Types of Graduate Student Employment


In the Department of Economics, Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) generally have three main duties: attending lecture, teaching discussion sections, and grading problem sets and exams. Additionally, GSIs are sometimes required to write problem sets and/or exam questions.

A typical position during the semester would require teaching 3 sections, each of which meets twice per week for an hour.  Additionally, GSIs hold 2 office hours per week to help students with specific questions they may have. Finally, some professors hold mandatory meetings with their GSIs.

Also, each GSI is responsible for administering one end-of-semester course evaluation. This duty involves either assisting students with the online course evaluation system, or passing out and collecting evaluation forms, and typically takes about 20 minutes.

Head Reader & Reader:

Appointees to the Head Reader title are employed to render diverse services as course assistants, which will normally include the grading of student papers and examinations. In addition, Head Readers are generally expected to attend the lecture they are assigned and hold 4 hours of office hours per week. Head Readers are not permitted to perform teaching duties.

Appointees to the Reader title are employed to render course support services, which will typically include the grading of student papers and examinations, and serving as proctors for exams. In addition, Readers may be expected to attend the lecture they are assigned. Readers are not permitted to perform teaching duties. 


Appointees to the Tutor title are employed to render individual or group instructional activities in support of regular academic programs. Under supervision of the GSI Coordinator, a tutor's duties may include individual tutoring sessions, group tutoring sessions and other duties as assigned.

In the Economics Department, tutors' primary role is to hold drop-in office hours (7 hrs/week) to help students enrolled in one of the core undergraduate courses: Econ 1/2, 100A/101A, 100B/101B, or 140/141. Tutors do not perform teaching duties assigned to the GSI series. An additional 3 hrs/week will also be expected to be used for preparation and administrative matters.


Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) are hired by individual faculty members to perform research broadly related to the degree program. Contact faculty members directly to inquire about these positions.


  • Most Economics positions are GSI positions for Econ 1, 100A or 100B.
  • GSI positions are 50% unless otherwise noted.
  • Reader and Tutor positions are generally 25%. Head Reader positions are generally 50%.
  • Reader and Tutor positions are prioritized for first-year Economics PhD students, followed by job market candidates. Remaining positions will then be available to other students. 
  • For GSR positions, contact the faculty member directly.