Prospective Students

5 Year Teaching Assistant Commitment

The Social Science 5-Year Teaching Assistant Commitment is an award given by the School of Social Sciences to incoming graduate students who show exceptional academic promise. The award includes five years of financial support-contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and good standing-and guaranteed access to on-campus graduate & family housing placement for at least four consecutive years.

Current Students

Teaching Assistant Opportunities

Graduate student Teaching Assistants (also designated as Academic Student Employees-ASEs) are an integral part of the instructional mission of the School of Social Sciences. Each academic term-fall, winter and spring-more than 200 TAs are employed in the School in support of undergraduate Social Sciences courses. TAs work in close contact with course instructors-they are the direct link between undergraduate students and the faculty and lecturers teaching the courses.

Social Sciences TA appointments are made for 220 hours during the 11-week academic term (10 week of instruction and the final exam week). In return for service, TAs receive a monthly salary (currently $2,367 before deductions). In addition, the TAs quarterly educational and registration fees-including health insurance-are paid as a benefit of employment.

  • Teaching Assistantship Salary: $21,273 (9-month appt)
  • Fees & Health Insurances: $17,247
  • Total: $38,520

International students who wish to qualify for TA appointment on the UC Irvine campus must first achieve a passing score on any one of five available English language proficiency examinations:

TAs do not teach courses independently during the academic year. Instead, they provide instructional and administrative support to the course lecturers. The broad areas of TA responsibility include:

  • - Attending lectures
  • - Holding office hours
  • - grading homework, quizzes, papers and mid-term and final exams
  • - conducting weekly discussion sections or labs

(A detailed TA job description is prepared for each course offered each term.)

Smaller courses-typically, those enrolling between 80-100 students-usually are assigned only one TA; courses with larger enrollments can have as many as six assigned TAs. As many TAs each term work in teams as those working individually with a course lecturer.

The Graduate Office uses an on-line TA application, allowing us to match students’ specific placement requests with faculty and chairs’ preferences. All intending Social Sciences students must apply each term for TA assignment:

Non-Social Sciences students may also be considered for TA appointment, by application to Grad Application

TA applications are accepted three times each year, by announcement to all graduate students: during the summer for the following fall; in the latter half of the fall, for winter; and early in the winter, for spring term

Teaching Assistant appointments within the University of California system are made under a collective bargaining agreement between the University and the United Auto Workers for the ASE unit.

The full text of the agreements is available here


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