Graduate Student Instructor (GSI)

Thank you for your interest in being a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for the Department of Psychology.  We start our hiring process in March for the Fall semester, October for the Spring semester, and February for Summer Sessions.  We give priority to Department of Psychology students but often hire qualified graduate students from outside the department.


Our GSI appointments are 50% full time employment (up to 20 hours per week) and include fee remission as set by Graduate Division.  Please refer to their website for details:  Fee Remission Eligibility, Title Codes, & Remission Types.  Fall semester appointments are August 1 – December 31, and Spring semester appointments January 1 – May 31.  GSIs are expected to be available the first day through the last day of the semester they are teaching.


A student on a fellowship may be allowed to hold a 50% appointment for one semester of the academic year, or 25% in each semester.  Please verify the terms of your fellowship before applying for a GSI appointment.


GSIs must meet Graduate Division’s GSI requirements: GSI Appointments


We do not hire GSIs for all of our courses.  The Online Schedule of Classes is useful to review for determining lecture and section times that fit your schedule, but our application lists the positions to be filled. GSI’s for all of Psychology’s courses usually teach 3 sections, with the exception of Psych 101 Research and Data Analysis and Psych C123 Computational Modeling, which are 2 sections.  Final section assignments are determined by the instructor and GSIs after all of the GSIs for each course have accepted their appointments.


Instructors cannot hire GSIs or make any promises about being hired. Applicants being offered an appointment receive an Academic Student Employee offer letter by email.  


GSIs are hired as Academic Student Employees and organized under the United Auto Workers Union. 


For further information, contact


Campus Resources

  • Check out the GSI Teaching and Resource Center. This may be your best bet for one stop shopping to brush up on tips and tricks for GSIs teaching online. There is so much useful information here, including:

    • A step-by-step guide for using Zoom to teaching discussion sections,
    • Virtual appointments with a Teaching Consultant (one-on-one appointments or office hours Tuesdays 3-5pm) and,
    • A webinar for how to take care of yourself and your students during these challenging times.
  • Core UC Berkeley website for distance teaching tips, technology guides, upcoming instruction workshops, and more.
  • UC Berkeley Division of Equity & Inclusion has useful resources for making distance learning an inclusive space. Includes very useful and concrete tools, including:

    • Tips for protecting Zoom meetings,
    • Ways to call out microaggressions when teaching online, and
    • Language you can use to model inclusivity..
  • Best practices for online exams and remote exam proctoring guidelines from central campus.
  • Grad Div is aware that COVID is a strange time for GSIs. They have put together a FAQ page that has really excellent and useful information on:

    • What the instructor of record is responsible for and what is and is not required based on your GSI contract,
    • What you need to tell students regarding privacy with online and recorded classes and,
    • Campus guidelines on attendance policies.
  • This is included in the FAQ page from Grad Div, but worth restating. Campus legal team has identified the following practices to address student privacy concerns:

    • “Obtaining verbal consent for recording discussion sections and/or providing the opportunity to object is sufficient and thus obtaining a signed statement from the students affirming their consent to be recorded would not be necessary.  From a FERPA perspective, the disclosure of the recording (just to the other members of the course) would be permitted (without obtaining the students' consent) under the "legitimate educational interest" exception.  In addition, under California's two party consent requirement for recording conversations, verbal consent and/or the provision of the opportunity object is sufficient.
    • Notifying the students via the syllabus/course materials that the sessions will be recorded and only shared with other students in the course;
    • Verbally informing them at the start of each session that it will be recorded;
    • Permitting students to mute their audio during the recordings;
    • Permitting students to not use the video functionality; and
    • Disabling cloud recording functionality
    • It might also be a good idea to suggest to students who are uncomfortable with their voices being recorded that they use the private chat function to ask questions of the instructor.  The chat transcripts are separate from the audio/video recording. The instructor can also stop the recording if a student expresses the desire to communicate confidentially, and then restart it when that communication is completed.” 

Outstanding GSI Award & Leiman Prize

The Arnold L. Leiman Prize is awarded annually to students selected for the campus-wide Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (OGSI) award. This award honors UC Berkeley GSIs each year for their outstanding work in teaching on the Berkeley campus.  Each student is eligible to receive this award once during their time in the program.

In Spring semester, nominations are solicited from faculty.  To be selected for the award, students must have taught at last two semesters and receive at least one nomination letter from a supervising faculty. Priority will be given to students who receive at least TWO nomination letters from at least two different supervising faculty.  The list of criteria considered in determining the winners for the award can be found on the GSI Teaching & Resource website linked above.