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Departments wishing to seek policy exceptions for unique circumstances not explicitly covered here should submit an Employment Exception Request using our established process.

Policy Exceptions

18-Quarter Exceptions

Per APM 410, the total length of service for Teaching Assistants and Associates (teaching a class) may not exceed 18 quarters across all of UC.  No exceptions can be granted to the UC-wide18-quarter limit.  Students may still be employed in other graduate academic titles, including other instructional titles, once their 18 quarters have expired.  The Summer period does not count towards this limit.

Academic Eligibility

Graduate students must be in good academic standing, i.e.,

  1. Meet departmental standards including a satisfactory spring evaluation; 
  2. Maintain a GPA of 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work;
  3. Must not have accumulated more than a total of eight units of F and/or U grades overall.

If the department wishes to employ a student who does not meet these criteria or is on Academic Probation, select "Academic Eligibility" on the Exception Request form and submit via the Google Form. Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • GPA of less than 3.0 in upper-division and graduate course work
  • Academic Probation
Academic Student Employee (ASE) Exceptions

Associate (teaching a course) or Teaching Assistant (TA) Appointments Less Than Entire Quarter and Change in Percent Time

It is an exception to appoint a Teaching Assistant for less than the entire quarter or to increase the percent time mid-quarter.  The action requires pre-approval by staff in the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs Financial Support Unit (FSU). The FSU staff will determine if the situation also requires a formal exception letter and consideration by the Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.  The action also requires special coordination with the Payroll Office since paychecks are not automatically generated.

TAs have a pay period in the Payroll system (three full months) but a service period of the actual quarter dates.  If a student does not work the entire quarter (begins late or ends early) or changes the percent time mid-quarter, the action requires that you calculate the TA daily rate of pay with FSU staff assistance. 

See Chapter 5: Guide for Teaching Assistants and Calculating a Daily Rate of Pay

IMPORTANT: Also, be aware that if the student does not work the equivalent of 50% time for half of the quarter, they will become ineligible for the TAHI/TAFE payments and will be billed by the University.  This is another reason why you must contact FSU staff prior to inputting the action into the Payroll system.

Associate (in-lieu-of-TA) Title in Other Than Approved Programs

The Associate (in-lieu-of TA) title has been approved for specific programs including:

  • Department of Cognitive Science

  • Department of Political Science

  • Department of Psychology

  • Department of Sociology

  • Teaching + Learning Commons, Center for Engaged Teaching

  • The Division of Biological Sciences

Any other departmental usage requires the approval of the Dean of the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Non-Student Tutors and Readers

For information about non-student appointments please see Chapter 9: Guide for Non-Students

Tutor Title in Other than Approved Programs

Only programs that have received prior approval by the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs may use the Tutor title code.

Academic Year Appointments Over 50% Time

U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

The employment of a graduate student over 50% time during the academic year requires the prior authorization by:

  • The hiring Departments/Programs and/or funding sources involved

  • The student’s Academic Home Department's Chair

  • The Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs

In general, a request for exception up to a maximum of 75% time will be considered.  GSRs may not be appointed over 49.99% during the academic months; no exceptions can be made to this policy.

IMPORTANT:  Students appointed over 50% may be eligible for core benefits as outlined in Chapter 13.

International Students 

An international student in F-1 or J-1 status is restricted to on-campus employment of a maximum of 50% time (20 hours per week) during the academic year.  During the summer, 100% employment is allowed (depending on the student’s Academic Department support policy) if the student intends to enroll full time Fall quarter and meets all other eligibility criteria.  No exceptions are permitted to these rules.  Contact the Global Education Division with questions.

ELCE Exceptions

Per policy, international students who are nonnative speakers of English must be certified as having requisite language skills before they can serve as teaching assistants. To demonstrate the language skills necessary for teaching, the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs requires that a graduate student either pass the English Language Certification Exam (ELCE) administered by the Teaching + Learning Commons or meet the criteria for an exemption from the ELCE (i.e., through a qualifying TOEFL speaking subscore).  View the full policy here:  International Graduate Student Employment: Teaching Assistants (TAs)

English Language Proficiency Certification to Serve as Teaching Assistant Requirement:

  • Students may now be certified on the basis of having a TOEFL iBT speaking subscore of 26-30 or IELTS speaking subscore of 8-9 or PTE speaking subscore of 84-90.
  • Students with a TOEFL iBT speaking subscores of 23-25 or IELTS speaking subscore of 7-7.5 or PTE speaking subscore of 66-83 are required to take the English Language Certification Exam (ELCE) (administered by the UCSD Teaching + Learning Commons). 

Hiring departments may submit an exception request for a student with a low score, or no score.  Requests for students to teach with no score or a low score should demonstrate the following:

  • that the department has met with the student, and
  • attests that the student has sufficient language skills for the assignment, and
  • attests that the students taking the course will benefit from the instruction by this student

Hiring departments that wish to hire a student without a TOEFL score, and see that the student has served in the role of TA, should still confirm that the student has the requisite language skills for the appointment

Select "Other" on the Exception Request form and submit via the Google Form. 

Graduate Funding Reform (GFR) Opt-Out

Students wishing to opt out of the minimum support guarantee portion of the Graduate Funding Reform, should complete the GFR Opt-Out form.  Departments should submit the form to GEPA using the Financial Support Exception Google Form (select Graduate Funding Reform on the Google Form).  This form will allow us to collect the student PID, department, and department contact information. 

GSR Rate Increases

Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs will consider, on a case-by-case basis, exception requests from a hiring department to pay the student at a higher step level.  For these types of requests, the hiring department should explain the type of work the student is doing, why it warrants the higher rate of pay, if the same rate of pay is applied to other students from different departments (including how that department plans to pay students hired from higher-paying departments; is that the standard rate for this position all the time, etc.), and if the funding source requires a certain level of pay.

Non-Degree Student in Academic Titles

The appointment of a non-degree graduate student (a student admitted to Non-Degree status) on an academic title requires prior written approval by the student’s Department/Program Chair and the Dean of Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.  Exceptions will be considered if all degree students in the Department are fully supported and that the non-degree student is not taking away support from a degree student (a student admitted for a Master’s or Doctoral degree).

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