Grad Policies: Ph.D. Teaching Requirement

The Department requires all Ph.D. candidates to serve as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) within EECS. The GSI teaching requirement not only enhances and helps to develop a student's communication skills, but it also makes a great contribution to the department's academic community.

For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program in Fall 2009 or later, you must fulfill this requirement by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301, or EE or CS 375) for a total of 30 hours minimum prior to graduation. At least 20 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in two semesters.

For students entering the EECS Ph.D. program prior to Fall 2009, the GSI requirement you must fulfill depends on the minimum number of units you are using to meet the department Ph.D. requirements:

  • For students meeting a total minimum of 24 units of coursework for the Ph.D. program, the GSI requirement will be fulfilled by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301) for a total of 30 hours. At least 20 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in two semesters.
  • For students meeting a total minimum of 32 units of coursework for the Ph.D. program, the GSI requirement will be fulfilled by working as a GSI (excluding EE or CS 301) for a total of 20 hours. At least 10 of those hours must be for an EE or CS undergraduate course. (NOTE: 20 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 50% GSI appointment for a semester. 10 hours of work per week is equivalent to a 25% GSI appointment for a semester.) Students will typically be able to fulfill this requirement in one or two semesters.

NOTE: The hours calculated per semester only refer to the fall or spring semesters. Students who wish to use service during their summer GSI appointment towards their teaching requirement must fill out a general petition to be evaluated by the Head Graduate Advisor. The petition should include information on the course number, course title, the summer session (e.g., 6 or 8 week session), and approximately how many students were enrolled in the course. In addition, students should plan to submit the petition well in advance of applying for a summer GSI if they want it to count towards their teaching requirement. Students should keep in mind that there is no guarantee the petition will be approved. Students who have passed the Preliminary Requirement and have not yet fulfilled the teaching requirement may be required to fill existing departmental teaching needs. 20 hours of the GSI teaching requirement MUST be a course within the EECS department. Students who wish to use a course outside of the EECS department may submit a petition to have the course count. Final approval of this outside course counting towards the GSI teaching requirement will be subject to the approval of the Head Graduate Advisor. Exemptions from the teaching requirement will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. In order to obtain an exemption, the student's Faculty Advisor must propose to the Vice Chair an alternate form of service for the student IN ADVANCE (e.g., the redesign of laboratory exercises for an existing course). Please note that ALL first time GSIs are required to take the EE or CS 375 course and successfully pass the online ethics course required by the Graduate Division, before they can teach.