VIII. Funding


UCSC is committed to helping graduate students secure the financial support needed for a successful graduate career. Financial support may be in the form of a fellowship, a graduate student researchship, or a teaching assistantship, depending on the availability of funds and the recommendation of the student's department.
Certain kinds of support are awarded on the basis of academic merit, and others are granted on the basis of need. Graduate students are encouraged to apply for both, when possible.
Contact the Division of Graduate Studies for further information regarding available fellowships and financial aid, both on campus and extra-mural.

Teaching Assistants
If a student intends to TA, prompt confirmation of the student’s availability will help insure that the student receives an appointment. Prior to making course assignments, the Graduate Program Coordinator will usually poll the prospective TAs regarding their preferences. Prompt confirmation of such preferences will insure that they can be considered when the assignments are made. Many factors such as scheduling conflicts, TA preferences, TA performance, skills, knowledge and abilities, training of less experienced TAs, the needs of the students, faculty and staff are all considered when TA assignments are made. The departmental philosophy is generally, “A happy TA is usually a better TA”, so every effort will be made to come as close to meeting one’s preferences as possible. If a student will be a TA during their first quarter in the program, it is advisable to contact the Graduate Program Coordinator ASAP to request a TA Assignment, to find out what that assignment is, and how to get started.

TAs work closely with the Instructor who is teaching the course for which they are hired. Contact the Instructor for detailed information about course content, instruction, teaching, grading, proctoring expectations, and other duties. In addition to TA meetings called by the Instructor during the quarter, there might be very important TA logistical meetings during the first few days of the quarter. The Graduate Coordinator will let you know the date, time and location of any TA meeting that you are required to attend. TA appointments begin the first day of each quarter and the TA meetings are generally held at that time. It is crucial that all TAs attend these meetings. New TAs attend orientation and training sessions at the beginning of Fall quarter.

Teaching Assistants are represented by the ASE/UAW, a union. The ASE/UAW contract establishes terms and conditions of TA appointments. TA names and department addresses are released to the ASE/UAW each term. The contract requires that TAs receive appointment letters and that they accept the appointment in writing. Prompt return of the appointment acceptance form will insure your appointment. TAs with eligible academic appointments, totaling between 25% to 50%, which is considered full-time, are eligible to receive Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) premium remission as well as the educational and registration fee remission in place at the time of the appointment. Students receiving need-based financial aid are encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss the impact of this employment on their aid package.

TA responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: attending the course lectures, TA meetings and education sessions, conducting discussion sections and/or lab sections, monitoring section/lab attendance, holding regular office hours, reading and grading student examinations and homework, proctoring exams, record keeping for sections/labs, grading lab notebooks. Specific information regarding the responsibilities for the course you assigned to will be provided by your Faculty Supervisor or your Graduate Coordinator. Should your duties change significantly from those outlined above, you will be notified of the changes in writing in advance by your faculty supervisor.

International students who TA for the first time should note that UCSC requires all new international students who are given teaching assistantships to demonstrate oral proficiency in English. Students who are native speakers of English are exempt from this requirement.

The primary contact for resolving any payroll, tuition/fee remission, or any other issues is the Graduate Coordinator.

All TA’s will receive a departmental evaluation at the end of the quarter.


Four Year Rule

The total length of time a student may hold any one or a combination of the following titles may not exceed four years (12 quarters): Reader, Teaching Fellow, Teaching Assistant, Associate In ___. Under special circumstances, an exception may be granted for additional appointments beyond 12 quarters System-wide regulation does not permit graduate student appointment beyond 18 quarters.

TAs receive partial fee remission- CA tuition, student service fee and campus health insurance are paid, but nonresident tuition and local campus fees are not paid. TAs can request to have the campus fees (or non-resident tuition (NRT)) deducted from their TA paychecks.

Students with GSR appointments of 25% or more for the full term receive full tuition and fee remission credits.

International students:

  • receive a waiver of the nonresident tuition during their second and third year of study. This is provided by the Graduate Division;
  • receive a waiver of the nonresident tuition for three calendar years after they advance to candidacy. This is a University of California regulation. There are no other eligibility requirements, but if student goes on leave of absence, the waiver is not extended for that period;
  • after students advance to candidacy, they are eligible for a "fee offset grant" for two calendar years that will pay their campus fees if they aren't already receiving tuition remission from other sources such as extramural fellowships. To be eligible they have to have advanced within normative time (4 years) and they forfeit any remaining grant if they go on leave of absence during their period of eligibility.