Three types of academic appointments are available to graduate students in the Department.
Graduate Student Instructor (GSI). GSI openings for the Fall semester are announced around March 15th, and for the Spring semester around October 15th. The application deadline is usually two weeks later. Fall appointment offers are generally made in April, and the Spring semester offers in November. The hiring process is initiated with the department’s HR partner in Campus Shared Services immediately after students accept their offers. The standard hiring deadline is the day before the start of the semester.
A student without any post-baccalaureate teaching experience begins at Step I. After four semesters of GSI experience, the student may be eligible for advancement to Step II. After two semesters of GSI experience at Step II, the student may be eligible for advancement to Step III. Note: A GSI appointment for any Summer Session is not included in determination of the step.
A student with post-baccalaureate teaching experience from another department or university may request early advancement when the student has the equivalent to four semesters of GSI experience. Graduate Division will review the request and decide if early advancement is appropriate.
Other circumstances that require requests for exception to be approved by Graduate Division include the following: 1) holding concurrent appointments totaling more than 75%; 2) serving as a GSI for a 200- or 300-level course; or 3) serving as a GSI for more than eight and under 13 semesters (Office of the President policy prohibits a graduate student from being a GSI for more than 12 semesters).
Graduate Student Researcher (GSR). A student may have the opportunity to be a Graduate Student Researcher under the supervision of a faculty member or principal investigator. A GSR appointment is arranged between the student and faculty member or principal investigator. The student must inform the Graduate Student Services Advisor each term, including summer, that the student holds a GSR appointment and provide information about the hiring unit, period of the appointment, the percent time, and the step. Important: UC Berkeley has set aside funds to provide work-study for graduate students. These funds can be used to offset costs associated with employing graduate students as Graduate Student Researchers or department employees for certain fellowships. To take advantage of these funds, all Psychology graduate students who are US citizens and permanent residents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), found at fafsa.ed.gov. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the first time and in future academic years should take approximately 10 minutes. Be sure to check "yes" on interest in being work study eligible.
Reader. A graduate student may be a reader for an undergraduate Psychology course or, in some instances a graduate Psychology course. The general responsibilities of a reader are to read and grade assignments, examinations, and papers. Logistics are determined with the instructor of the course. Reader positions are advertised by the Graduate Student Services Advisor when available. Readers are hired on an hourly basis for a specific number of hours.
Fee Remission. Each semester that a student has one of the above appointments, the student may be eligible for a fee remission. The type of fee remission depends on the type of appointment and its percent-time. The three types of fee remission are: 1) full fee remission plus non-resident tuition; 2) full fee remission; and 3) partial fee remission. Students with a GSR appointment of 45%-time or greater are generally eligible for full fee remission. Students are eligible for a partial fee remission if they have one of the following appointments: a) a GSR appointment of 25%-time or greater and less than 45%-time, b) a GSI appointment of 25%-time or greater, or c) a reader appointment of 25%-time or greater.
The partial fee remission includes remission of all in-state tuition and fees except the Student Services Fee and the Class Pass Fee. Note: Typically, the fee remission for a GSR appointment of at least 45%-time appointment is paid from the grant of a faculty member or principal investigator, and most often does not include remission of non-resident tuition.
Refer to Graduate Division's website for additional GSI, GSR and Reader information: What You Need to Know
Union Representation. Graduate Student Instructors and Readers are Academic Student Employees (ASE) and are represented by UAW Local 2865. Graduate Student Researchers are not covered by collective bargaining.