CA Appointment Basics

A Course Assistant (CA) is a graduate or coterminal student who works part time helping an instructor with a class. The CA's responsibilities can include office hours for individual student assistance, review or study sessions, occasional lectures, preparation of assignments, grading exams, projects, and solutions. A CA for a laboratory class may also be responsible for laboratory supervision, equipment, or demonstrations.

CAs are appointed on a percent time basis. Most of our CAships are 50% appointments and work 20 hours per week. We also offer 25% (10 hours per week) and 15% (4 hours per week) appointments. These levels of work are typical; however, some appointments may require more effort and others less. Under no circumstances should a 50% CA work more than 20 hours per week. The CA should consult the course instructor, or the EE CA administrator if the workload is too heavy.

The University typically restricts the academic load of a 50% CA to 10 units per quarter. The philosophy is that a student cannot work half time and take a full academic load and do both justice. This 10 unit restriction has both good and bad features; the 50% CA's tuition is completely covered by the tuition grant, but the CA's academic progress is slowed down (a 50% CA normally takes 5 quarters to complete the Master's program).

In extremely rare cases, 50% CA's may register for more than 10 units, and then only after receiving permission from the Dean's Office, as well as approval from their advisor and the Department Chair. They must then pay for the extra unit(s). 25% and 10% CAs are generally required by the School of Engineering to take a full academic load and must pay for the difference between full tuition and the CA tuition grant (i.e., in 2004/05 the CA must pay $3,450 per quarter in addition to the tuition grant for a 25% CA). Other appointments of less than 50% will be calculated according to the percent time and the units of tuition granted for them.


A CA is paid a tuition grant and a quarterly salary (paid semi-monthly). Students must first be admitted to candidacy, as outlined in the EE Graduate Handbook, in order to receive the Post-Quals rate. 


Appt Pre-Quals CA Post Quals CA
50% $9,108 $9,774
25% $4,554 $4,884
15% $2,730 $2,934


Appt Mentoring CA and Teaching Affiliate
50% $10.088
25% $5,044


Tuition Grant
$10,560 8- 10 UNITS FOR 50% APPOINTMENT
$2,973 TGR

Tuition for the CA appointment will be credited to the University bill. If you have a late CA appointment and there is no credit on your bill, simply defer that portion of the tuition that will be covered by the CA tuition grant. The portion of the deferment covered by the CA grant will be automatically canceled when the tuition grant is processed. Please do not defer ASSU or other fees, as they are not covered by the tuition grant. Any late fees not on the portion covered by the CA grant must be paid by the student. Please see the Graduate Student Assistantships Guide for a complete discussion of tuition grants with unused units.