Graduate Student Employment

Graduate Student Employment Tools

These tools are intended to acclimate staff in the academic units to the graduate student employment process. Included are policies, procedures, processes, and other information related to the employment of graduate students.   

All departments and programs at UC Riverside should follow the General Employment Policies and specific Graduate Student Appointment policies (if applicable) when hiring a graduate student. The policies listed below briefly outline the requirements for all graduate student campus employment. 

Last update 02/09/2024

  • Full-Time Graduate Students (enrolled in 12 units or more)

    To hold any of the employment titles during the academic year, except Reader and Tutor, the appointee must be a registered graduate student enrolled in 12 units. Students do not need to be enrolled in units during the summer to hold employment titles.  In the summer before a student begins the program, a student may be appointed as a GSR beginning July 1 only if the student has been formally admitted to a program. The Student Health Office should be contacted to enroll students in GSHIP as part of an early start program for newly admitted students who work as GSR in the summer before their first quarter of attendance. New incoming students for Fall are not eligible to be in teaching title codes in the summer prior to entering their degree program. 

  • Eligibility Requirements

    Graduate Students on Filing Fee Status 

    A student on Filing Fee status does not register for units or pay registration fees, and therefore, cannot hold any of the above employment titles except Reader and Tutor. Information regarding employment while on filing fee status can be found here

    Incomplete Units 

    No more than seven units of incomplete grades are allowed if a student is to hold an employment title. No exceptions are approved.  

    Graduate Students on Leave of Absence (LOA) 

    A student on an approved academic leave may not hold any of the above employment titles (Teaching Assistant, Graduate Student Researcher, Reader, etc.) or other student employment titles. 

    Grade Point Average (GPA) 

    The minimum GPA for GSRs, teaching titles (TAs, Associate Ins,__ & Teaching Fellows), and Readers is 3.00. Exceptions are not made for those in teaching titles. If a student does not meet the above minimum requirement for a GSR or Reader, an exception may be requested. Please forward a memo of support to the Graduate Dean prior to appointing the student. Normally, only a one-quarter exception (if any) is approved.  Students are expected to raise their GPA to the required minimum after that quarter.  All requests and justifications must come directly from the Graduate Advisor or Department Chair.  

  • Time Limits to Degree

    Master's students  

    All students should complete their program of study in six quarters (seven quarters in the case of Botany/Plant Sciences & Earth Sciences, eight quarters for the MBA program, nine quarters for the MFA in Dance). Students over those limits may not hold any employment titles. 

    Ph.D. students 

    Advancement to Candidacy: - All students should take their oral qualifying exams and be advanced to candidacy within 12 quarters. Students over that limit may not hold any of the above employment titles. 

    All students should complete their degree within the program's acceptable progress limits (normative time to degree plus one year). Students over that limit may not hold any of the above employment titles. 

    Exceptions: If a student exceeds these time limits, a timetable to completion (or timetable to exams) must be approved by the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Graduate Studies or a designee.  Do not appoint the student until the student has an approved timetable. 

  • English Language Proficiency

    English Language Proficiency 

    • Any student who was born in a country where English is not the official language (if you are unsure if English is considered the official language of the country, please refer to this resource), or is born in the US but indicates on their application that English is not their first language, must demonstrate English proficiency before performing duties as a TA or Associate In. This requirement includes not only international students but also citizens and permanent residents. 
    • Students with an Undergraduate or Graduate Degree in the US or English-Speaking Institution.
      • A student can demonstrate proficiency if they have earned their undergraduate or graduate degree from an institution where English was the sole language of instruction according to the World Higher Education Database within 5 years prior to admission to a graduate program at UCR.  
      • Students who have graduated a higher education institution in the US or another English-speaking institution will need to complete the following steps: 
        • Go to the World Higher Education Database website.
        • On the right-hand side under “HEI Quick search,”select the country where you earned your degree. 
        • Select the university the degree was earned. Under “Language” it should say English. If it does not, the student will need to take an English Competency Exam (see below). 
        • Email a screenshot of the university, with the “Language” section showing English, to Patrick Napier ( 
    • English Competency Exam 
      • Students who have not completed an undergraduate or graduate degree in the US or English-Speaking Institution, must take one of the following English competency exams: TOEFL iBT Scores, TSE/SPEAK, IELTS, or Versant. The following chart describes the language proficiency designation of the student based on the score: 
      • Those who score a conditional pass can be appointed as a TA but may be required to complete additional English Pronunciation remediation should there be documented substantiation of poor pronunciation performance.  
        • Individuals with a conditional pass can be appointed as TAs for up to three quarters (four under unusual circumstances) on a probationary basis with the approval of the Graduate Dean.   For those students within the probationary range, a determination of their continuing eligibility to serve as TAs will be made by the Graduate Dean based on: 
          • Departmental recommendation, including an assessment of the student's academic ability;
          • Student teaching evaluations; 
          • Other evidence of commitment to/performance in teaching (e.g., faculty evaluations or statements of support, videos); 
          • Evidence of a good-faith effort to improve English skills; and 
          • Relative proximity to the level of competence represented by a clear pass. 
        • If the student has not passed the proficiency exam and has not served as a TA, they must be reexamined if 6 months or more have transpired since their last exam. 

    Rating Scale 

    TOEFL iBT Scores 




    • Clear Pass 



    50 or above 

    • Conditional pass 





    • Fail 



    39 or below 

  • Percentage Appointments

    Percentage Appointments 

    A student appointed at 50% time should not be assigned work that will take them more than 20 hours per week on average (or more than 220 hours per quarter) to perform. A student appointed at 25% time should not be assigned work that will take them more than 10 hours per week on average (or more than 110 hours per quarter) to perform. 

    Maximum Percent Time for Appointments 

    • A student may not be employed at more than 50% time (20 hours per week on average) in any combination of titles during the academic year. During quarter breaks and Summer, a student may work full-time (i.e., 100%). If an exception is needed (which should be rare), a memo must be forwarded from the Graduate Advisor or Chair to the Graduate Dean before the appointment. Full-time career employees are an exception to this rule. Career employees are also eligible for the Employee Reduced Fee Program. Two-thirds of the University Tuition and Student Services Fee are credited. For more information go to UCR Human Resources Employee Discounts and look under the Learning header. 
    • If a student is employed on a variable appointment along with another appointment, please indicate the true amount of time the student will be working in that variable appointment. 
  • International Students
    • Students in F-1 and J-1 visa status (with documents issued by UC Riverside) do not require permission to hold academic appointments or other university employment for 20 hours per week or less if they are registered full-time (12 units) during the quarter. They may also work full-time on campus during breaks if they will be registered the following quarter.
    • J-1 visa holders sponsored by other organizations must have permission from their program sponsors to hold academic appointments or any other on-campus employment. Students who do not meet the above criteria or who have other non-immigrant visas should consult International Education before they accept campus or off-campus employment.    
    • The employment authorization ends when the student has completed his or her degree.  The F-1/J-1 "inherent" on-campus employment authorization is valid only if the student is in student status. At the time the student has finished their degree (requirements) and wants to continue employment, they must have a new employment authorization. International students cannot move from GSR into Postdoctoral status without USCIS authorization. 
  • Graduate Students Registered in Self-Supporting Programs
    • Teaching Assistants, Associate Ins and Teaching Fellows appointed in self-supported graduate programs (SSGPs) must meet the same academic standards as state-supported graduate students hired into ASE positions. Students must also meet the same English proficiency requirements as state-supported students in order to be appointed as an ASE. Note that waiving the English proficiency requirement for admissions purposes does not exempt a student from meeting the TA requirement for English proficiency. SSGP students serving as TAs must undergo the same TA training as state-supported graduate students. 
    • Funding source for ASE salary and remission: 
      • Salary and remission should be covered by the hiring unit. 
      • If the SSGP student will be an ASE for an SSGP, the salary and remission must be paid with SSGP program revenues or other discretionary funding sources available to the program. 
      • If the SSGP student will be an ASE in a state-supported program, then the salary and remissions may be charged to the regular TA instructional salary funding source. 
    • ASE fee remission 
      • The fee remission paid on behalf of an SSGP student will be paid as all other remission is paid, i.e., as a fee credit posted to the student’s Student Billing System (SBS) account. Under no circumstances will the funds be provided directly to the student. The amount of fee remission is equal to the amount of remission paid on behalf of a student in a state-supported program for the tuition, student services, and campus fees components of a student’s fee assessment. 
      • The remission should be based on in-state remission and should not include NRST (non-resident supplemental tuition). 
      • As with a student in a state-supported program, if the student in an SSGP is charged and does not waive out of GSHIP, the GSHIP amount will be included in the fee remission. In no case will fee remission exceed the total charges the student pays to the SSGP. 
      • If the fee remission total exceeds the total program fee(s), the remission will be reduced accordingly. 
  • Graduate Student Appointment Titles (Fee/Tuition Remission Eligible)

    This section defines the job description and scope for all academic graduate student employees, in accordance with the UCR Performance Management, Corrective Action, and Dismissal Policy issued by the Academic Personnel Office. Detailed information regarding the description of duties or supervisor’s expectations for an employee’s individual work assignment will be provided directly by the supervisor or department of employment.

    1. Teaching Assistant (APM 410) 

      1. A Teaching Assistant is a registered graduate student in full-time residence, chosen for excellent scholarship and for promise as a teacher, and serving an apprenticeship under the active tutelage and supervision of a regular faculty member. A Teaching Assistant is not responsible for the instructional content of a course, for selection of student assignments, for planning of examinations, or for determining the term grade for students. Neither is the Teaching Assistant to be assigned responsibility for instructing the entire enrollment of a course or for providing the entire instruction of a group of students enrolled in a course. The Teaching Assistant is responsible only for the conduct of recitation, discussion, laboratory, or quiz sections under the active direction and supervision of a regular member of the faculty to whom responsibility for the course’s entire instruction, including the performance of Teaching Assistants, has been assigned. 

      2. Additional Requirements: 

    1. Must be making acceptable progress toward the degree 

    1. Must be advanced to candidacy within 12 quarters after entry 

    1. Must have no more than seven units of incomplete grades 

    1. Must enroll in and complete 12 units of course work or research each quarter 

    1. Must maintain a 3.00 GPA 

    1. English language proficiency required, please see procedure above. 


    1. Teaching Fellow (APM 410) 

      1. A Teaching Fellow is a registered graduate student in full-time residence who has advanced to candidacy for the doctorate, or otherwise has achieved appropriate professional maturity, and who has been chosen because of competence to conduct the entire instruction of a group of students in a lower-division course under the general supervision of a regular faculty member. 

      2. Subject to the general supervision of a faculty member designated in catalogues and published schedules as “in charge” of the course, a Teaching Fellow should be competent to provide the entire instruction of a lower division course to a group of students, and normally should be given such assignments.  Assignment to conduct instruction in an upper-division or graduate course or course section may not be made except with the approval of the Committee on Courses of Instruction (Regulations of the Academic Senate, 750). 

      3. Additional Requirements: 

        1. Advancement to candidacy for the doctorate, and 

        2. At least two years of teaching experience (including that of a teaching assistantship) in or outside the University. 

        3. If the appointment is to a teaching fellowship in a professional school, the following conditions may be substituted for those stated in (1) and (2) above: 

          1. A Masters degree in the field offered by the professional school, and 

          2. At least two years of teaching or appropriate professional experience, and 

          3. Maintenance of a grade-point average of 3.00 

    2. Associate Instructor (Associate In) 

      1. An Associate In is a registered graduate student who should be competent independently and without supervision to conduct the entire instruction of a lower-division course. The minimal qualifications for appointment to the title Associate In shall be possession of a Masters degree or equivalent training and at least one year of teaching experience. Assignment to conduct instruction in an upper-division course or course section may not be made except with the approval of the Committee on Courses. 

    3. Graduate Student Researcher (APM 112-4) 

      1. A Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) is a graduate student who performs research related to the student's degree program in an academic department or research unit under the direction of a faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator. 

    4. Reader (APM 420) 

      1. The title Reader is given to a student employed for the ability to render diverse services as a "course assistant," which will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations. Readers will usually be graduate students, but qualified undergraduate students may be so employed, especially when graduate students are not available. Professional readers, not enrolled as students, may be employed to meet special needs, but only on an hourly basis. Each has a different hourly rate. 

      2. Readers should have maintained at least a 3.00 grade-point average in their previous academic work and should have taken and received at least a "B" grade in the course or equivalent in which they are serving. For students who have completed at least one full year of graduate work, the record of the year just past will be substituted for the undergraduate record. The appointing department will be responsible for ensuring these standards are maintained. 

      3. While there is no specific limit to the size of classes for which Readers may be appointed, it is expected that Readers will not be needed unless the class has more than 30 students. 

    5. Quarter Limits 

      1. Students in teaching titles (TA, Teaching Fellow, or Associate Instructor) for more than 15 quarters must submit an exception request for additional employment. No student may hold teaching titles for more than 18 quarters in any combination of these titles. 

      2. Students who have not advanced to candidacy by their 15th quarter of attendance or have not completed their degree by their 21st quarter of attendance are not eligible for employment. 

    6. Appointment Security 

      1. Per the union contracts, if an individual receives and accepts an appointment to a salaried ASE or GSR position for one or more quarters in an academic year, and the position offered and accepted is no longer available, the University will ensure either that the individual is placed in an appointment at the classification and equivalent compensation level offered and accepted, or receives equivalent compensation in lieu of the position for the term at the level offered.  

      2. Failure to accept an offer in its entirety, and subject to all conditions, nullifies the offer in its entirety. However, after accepting an offer, an ASE or GSR may turn down one or more terms of employment without forfeiting the provisions in this article for the following reasons:  

        1. the employee's serious medical condition as defined by FMLA,  

        2. to accept an extramural fellowship, or  

        3. another reason granted by the University.  

      3. An individual who has accepted an ASE or GSR position(s) for one or more terms who becomes academically ineligible may be removed from the appointment without pay within the first five weeks of the quarter. 

      4. If an ASE has been removed from their appointment for academic ineligibility and is then found academically eligible, it is up to the department to determine whether to reinstate the ASE or GSR to that position. It is possible that the department will have found another student to perform those duties and the position is no longer available. 

      5. A student must work the entire quarter to be eligible for payment of the Graduate Student Health Insurance and Partial Fee Remission (tuition and Students Services Fee).  If they do not complete the entire quarter, they will be responsible for repaying GSHIP and Partial Fee Remission. 

    7. Letter of Appointment and Supplemental Documentation 

      1. Per the union contracts, each department must provide a written notice of appointment (e.g., letter or email) to individuals offered an appointment as soon as practicable after hiring decisions are made but no later than 30 days prior to the start of the term. In cases in which positions become available less than 30 days prior to the start of the term, notification will be made as soon as possible. Once the ASE has accepted the position, they must sign the letter and the department must send copies of that letter (preferably in one group) to the Graduate Division. If the student does not respond by the date set in the letter, they are considered to have rejected the appointment. The wording of the appointment letter is mandated by the contract.   

      2. Per the union contracts, prior to the beginning of the term or as soon as practicable thereafter, the department should provide to ASE and/or GSR a description of duties form that sets forth the following: a description of required duties; the faculty member or supervisor to whom the individual will report; the location where the work will be performed if known; the class assigned if applicable; and any other relevant information. The department must provide advance notice when duties are changed significantly.   

    8. Salaried ASE Duties (TA, Teaching Fellow, Associate In) 

      1. A checklist of ASE duties can be found in Appendix A of this Manual: Appendix A: DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES – ASE Titles. 

      2. The following is expected of all Salaried ASEs: 

        1. To attend, to the extent required by the department or supervising faculty, all meetings of the class in which he or she is doing laboratory work, discussion sections, or grading of papers or exams. 

        2. To consult with the professor in charge of the course as to grading policies, course content, procedures, and proctoring. 

        3. To attend all meetings of classes, sections, and laboratories for which he or she is personally responsible. Failure to meet regularly scheduled classes for which the TA is responsible constitutes a dereliction of duty and may be grounds for termination of employment. If there is a good reason for absence, the TA must inform the department in advance and arrange for a substitute. 

        4. To make proper and thorough preparation for each class, lab, or section for which they are responsible. 

        5. To assign the amount of written work proper to the lab or section for which they are responsible, and to read and grade the written work thoroughly and as rapidly as possible. 

        6. To post office hours, at least one hour per week per section or laboratory, depending on the course, and to hold those office hours without fail. 

        7. To report grades accurately and on time to the instructor in charge of the course. 

        8. To give grade books to the instructor in charge at the end of the appointment. 

        9. To maintain a professional attitude toward all students in their classes at all times. The ethical standards of behavior for faculty instruction apply equally to Teaching Assistants. 

        10. To notify the supervising instructor as soon as the TA anticipates any workload-related issues that may result in a violation of the workload article of the ASE/UC contract. 

      3. Workload Issues 

        1. Teaching Assistants (TA) 

          1. For purposes of this section only, “TA” refers to Teaching Assistant, Associate Instructor, and Teaching Fellow. Assigned workload is measured by how many hours the University could reasonably expect a TA to take to satisfactorily complete the work assigned. 

          2. A TA with a 50% appointment shall not be assigned a workload of more than 220 hours per quarter. This standard shall apply proportionately to other percentage appointments. In addition, a TA with an appointment of 50% or less shall not be assigned a workload of more than 40 hours in any one week. The number of hours worked in excess of twenty (20) hours per week may not total more than 50 hours per quarter. 

          3. TAs should initiate discussions with their supervisor as soon as they anticipate any workload-related issues that would result in a violation of this Article. 

        2. Readers/Tutors 

          1. Readers and tutors shall be compensated on an hourly basis. Assigned workload is measured by how many hours the University could reasonably expect a reader or tutor to take to satisfactorily complete the work assigned. 

      4. Training and Orientation 

        1. All required training and orientation are considered part of the term's workload, except pedagogy courses where an ASE is enrolled.   The department may require an ASE to satisfactorily complete the required training to continue an appointment as an ASE.  The department may require that an ASE who has not satisfactorily completed required training repeat training without the repeated training counting in workload. 

        2. Unpaid activities for which academic credit is given, or that are academic program requirements for all students in the program or training activities required to meet minimum eligibility requirements (e.g., English language tests), are not considered employment activities. 

    9. Lecturers 

      1. Students cannot serve as Lecturers. The only exception is if they are on Filing Fee status. 

    10. Academic Personnel Manual  

      1. To view the Academic Personnel Manual, go to:  

    11. Salary Scales  

      1. Teaching Assistant (TA), Teaching Fellow, Reader 

      2. Tutor 

      3. Associate Instructor 

      4. Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) 

    12. Supervision of ASE Employees 

      1. In-depth information on the supervision of ASE titles can be found in the Academic Personnel Office policy on Performance Management of Non-Senate Academics:  

    13. Union Dues 

      1. ASEs with questions regarding union membership should contact UAW 2865 directly, via telephone at (510) 549-3863, via website, or via e-mail at 

    14. Withdrawal 

      1. A student must work at least 110 hours to be eligible for payment of the Graduate Student Health Insurance and Partial Fee Remission (Student Services Fee and Tuition). If they do not complete 110 hours, they will be responsible for repaying GSHIP and Partial Fee Remission. Students must be enrolled for the entire quarter to receive fee remissions.

  • Time and Attendance Reporting System (TARS)
    Time and Attendance Report System (TARS) for ASEs and GSRs

    Where applicable and as required by the UAW contracts, ASEs and GSRs will be required to seek prior approval for Personal Time Off and Leave of Absence.

    It is the employee’s responsibility to accurately record approved leave taken and submit timesheets to their supervisor/unit head by the published deadlines. In support of organizational excellence and to improve operational effectiveness, timely and accurate submission of time records will reduce incorrect reporting.

    It is the supervisor’s responsibility to accurately review and approve employee timesheets by the published payroll deadlines.

    TARS Job Aid for ASEs and GSRs

    TARS Job Aid for Supervisors

  • Child Dependent Health Premium Benefit Program
  • TA Training & Teaching Evaluations

    The Office of the President has mandated training for all new Teaching Assistants.  Currently, at UCR, the Teaching Assistant Development Program provides a General TA Orientation before Fall Quarter.  All new TAs must attend this orientation. 

    Each quarter TAs are evaluated by their students. A TA who earns an average score of 4.0 or lower on any question must complete additional training through TADP. As in the past, students who score 4.0 or below on the "overall effectiveness" question must successfully complete individual training with a Mentor TA, including classroom observation, during the next quarter of service as a TA (not including summer). Furthermore, students who score 4.0 or lower on any other question must successfully complete workshops and/or English language training for their specific weaknesses during the quarter immediately following the low evaluations (not including summer). Students may serve as TAs while they complete their required training; however, students who fail to complete their training during the time frames described above will not be allowed to serve as TAs in subsequent quarters before successfully completing their training.  Because training requires several weeks to complete, a student who postpones training likely will be ineligible to serve as a TA for an entire quarter.