Computer Science

Graduate Student Employee Appointment/Reappointment Procedures

Research assistantships are filled by individual principal investigators with CMPSCI graduate students in good academic standing. Incoming first-year students are described by the admissions committee for all lab groups, and are informed of all groups that express an interest in them. Those students not taking research assistantships immediately usually become teaching assistants for the first year. They are encouraged to affiliate with lab groups and are informed of all openings for research assistantships.

Before each term the Graduate Program Manager identifies the "TA pool", i.e., the set of graduate students wanting teaching assistantships. Once this list is verified the students on it are assigned to be TA's for particular courses. This assignment is based on the student's expressed preferences, input from the instructors, the student's academic record, and evaluations of the student’s prior performance as a TA, if any. These assignments are made by a committee consisting of the associate chair, the graduate program director, and the Graduate Program Manager. CMPSCI graduate students in good academic standing and with acceptable prior performance as TA's are given first preference for TA assignments. (The highest priority among these goes to students who have been guaranteed support, usually for their first year, as part of their admission to the program.)

If the CMPSCI department has more TA positions available than can be filled by available CMPSCI grad students, these positions are filled by graduate students from other departments, chosen by the committee as those best qualified to carry out the TA duties. These students generally apply to the department before term starts, indicating the courses for which they might be qualified. (Some of these are students who have filled CMPSCI TA positions in the past.) The department encourages all such applications, but cannot state in advance which TA positions might be available as this depends on the supply of CMPSCI grad students in the TA pool.

Instructors for CMPSCI Continuing Education courses are chosen by the Associate Chair for Academic Programs based on their qualifications to teach the courses. They are paid directly by the Continuing Education program, though it is possible for this pay to be supplemented by department funds. These students are usually, but need not be, CMPSCI grad students.

The department intends, so far as possible, to offer RA or TA positions to all CMPSCI graduate students who are in good academic standing and who have performed acceptably in any previous RA or TA assignments. The number of students admitted to the program is based on the best available projections of the number of RA and TA positions for the coming year. It is our normal practice to guarantee support, for the first nine or the first twelve months, to each incoming student.