Undergraduate Tutors

NOTE: Before applying, review this document.


About Tutoring

Tutoring is an excellent way to improve communication and people skills, to learn to work in groups to set and accomplish goals, and to learn teaching skills that will be beneficial for future internships or jobs in academia or industry.

  • Tutors work closely with faculty who can become mentors and references.
  • Tutors play an important role in providing a quality education for other undergraduate students, and achieving the educational goals of the course.  
  • Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Qualcomm, to mention just a few, have told us that the tutoring experience on a resume is highly valued, both for internships and for post-graduation job placement. 

Position Description


A Tutor assists the instructor by providing tutoring to individual students or small groups of students who require additional help. A tutor, as needed, is expected to facilitate small group discussions, hold office hours and be accessible to students. 

Minimum Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Must be enrolled in at least the second quarter at UCSD prior to APPLYING for a tutor position for the following quarter
  • Earned a minimum grade of B in the course (or its equivalent) to which they are applying
  • A student may not assist in a course in which they are enrolled
  • Must be present ON CAMPUS beginning the first day of the quarter through the eGrades submission deadline.
    • Note: the first day of the quarter does not always coincide with the first day of instruction.  Please review the calendar here.  You must be on campus no later than the date that corresponds with "___ Quarter begins"
    • You are expected to stay on campus through the eGrades submission deadline.  You may view the deadlines here.
  • All students must enroll in CSE 95 the first quarter of being a Tutor in a CSE course

Application Timeline

Please note that all timelines are approximate, unless otherwise stated.

For participation in: Application Opens Applicants Notified of Decision
Fall On or around Monday of Week 7 in Spring Quarter On or around Friday of Week 1 of Summer Session II
Winter On or around Friday of Week 5 of Fall Quarter On or around Friday of Week 9 of Fall Quarter
Spring On or around Friday of Week 5 of Winter Quarter On or around Friday of Week 9 of Winter Quarter
Summer On or around Monday of Week 3 in Spring Quarter On or around Friday of Week 9 of Spring Quarter

Application Process

  1. Determine if you are eligible to serve as a tutor by reviewing the criteria above.
  2. After determining your eligibility, before doing anything else, be sure to review instructors contact preferences here.
  3. Review your planned academic schedule for the upcoming quarter to help mitigate scheduling conflicts.
  4. Apply online.  The link can be found at the bottom of this page, and it is updated quarterly.
  5. Thoroughly complete the online application.
  6. List your course preferences.
  7. Submit your application prior to the priority deadline.  The priority deadline will be listed below each quarter and will be updated accordingly.
  8. Instructors review applications.
  9. Applicants are notified roughly according to the schedule outlined above.
    • Please note that a verbal offer or offer via email from an instructor does not constitute an official offer of employment or any other type of employment contract.  The only official notification is via the IA System (formerly ASES)
    • Instructors indicate hiring preferences, but the Department makes the ultimate hire.  An instructor promising you that you will be hired is not a guarantee of employment.  You have not received any employment offer until you receive an email with a link to your appointment letter in the IA System.  If you do not receive such an email, you have not received an employment offer.
  10. If you are selected for a position, you have seven days to respond to the offer before the offer is revoked.
    • You must reply via the link in the email, i.e. you must indicate your acceptance or rejection of the position via the IA System.  No other response will be recognized.
  11. If this is your first time serving as a tutor, you will need to complete new hire paperwork and enroll in CSE 95
    • Please note that if you are not able to complete new hire paperwork prior to the start of your appointment, your offer may be revoked.  Please be extremely conscientious of this when planning travel.  If you are unable to complete new hire paperwork before the first day of classes in a given quarter, give serious thought as to whether you should apply.

Tutor Duties & Responsibilities

Actual duties for a particular course may vary and will be defined by the supervising instructor. Typical duties may include:

  • Attend lectures and lab/discussion sections, where applicable
  • Hold office hours and review/problem solving sessions, as needed
  • Participate in review sessions using written content/slides generated by the instructor
  • Proctor and grade exams
  • Answer student questions related to course material transmitted via email, asked in person, or posted in an online forum, e.g. Piazza
  • Meet regularly with the instructor
  • Attend Instructional Assistant meetings, i.e. tutor and TA meetings
  • Other applicable duties as assigned by the instructor

Tutor Performance Expectations

Tutors are evaluated by the instructor of the course and by the students enrolled in the course via online evaluation surveys conducted at the end of the quarter.

Tutors are expected to be punctual, communicative and respectful.  Tutors are expected to be present for all mandatory meetings and are expected to be physically on campus for the entire time period as outlined in the appointment letter.  If a tutor is not available for any amount of time in the appointment period, they are subject to dismissal or having their application cancelled.  To clarify, tutors must be present ON CAMPUS beginning with the first day of the quarter through the eGrades submission deadline.  Please note that the first day of the quarter does not always coincide with the first day of instruction, it is often before then.  Please review the calendar here.  You must be on campus no later than the date that corresponds with "___ Quarter begins."  Additionally, you are expected to stay on campus through the eGrades submission deadline.  You may view the deadlines here.

Tutors must read, understand, and abide by the UC San Diego Principles of Community.

Tutor Workload

Undergraduate Tutors typically commit an average of 5-10 hours per week to their assignment (55-110 total hours in the quarter). However, some appointments are for fewer than 5 hours per week.  Appointments should not exceed 10 hours per week, on average.  Most of the hours are accrued during the 10-week quarter and finals week.  If your instructor asks that you work BEFORE the start date on your appointment letter, contact the department IMMEDIATELY.  Do NOT work before the start date outlined in your appointment letter.

Your appointment percentage will represent a weekly average, e.g. 25% is 10 hours per week on average.  However, some weeks you may work 20 hours and some weeks you may not work at all (both cases are rare, but this is to illustrate a point).

Do NOT exceed your total quarterly hours.  If you feel that your faculty supervisor is requesting more time than you have been assigned, please contact the department immediately for a confidential consultation.  Be very conscious of your time cards, and be honest and accurate in your time reporting.  Record and report actual time worked.  Do not report average or expected time worked.  Time cards should only reflect hours actually worked.  Submit your time cards on time so that you can be paid on time.

CSE 95 - Tutor Apprenticeship

A 2-unit course, CSE 95 - Tutor Apprenticeship, is required of all first-time tutors in the CSE Department, regardless of past experience.  In CSE 95, tutors receive individual and group mentoring and training on how to be an effective tutor.  This course helps tutors develop the skills and tools necessary to be effective in their roles.  To be eligible to take CSE 95 you must have been offered and accepted a position as a tutor in the CSE Department.

CSE 95 is never waived under any circumstances.  If you want to serve as a tutor, it is extremely important that you schedule your courses around CSE 95.  There are no exceptions for waiving or delaying CSE 95 if it doesn't "fit with your schedule."  Additionally, a requirement of CSE 95 is that you attend the course you are tutoring for, so you will need to make sure that both CSE 95 and the course that you are tutoring for fit into your schedule.

Employment Information

  • NEVER, under ANY circumstances, work before you receive an appointment letter and before you are hired or rehired.  If you are not sure if you need to complete new hire or rehire paperwork, before doing ANYTHING else, please contact the Tutor Coordinator at cse-ug-employment@eng.ucsd.edu.
  • A CSE team member will contact you by email if you must attend an employee new hire or rehire session.  NOTE: Even if you have worked for CSE before, or anywhere else on campus, does not mean you are still active in the Payroll system.  Typically students are separated from Payroll over summer and need to be rehired in Fall.  Please take this into account when planning your return to campus in Fall Quarter.
  • Undergraduate Tutors employed in title code 2860 are covered by a collective bargaining agreement between UC San Diego and the ASE/UAW. 
  • Undergraduate Tutors are paid biweekly and must submit time cards via MyTime. A team member will provide information on pay dates and time card submission.
  • Names and addresses of all Academic Student Employees (ASE) are released to the UAW each quarter as a condition of employment in title code 2860.
  • See the Graduate Division website for additional information concerning Academic Student Employment (ASE).

Required Trainings

New tutors are required to complete the following MANDATORY trainings prior to working:

Frequently Asked Questions

Tutor Applications

By clicking the link below and submitting an application, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the information outlined above.

WINTER 2020 CSE Tutor Application - Priority deadline November 11th

If you have any questions please contact the CSE Tutor/Reader Employment Coordinator.