Academic Student Employees (TA/Reader/Tutor) General Information

Fall 2024 Application for Academic Student Employees (Teaching Assistants, Readers & Tutors) is now available!


Application Deadline: Friday, July 19, 2024

Please read before submitting an application

  • Teaching Assistants must be registered graduate students in good academic standing. Readers and Tutors can be Undergraduate or Graduate students.

  • Information regarding required training will be included in the offer letter for employment; training (e.g. Injury & Illness Prevention Training) does not need to be completed in order for students to submit an application.
  • Not all courses listed in the preferences section will require a Teaching Assistant, Reader or Tutor. Need is based on course enrollment. We recommend that you reach out to the instructors directly if you are interested in working as a Teaching Assistant, Reader or Tutor for their course.
  • To be eligible for employment as an ASE, you must be available to work and be physically present on campus from the first day of the quarter through the eGrades submission deadline.


The NanoEngineering department employs Academic Student Employees (ASE) (Teaching Assistants [TAs], Readers, and Tutors) during each quarter of the academic year. These positions are allocated based on course enrollment, and positions are filled on a quarterly basis through an application and selection process. NanoEngineering and Chemical Engineering Graduate and Undergraduate students will be notified via email when applications are open.

Positions are very competitive and not all applicants will be offered a position. Only the NE Student Affairs Office can extend an official offer of employment.

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Receiving an Offer

  • Apply before the posted deadline. Although the application will remain open past the deadline date, professors will be reviewing applications immediately after the deadline passes.
  • Apply to more than one department. ASE positions in NE are not guaranteed so we recommend that you submit an application to multiple departments. Some departments advertise their applications via email, some post their applications on their department websites, and some post their positions on the Open Positions website.
  • Course preferences. When instructors review applications, their lists are organized by applicant preference. We recommend selecting (and ranking) all courses for which you are qualified (including introductory courses).
  • Evaluations matter. If and when you are hired, take your responsibilities seriously and encourage all of your students and your instructor to complete the TA evaluation at the end of the quarter. These evaluations are taken into consideration when instructors are selecting TAs and positive evaluations will increase your chances of being hired again in the future.

What to Do After You Receive an Offer

  • Follow the link on the Offer to review the Appointment Letter and the Description of Duties. Contact the Course's Instructor of Record if you have any questions about the job requirements. The Offer will have an option for you to Accept or Decline the position. Offers must be accepted before appointments are entered in the payroll system. If you have never worked as a GSR, TA, Reader, or Tutor, you should contact your home department to see if you need to complete Hiring Paperwork.
  • Contact the Instructor of the course for further instructions.
  • Complete all required training:
  • Readers and Tutors will need to complete Time Sheets online via Ecotime.
  • International Students will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).

Academic Student Employee Roles

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Assists in the instruction of an 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.

A TA may also assist with the development of assignments or exams, hold office hours and proctor examinations. In the case of basic language, reading and composition, some other skills-building courses, and a few other courses, a teaching assistant may lead the class meetings, but the general instructional content of the course, as well as the official assignment of student grades and decisions on grade appeals, are the responsibility of the faculty member in charge of the course.

Before they can be appointed as a Teaching Assistant, all International Graduate Students at UCSD are required to demonstrate a high level of oral and aural competence in the English language. International Students must contact the NanoEngineering Department ( to schedule an English Language Certification Examination (ELCE) as soon as they are offered their first TA position. The ELCE must be taken during finals week or the week after to be eligible to work as a TA the following quarter. Students can follow this link for more information on the ELCE.

Reader (Grader)

Assists a course instructor by grading homework, papers, or exams and may also hold office hours to answer student questions about such assignments.


Provides tutoring to small groups (three or more) of undergraduate or graduate students who require additional help to understand a course or topical material.


Only Graduate Students are eligible to work as TA's. Undergraduate Students may be employed as Readers or Tutors.

Students must be in good academic standing and must be registered full-time (12 units) to work during the quarter for which they are hired (20 hours per week = 50% employment, 10 hours per week = 25% employment). Graduate students who are registered for 11-6 units may be employed at 25% with department pre-approval. Any graduate student employed 26% or above must be registered full-time (12 units).

Grad Students must be enrolled in graduate-level courses; undergraduate courses do not count towards full-time Graduate Standing. Graduate Students cannot be employed more than 50% during the academic year. For greater detail about UCSD Graduate Student employment eligibility please review this Division of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs (GEPA) resource: Graduate Student Employment Eligibility

Undergraduate Students must be registered full-time students, in Junior or Senior standing with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.


All Readers and Tutors must complete and submit time sheets via Ecotime (online time reporting) to receive payment. Pay cannot be completed if a time sheet is not turned in by the deadline. Students cannot exceed the hours described in their appointment letter without prior approval from both the Instructor of Record and NE Student Affairs.

2024-2025 ASE Pay Rates (before taxes)

  • Teaching Assistant
    • 50% - $3,236.11/month
    • 25% - $1,618.06/month
  • Reader (Graduate Student) - $20.28/hour
  • Reader (Undergraduate Student) - $19.40/hour
  • Tutor (Graduate Student) - $28.81/hour
  • Tutor (Undergraduate Student) - $22.73/hour

Fee Remission

Graduate Students hired as Instructional Assistants at 25% or above are eligible for Fee Remission which covers the majority of Resident Tuition and Fees. The NE Department does not cover the balance of fees. The TA Fee Deferment Program allows graduate students appointed at a minimum of 25% for the entire quarter to pay the balance of their registration fees (excluding nonresident supplemental tuition) through payroll deduction. Additionally, students who will be working 25% or more as a Teaching Assistant (TA) during Fall quarter can apply for a TA Loan to cover expenses until receipt of their first paycheck.