Types of Graduate Student Employment

Graduate Student Instructor (GSI):

In the Department of Economics, the main duties are generally:

  • Attending lecture,
  • Teaching discussion sections,
  • Grading problem sets and exams,
  • Holding office hours and review sessions,
  • Writing 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. Not every GSI position requires all of the above duties.

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.

The GSI positions require, at a minimum, coursework covering at least the level of the course. For more advanced courses, having taken graduate coursework from an Economics Department is preferred. Regardless of the course, we have a very, very strong preference for candidates that have good grades in introductory economics, intermediate microeconomics, and intermediate macroeconomics (the equivalents of Economics 1/2, 100A, and 100B at Berkeley).


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. In addition, Readers may be called on to proctor exams for other courses in the Economics Department, in the case that we cannot arrange proctors for.


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.

Course Assistant

The Course Assistant position is primarily administrative, consisting of:

  • Photocopying,
  • Scanning exams,
  • Assembling course materials,
  • Proctoring dsp students exams,
  • Coordinate the above with faculty and GSIs.

An Economics background is preferred but not required for this position.