Academic Employment for Music Graduate Students

Graduate students in music may be offered one of the following academic positions:

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Associate in Music

Teaching Fellow

Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Associates, Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, or Graduate Research Assistants may arrange to have their fees automatically deducted from their salaries by completing a Payroll Deduction/Fee Deferment (PDFD), available from Division of Graduate Studies. Application for the PDFD must be made by the registration due date in order to avoid a $50 late fee. Please contact the Graduate Division for further information.

More information on academic appointments and union contracts can be found here.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

TAs are enrolled graduate students who lead discussion, laboratory, and quiz sections for undergraduate courses under the active tutelage and supervision of a regular faculty member. To be a TA, a student must pay full registration fees (i.e. not a filing fee) and enroll in at least 10 credits of upper-division or graduate-level courses (or at least 5 units of upper-division or graduate-level courses if advanced to candidacy) in order to be eligible for an appointment of 20 hours per week. Part-time students enroll in a maximum of 8 credits per quarter and are limited to an appointment of no more than 10 hours per week. The TA appointment includes instructional and examination periods and may continue up to the day that course reports are due to the Registrar, which is four or five days after the end of the quarter. No appointment, either by itself or in combination with other University employment, shall exceed 20 hours per week during an academic quarter unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Dean of Graduate Studies. TAs cannot enroll in any course in which they are appointed as an assistant.

Assignments are determined by the instructors of the courses and the Music Department Graduate Chair. The amount of teaching assistants assigned to a class depends on the type of class being taught and the recent enrollments of the class. For lecture courses without discussion sections, the following formula is used

Recent enrollment:    TA/Reader allocation (.5 = 10 hrs/wk)
    75-150                .5
    150-225            .75
    225-300            1.0
    300-400            1.5

If a course has TA-led discussion sections, or has other special needs, more support may be allocated.

Theory classes with TA-led lab sections will typically have 15-20 hours per week of support. Ensembles are typically assigned 5-10 hours per week of TA support.

The faculty supervisor and the TA should discuss and list the TA’s duties on a form at the beginning of the quarter, which should be signed by both the TA and the instructor. At the end of the quarter the instructor will write an evaluation that should also be signed by both the instructor and the TA. In courses where TAs have direct contact with students, student evaluations of their teaching will be kept in the Music Department Office. These student evaluations may be considered, along with the evaluations by supervising faculty, by faculty asked to write letters of recommendation.

TAs are not responsible for the instructional content of a course, for selection of student assignments, content of exams, or for determining student grades and writing narrative evaluations. All work assigned to the TA must be directly related to the course to which he/she is assigned. TAs must notify the supervising faculty member as soon as they know they must be absent for health or other reasons-- even if the TA has arranged a substitute to attend the class or lab. TAs must return on time the assignments they have graded, in order to avoid delays that make lesson planning and the scheduling of examinations extremely difficult.

If a TA believes that he/she is being asked to do work that is the faculty member’s responsibility, to frequently work more than the weekly hours of her/his appointment, or is not adequately supervised, then he/she should express those concerns to the faculty member. If the dispute is unresolved, the TA should consult the department chair. If the matter is still unresolved, the TA may file a formal grievance in accordance with Article 11, Grievance and Arbitration, of the UC/ASE-UAW Agreement; information is available at http://shr.ucsc.edu/elr/contracts/bx.html

Emergency loans are available to teaching assistants only during the first quarter of the teaching assistant appointment for the current academic year. More information can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook

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Associate in Music

To be appointed as an Associate, a student must pay full registration fees (rather than just a dissertation filing fee) and enroll in at least 10 units of upper-division or graduate-level courses (or at least 5 units of upper-division or graduate-level courses if advanced to candidacy). In addition, an Associate must have a master's degree or equivalent training, and the appointment must be approved by Graduate Studies. An Associate may assist in the instruction of any course or of any group of students in lower-division courses, or the entire instruction of a lower-division course. Associates may not teach an upper-division course section except with the approval of the campus Committee on Educational Policy.

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Teaching Fellow

A Teaching Fellow is a registered, full-time graduate student who has advanced to candidacy for the doctorate, has at least two years of teaching experience (including that of a teaching assistant in or outside the University) or equivalent experience. Subject to the general supervision of a faculty member designated in catalogs 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. Assignment to instruction in an upper-division or graduate course or course section may not be made except with the approval of the Committee on Educational Policy.

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Graduate Student Researcher 

 A Graduate Student Researcher is a registered, full-time graduate student appointed to assist in performing research under the direction of a ladder-rank faculty member or authorized Principal Investigator. To be eligible for appointment as a Graduate Student Researcher, a student must be in good academic standing, making satisfactory and continuous progress toward the degree. Appointments are made at a salary level of Step II for students not advanced to candidacy, and at Step III after advancement to candidacy. No appointment as a Graduate Student Researcher, either by itself or in combination with other University employment, shall exceed 20 hours per week during an academic quarter unless prior written approval has been obtained from the Dean of Graduate Studies. Graduate Student Researchers may exceed 20 hrs/wk between quarters (including summer) without an exception.

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