Graduate Student Employment

Definitions

Teaching Apprentices’ (Teaching Assistants/Associates/Fellows) primary duty is to assist in all aspects of instruction under faculty supervision. Teaching Assistants do not need prior experience. Teaching Associates have a MS degree or completed at least 36 units of graduate coursework (courses 375 and 495 excluded) and at least one academic year of UCLA TA experience. Teaching Fellows require Advancement to Doctoral Candidacy and at least two years of UCLA TA experience.

Special Readers are advanced graduate students who are hired for undergraduate upper division or graduate level courses. Special Readers must have earned a B+ or higher in the course to qualify, have earned 36 units of graduate coursework (excluding 375 and 495) and requires Graduate Division approval.

Readers’ primary duty is grading. Readers are supervised by faculty and must have earned a grade of B or higher to qualify.

Availability

Students interested in a Teaching Assistant/Associate/Fellow or Special Reader position should contact their faculty advisor to discuss potential opportunities. Students may also contact outside departments to inquire about availability. Opportunities will also be posted to the CEE Graduate Student Blog .

Eligibility

To qualify for a ASE appointment students must:

– be enrolled in at least 12 units by the end of the third week of the quarter/semester of the appointment

– be actively supervised by a UCLA faculty member

– have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of appointment

– serve no more than 12 academic quarters (4 years) in apprentice teaching titles and, by exception only following advancement to candidacy, no more than 18 quarters (6 years)

– International graduate students, including permanent residents, have passed the TOP exam prior to being appointed under any teaching title

Registration

Teaching assistants (TAs) are required to be registered and enrolled in at least 12 quarter units throughout their appointments. Please note that all students holding TA appointments should enroll in C&EE 375: Teaching Apprentice Practicum during the quarter of your appointment. The number of units in 375 is commensurate with the percent appointment (25% appointment = 2 units and 50% appointment = 4 units). Students will select the section that corresponds with the instructor of the course for which they are a TA. In addition, C&EE 495: Teaching Assistant Training Seminar is designed to prepare students for college-level teaching and provide professional development. This course discusses practical and theoretical issues about teaching in a specific discipline. C&EE 495 is only offered in the Fall Quarter.

Appointment, Payment, and Benefits

ASEs are typically hired at either 24%, 25% or 50%.

Students hired as an ASE may be eligible for tuition and fee remission benefits.

For maximum employment details, salary scales, and fee remission benefits please visit the Graduate Division website.

Hiring Process

Faculty assign graduate students to ASE positions. If selected for an ASE position in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, the Civil and Environmental Engineering SAO will contact the student. The student will receive details of the appointment and information on how to complete the hiring process.

In addition to hiring paperwork, students will complete an ASE Duties and Responsibilities worksheet with their instructor.

ASE positions are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the University and the UAW. As such, ASE information such as name and department address will be released to the UAW Local 2865 each term that a student is employed in the bargaining unit. Please view the Contract Agreement for further details.During the hiring process students will complete a UAW Local 2865 Membership Election form.

Training

Every Fall quarter, C&EE 495: Teaching Assistant Training Seminar is available for new and continuing TAs. The course is designed to prepare students for college-level teaching and provide professional development. This course discusses practical and theoretical issues about teaching in a specific discipline.

We highly recommend that students attend the Annual TA Conference held before the start of the Fall quarter. This day-long conference is designed for both new and continuing TAs and will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn strategies for the first day of class, ask experienced TAs and professors your questions about teaching, and learn strategies for teaching. Students may find more information, including the link to register for the conference on the Office of Instructional Development website.

TOP Exam

What is the TOP?

Students who plan to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) at UCLA and are non-US citizens must pass the TOP before working as a TA in any department at UCLA. All non-citizens are considered international students. This includes permanent residents.

Who is exempt from taking the TOP?

– If you are a U.S. citizen or hold a Bachelor’s degree from a U.S. institution, you are automatically exempt from taking the test; you do not need to take any further action.

– Holding a Master’s degree from a U.S. institution does not qualify for an exemption.

– No alternatives to TOP are accepted. Scores on any other language proficiency exams may not be used as a replacement for the TOP (e.g., SPEAK, TSE, TOEFL, ESLPE).

– If you do not plan to work as a TA at UCLA, you do not need to take the TOP. Other positions (e.g., special reader, GSR) do not require the TOP.

– If you believe that you should receive an exemption from taking the TOP for any other reason (e.g., native speaker of English), please contact the Graduate Division directly.

When is the TOP offered?

The TOP is administered four times a year.Please visit the UCLA Office of Instructional Development website for more details.

What is the passing score?

Clear pass = 7.1 or higher; Students who earn a clear pass are eligible to be appointed to teaching positions (TA).

Provisional pass = 6.4 to 7; Students who earn a provisional pass may be conditionally appointed to teaching titles if the student is concurrently enrolled in, or has already passed, ESL course(s). Eligibility for further teaching assistantships is contingent upon passing the ESL course(s).

Definition

Graduate Student Researchers assist faculty with scholarly research and may or may not collaborate in the publication of research results.

Availability

Students interested in a GSR position should contact their faculty advisor to discuss potential opportunities.

Eligibility

To qualify for a GSR appointment students must:

– be enrolled in at least 12 units by the end of the third week of the quarter/semester of the appointment

– be actively supervised by a UCLA faculty member

– have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the time of appointment

Registration

GSRs are required to be registered and enrolled in at least 12 quarter units throughout their appointments. GSRs must enroll in independent studies at the 500-level. GSRs may include the 500-level units in reaching the 12 unit load.

Appointment, Payment, and Benefits

GSRs are typically hired during the Fall, Winter and Spring quarter at 49% or less. GSRs are eligible to work more during the Inter-Quarter Months and Summer Periods. GSRs are paid on a monthly basis.

Students hired as a GSR may be eligible for tuition and fee remission benefits. Depending on the appointment, international students may be eligible for Non Resident Supplemental Tuition remission. View the Academic Apprentice Personnel Benefits document for details.

For maximum employment details, salary scales, and fee remission benefits please visit the Graduate Division website.

Hiring Process

If selected for a GSR position, the Civil and Environmental Engineering SAO will contact the student. The student will receive details of the appointment and information on how to complete the hiring process.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT)

Overview

CPT is employment authorization that allows F-1 students to engage in an off-campus academic internship (paid or unpaid)

Types

  •  Part-time: up to 20 hours per week during the academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring)
  • Full-time: 21 hours or more per week (only available during the Summer; available to graduate students who have advanced to candidacy (ATC) during the academic year)

Requirements

  • Must have maintained F-1 status for 1 year
  • Registration
    • MS students must register in CEE 296
    • PhD student not ATC must register in CEE 296
    • PhD students who have ATC’d do not have to register; faculty advisor must send CEE SAO letter indicating internship is integral to PhD program.

Website

Please visit the UCLA Dashew Center website for more information regarding requirements, the application process, and more!


 

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Overview

Post Completion Optional Practical Training is a 12-month work permit approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work in your field of study after completing your degree program.

Requirements

  • Students must have maintained F-1 status for at least one academic year before their requested CPT start date.
  • Students must not have had previous OPT approved for the same degree level.
  • Students must not have been authorized for one year or more of full-time CPT.
  • Students must apply for OPT early (2-3 months)!

Website

Please visit the UCLA Dashew Center website for more information regarding requirements, the application process, and more!