The term Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) is synonymous with Teaching Assistant (TA) at other universities. A GSI serves as an apprentice under the active supervision of the faculty member who is the Instructor of Record for the course. GSI appointments are for one academic year or less, and reappointment is not automatic. If you are appointed at half time, you can be expected to work 16-20 hours per week, during instructional and examination periods, including time spent in preparation, classroom and laboratory teaching, office consultation, and reading student papers. ASEs are obligated to inform their supervisor when they first perceive that their assignments might exceed the assigned workload maximum for their appointments. ASEs must obtain express advance written permission from their supervisors before working beyond the number of hours defined for their appointments. At no time should an ASE continue to work beyond eight hours in a day, or forty hours in a week.
Departments must assign duties for a particular course at or below the level of a GSI’s experience and qualifications, as classified by his or her step level. A GSI who is at the Step I level in experience (less than four semesters of teaching) cannot be assigned responsibilities beyond what is allowed for that step.
Step I duties entail leading discussion sections or labs or instruction of prescribed course content, under the active direction and supervision of a faculty member who has final responsibility for the course’s entire instruction and for the performance of GSIs. The appointee is not solely responsible for instructional content of the course, selection of assignments, planning of exams, or for determination of course grades, but may assist in these tasks in collaboration with the instructor of record who has final authority. Other course support duties may include, but are not limited to, holding office hours, grading, and participation in development of quizzes. Under the appropriate supervision of faculty, GSIs qualified for classification at higher steps may be assigned Step 1 duties or additional responsibilities.
- Students on Filing Fee status may not be appointed as GSIs.
- Students may not be appointed as GSIs during the period of in absentia registration status.
- Students may not be enrolled in the course for which they are appointed.
- Students may not simultaneously serve as a GSI and a Reader or a Tutor for the same course.
- During the academic year, graduate students with appointments may not exceed half time, nor may such appointments, in combination with other University appointments, exceed half time. For more information about this restriction, see the topic titled “The 50 Percent Rule” under the “General Policies On Academic Appointments” section in this document.
- Graduate students are limited to four years of service in any one teaching title, or any combination of teaching titles (GSI, Acting Instructor-Graduate Student, TA, Associate, or Teaching Fellow titles). Requests for exception to this policy, up to an absolute limit of six years of service, must be approved in advance by Graduate Division Dean. The maximum number of years of service on the Berkeley campus is six (twelve semesters), which is an absolute limit established by UC’s Office of the President (UCOP) and cannot be exceeded even by exception.
- Students may normally be assigned to perform the duties of a GSI only for undergraduate courses. Under very exceptional circumstances, a department may propose that a graduate student who has been advanced to candidacy at the doctoral level be appointed as a GSI for a graduate course. Assignment as a GSI for a graduate course always requires advance approval by Associate Dean Carlos Fernandez-Pello.