MSCS Appointment and Reappointment Guidelines

This information is taken from the MSCS Graduate Student Handbook  and MSCS Teaching Assistant Handbook.

MSCS employs graduate students as teaching assistants (TAs) to support the Department’s undergraduate courses. TA duties include, but are not limited to, duties primarily in support of instruction and educational services such as: leading discussion sections; leading class discussions; designing course materials; exam and homework preparation, proctoring and grading; holding office hours; meeting special needs of students with disabilities; and/or any other educational activity or service provided. A list of MSCS courses generally associated with TA appointments can be found in the MSCS TA Handbook.

Most positions are 50% FTE (full-time equivalent) teaching assistantships; 25% awards are occasionally offered. These Teaching Assistantships carry a stipend and an assistantship waiver, including a full tuition waiver and partial fee waiver. Most TA appointments are made for the full 9-month academic year, beginning in the fall semester; one semester appointments are occasionally offered. Under the existing UIC contract with the Graduate Employees Organization, the minimum wage level for a 50% FTE 9-month appointment for Fall 2020 to Summer 2021 is $20,615.

Positions are awarded on the basis of academic record, with teaching abilities, communication skills, and the needs of the Department taken into account.

Only MSCS graduate students in good standing and who are eligible to work in the United States are eligible for these positions. The following table illustrates MSCS policies governing good standing and typical time to degree completion.

End of YearAdmitted to MSAdmitted to MS, continuing to PhDAdmitted to PhD without MSAdmitted to PhD with MS
2Complete DegreeHigh Pass on MS ExamHigh Pass on MS ExamPass one Prelim
3Pass one PrelimPass one PrelimMeet requirements for Doctoral Candidacy
4Meet requirements for Doctoral CandidacyMeet requirements for Doctoral Candidacy
5Complete Degree
6Complete DegreeComplete Degree

For further details, see the MSCS Graduate Student Handbook. Specific information regarding your assistantship appointment, such as the length of employment and your stipend, can be found in your appointment offer letter.

New graduate degree-seeking applicants must submit the Application for Graduate Appointment form during the admission process to be considered for any available teaching assistantships. It is important that the Graduate College admission application, fee, and other required supplemental materials are received by the MSCS application deadline to receive full consideration for available funding.

Continuing degree-seeking students must express an interest in TA support for each subsequent year. After completing the annual Academic Assessment with their faculty mentor each spring semester, they must complete the Aid Application for Continuing MSCS Graduate Students and Teaching Schedule Request forms. These forms can be accessed from the MSCS Graduate Studies website, and continuing aid application and related deadlines are announced each term.