advanced Pronunciation & Fluency
  • Grammar & Vocabulary Building
Courses must be taken for a grade. The ESL course, “Conversation Improvement” is not offered for a grade, and therefore does not count toward eligibility. It is, however, useful for those students who are in need of developing basic conversational fluency.
These classes cost money and in the past UCSD Extension has offered Complimentary Enrollment vouchers (including the ESL classes) to eligible graduate students for courses up to $500.00. However, beginning in Spring 2019 UCSD Extension has not extended the vouchers to graduate students, which means you must pay for them out-of-pocket. Graduate Division has confirmed vouchers will not be available for Fall 2019. The University Extension Office does offer 10% discounts for students.  Please see Extension’s website regarding the request form and eligibility for the discount.  All questions regarding the discount should be directed to unex-reg@ucsd.edu.   

Call for Applications

The call for applications for a TA, Tutor, and/or Reader position is sent to current graduate students via email. The application deadline is typically the end of the 7th week in Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters for positions beginning the next quarter. The application for Fall positions is sent to current graduate students via email in July, so please regularly monitor your UCSD email.

For more information about TA, Tutor, and Reader positions, please consult the following sources:

The ECE Department has a limited number of TA, Tutor, and Reader positions available. We strongly encourage students to investigate employment opportunities available outside the department.  Please visit ASES for information on academic employment positions that may be available in other departments.

Association of Student Employees/UAW

Graduate students appointed as teaching assistants, associates, readers or tutors (ASEs) are represented by the Association of Student Employees/UAW under a collective bargaining agreement with the University of California. All salary payments under these titles are subject to a deduction for union membership dues or agency fee deduction for students who choose not to become members of the union. (For more information, please review the online University/UAW Contract.)