Working on Campus

Types of Student Academic Jobs

At UC Berkeley, student instructional positions are Graduate Student Instructor (GSI), Tutor, or Reader. GSI is synonymous with a 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. Readers and tutors may lead group sessions, grade papers and exams, and assist course instructors in other ways. For more information, see the Graduate Division's website on appointments

A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) is a graduate student who is engaged in or assisting in research projects. The specific duties of GSRs vary as widely as the many types of research done on the Berkeley campus.

Advantages of Working on Campus

On top of the experience itself, there are a number of advantages to working in these types positions:

  • Wages: First, you receive an hourly wage, ranging from around $15 to $25 dollars an hour depending on the type of position. This obviously helps with living expenses.
  • Fee Remission: Second, you receive a waiver of some or all of the in-state tuition, determined by the number of hours worked during the course of the semester. Please note that you cannot have the nonresident supplemental tuition waived by working in one of these positions, unless you are a Ph.D. student, and master's students will not have the professional degree supplemental tuition waived.

Where to Look for Campus Jobs

As an I School student, you are eligible to work in any campus department. Given the inter-disciplinary nature of the I School, students have in the past worked in a wide variety of departments. For example, a few years ago a MIMS student worked as a GSI in the astronomy department, as this happened to be his undergraduate background. Be sure to keep this in mind when you are looking for an appointment.

The I School hires a number of teaching assistants every semester; see the list and application here. Most TAs are hired in the “Tutor-Group-Graduate” job classification, rather than as GSIs. Most TA positions go to Ph.D. students or to second year MIMS students who have already taken the course.

As a new student, it may be easier to find a GSI position than a GSR position — especially if you are qualified to teach in another department. Faculty prefer to know your research abilities before hiring. That is, they've probably had you in one of their courses. Many students who choose to work their first year do so as a GSI, moving into GSR positions their second year.

There is no single way to go about finding an GSR or GSI appointment, and there is no single on-line bulletin-board for posting open appointments. Several approaches you might consider:

  • For GSI positions: Berkeley maintains a list of departments which typically offer graduate-student positions. This list also includes reader and tutor positions. For more information, contact individual departments. (There is no similar list for GSR positions.)
  • For GSI positions: Contact individual departments for which you may be qualified (based on your undergraduate education), to see which positions they have available.
  • For GSR positions: For the most part, you will need to approach departments and/or faculty directly, talk with them, present your qualifications, and see if they are hiring. This is how it works at the I School: faculty for the most part make individual arrangements with qualified and eligible students depending on their needs and resources. There is a wide range of opportunities available, and different departments and faculty members approach GSR hiring differently.

More Information

The Graduate Division's GSI, GSR, Reader, and Tutor Guide outlines all of the above in much more detail.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Catherine Cronquist Browning (catherine@ischool.berkeley.edu).

Last updated:

March 6, 2018