Applying for Teaching Assistantship

Updated April 16, 2018

Each quarter, including summer, CSE hires graduate students as Teaching Assistants to assist with the undergraduate curriculum. 

Advisers or course instructors often encourage students to apply to TA for a specific course, but this is not a job offer.  ONLY the department makes the official job offer

Applicants should not start TAing a course until they have received an official appointment letter from the department and replied to it to accept the position. 

The TA application is for submitting requests only.  We will make every effort to accommodate them, but there is no guarantee that applicants will be given a TA position or that they will be assigned to TA one of their preferred courses.

Students may not be a TA, Tutor or Reader for courses in which they are enrolled.

For TA Duties and responsibilities, please refer to:

TAs must complete CSE 599 either prior to being assigned to TA (preferred) or during the same quarter as their first TA position.  The goal of CSE 599 is to give TAs the skills and knowledge needed to be effective and successful in their teaching. 

We do NOT know that enrollments will be high enough to warrant a TA in all the classes listed on the application form each quarter.  In other words, just because a course is listed as a preference does not mean a TA will be assigned to it.

TAs may be asked to attend lecture, lead discussion or lab sections, and proctor midterm and final exams. Applicants should be available to do so for any classes marked as TA preferences.    It is wise to enroll in your own classes before choosing your TA preferences, and to note the time of CSE 599.

We will assign applicants to TA a course only if they already have a solid command of the material to be taught in the course.    In other words, only apply to TA a class if you have taken the equivalent course or have comparable other experience.   For a description of our courses, please see here.

International students must take the English Language Proficiency Exam prior to finalization of a TA assignment. Below is more information to determine if this requirement applies to your situation: 

  • Students whose spoken TOEFL score is 23-25 must pass an in-person English Language Proficiency Certification Examination (ELCE) requirement prior to being hired as a TA for the first time. This test will be administered in the Fall quarter of each year, and during Finals Week of subsequent quarters, and applicants will be eligible to hold a TA position beginning in the following quarter. All students in this category will be marked as ineligible for a TA application during the quarter they take the ELCE ExamWe will contact you to schedule the exam if this requirement applies to your situation. 
  • Students with a spoken TOEFL score of 26 or above are exempt from this requirement and may be considered for a TA position in the Fall quarter of their admit year. 
  • Students with a spoken TOEFL score of 22 or below will not be allowed to take the certification test until they have completed formal English proficiency training. Students who fall into this category may acquire the required English language proficiency skills via courses offered in the English Language Institute and the English for Academic and Professional Development Program. For more information, please see the Graduate Division's policy here and more information about the Teaching + Learning Commons here.
  • Students who attended university in the United States and had the TOEFL requirement waived must pass the ELCE requirement prior to being hired as a TA for the first time.
  • Students who are being hired for the first time and who do not yet have a social security number must apply for one through the International Students & Programs Office.


If you are applying for other campus employment (e.g., you think a faculty may support you on research funding or you applied to TA in more than one department), please remember that your total UCSD employment may not exceed 20 hours/week (50%) during the academic year. During the summer, students are able to work for a total of 40 hours/week (100%).

To apply for a TA assignment, complete the online TA preference application form for the quarter you wish to TA in:

Summer 2018 CSE TA Application - Priority deadline is May 7th