Academic Student Employees (ASE)

Academic Student Employees

ASE (TA and Reader) applications for Spring 2024 are now open! The priority deadline is 9am on Monday,  October 23

Please review the detailed information below prior to filling out an application.


Teaching Assistant (TA)

Graduate students from any Berkeley department can now apply to be a Physics TA through our ASE application

Required application actions:  

  • For non-Physics Ph.D. applicants: your transcript file should be a PDF that includes relevant non-UC Berkeley classes and syllabi for any Physics-related courses included in your academic record.
  • All applicants should report if you will you have any additional appointments (GSR, TA, on-campus, other campus, or LBNL). If you are uncertain, share details of confirmed appointments and/or elaborate on other possible positions. Please include as much detail as possible, e.g. percentage FTE, position, and hiring unit (ex. 25% TA MEC ENG).

  • 1st- and 2nd-year Physics graduate students must list at least two regular (not Honors - 5 Series) lower division physics courses. Advanced Physics graduate students should include at least one required graduate course (209/211, 221A/B) among their preferences. Course placement depends on many factors, including departmental need, and therefore we cannot guarantee placement in any course. For course reference, please see the Physics course guide.

Important things to keep in mind for TA positions:  

  • The standard Physics TA appointment is set at 50% FTE, equivalent to 20 hours per week (average over the appointment period). We do not appoint students to 25% standalone TA positions. In rare circumstances, and by approval of the Physics Head Graduate Advisor, a student may be considered for an additional 25% appointment only if the student already holds a second ASE or GSR appointment at 25% or 50%.

  • Physics TA appointments during the academic year (excluding summer) are eligible for fee remission and wages are in line with the current rates for TA pay. Visit Berkeley Labor Relations to see salary info for TA Step Levels.

  • Applicants who do not speak English as a native language must demonstrate oral English proficiency to be eligible to work as a TA.  Please see important deadlines for the Language Proficiency Program and the English oral proficiency test (OPT). OPT appointments are not available on demand, so applicants should plan ahead to obtain a testing date and passing score.

  • New TAs are required to fulfill the following requirements:

  • The Physics department will not cancel TA appointments by appointment holder request after August 1st for fall appointments nor after December 1st for spring appointments. Appointments may be canceled by the hiring unit and the Campus under Article 3 of the current ASE contract between the University and the United Auto Workers (UAW) on behalf of ASE. 
  • ASE union requirement: new TAs must attend UAW Orientations.
  • GSI course assignments are subject to change according to departmental teaching needs.

Learn more about GSI responsibilities, requirements, and eligibility via the Appointments Handbook.

​We will accept TA applications as long as there is a need. TA hiring order is as follows: 1) Physics graduate students, 2) continuing or returning Physics TAs from outside departments, and 3) remaining qualified applicants.


READER 

All students can apply for Reader positions through our ASE application.

Important things to keep in mind for Reader positions:  

  • Applicants must have a 3.0 overall GPA or better and A- or better in the Physics courses for which they want to be a Reader. 

  • View Berkeley Labor Relations to see current rates for Reader pay.

  • Undergraduate Readers are not eligible for fee remissions.

  • ASE union requirement: new Readers must attend UAW Orientations.
  • Hiring for Readers will depend on course enrollment and additional class support needs. The number of available positions varies each semester.

Learn more about Reader position eligibility via the Appointments Handbook.


TUTOR

Tutor staffing is in partnership with the Physics & Astronomy (PA) Scholars program and the Student Learning Center (SLC). Successful applicants will be hired as PA Scholar Peer Tutors and receive training and guidance from SLC. All students can apply for Tutor positions through our Fall 2023 ASE application

Important things to keep in mind for PA Scholar Peer Tutor positions:  

  • Peer Tutor core responsibilities:

    • Commit up to 9 hours/week.

    • Attend weekly training seminars, Thursdays 4:00–5:30 pm (required and paid).

    • Prepare for weekly training seminars.

    • Provide drop-in support to peers.

    • Assist in the preparation, support, and facilitation of exam reviews, as needed.

    • Maintain course knowledge by attending weekly cluster meetings and reviewing SLC-provided course notes.

    • Foster an inclusive and welcoming learning environment.

    • Perform other tasks, as assigned: event planning/coordination, data entry, work performance conferences, and general program support, as appropriate

  • Applicants must have a 3.0 overall GPA or better and A- or better in the Physics courses for which they want to be a Tutor. 

  • View Berkeley Labor Relations to see current rates for Tutor pay.

  • Undergraduate Tutors are not eligible for fee remissions.

  • ASE union requirement: new Tutors must attend UAW Orientations.
  • Tutors are typically recruited for Physics 5-series, 7-series, 105, 110A/B, 111A/B, 112, and 137A/B.

Learn more about Tutor position eligibility via the Appointments Handbook


UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT INSTRUCTOR (UTA)

Undergraduate students can apply for UTA positions through our ASE application. Important things to keep in mind for UTA positions:  

  • Applicants must have a 3.0 overall GPA or better, and have earned an A- or better in they course they wish to teach, as well as the Physics 5 or 7-series courses.

    • Additionally, applicants must have earned an A- or better in Physics 111A and Physics 137A. 

  • UTAs are appointed by exception only. Exceptions are approved by the Campus only if a department is not able to recruit any qualified graduate students (including graduate students from other departments) to fill an essential TA position.

  • Eligibility requirements for TAs (see hiring info section for TAs above) also apply to UTAs, including language proficiency and first-time TA requirements.

  • UTAs for Summer Sessions must be continuing students (enrolled in the spring and fall semesters surrounding summer session) OR be graduating at the end of the summer session.
  • View Berkeley Labor Relations to see current rates for UTA pay.

  • UTAs are eligible for partial fee remissions

  • ASE union requirement: new UTAs must attend UAW Orientations.

Learn more about UTA eligibility via the Appointments Handbook.


Important note: UC Berkeley expects academics with appointments (e.g. TAs, Readers, Tutors, etc.) to arrive in the United States with valid work authorization prior to the start of the appointment. The Berkeley Academic Personnel Office may not approve—effectively canceling an appointment—if an individual is not able to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start of their appointment.