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Teaching Assistant



Chinese Studies hires graduate students as Chinese language teaching assistants (TA) on a quarter by quarter appointment. A TA is generally given a 25%, 33% or 50% appointment. The TA serves under the direct supervision of the Director of the Chinese language program and must enroll in CHIN 500: Apprentice Teaching each quarter for a letter grade. TAs are assigned to work with faculty in conjunction with the Chinese language course(s) offered each quarter. TA duties include, but are not limited to, preparing in class presentations (which may include PowerPoint), preparing instructional materials, conducting tutorials, leading conversation drills, writing assignments, holding weekly office hours, language tutoring, and grading homework/tests. TAs must also maintain strong academic records as per their department requirements of a 3.0 GPA or higher. Current TAs must reapply for their position each quarter as employment is not guaranteed.


All Chinese language TA candidates must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Matriculation as a UC San Diego graduate student. US citizens, US residents and UC San Diego grad students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa may apply.
  2. Candidates must maintain strong academic standing or 3.0 or better.  The Chinese Studies Program will request permission from their home department to hire TAs.
  3. Candidates must have superior pronunciation and be skilled at communicating in Pǔtōnghuà also known as Mandarin Chinese. Candidates must be able to read and write clearly in both Traditional & Simplified characters. 
  4. Experience as a Chinese language instructor is a requirement. The Chinese Studies Program may contact your former employer(s) listed on an applicants' CV to confirm your previous work experience.
  5. Additional requirements as listed below. 

TAs are hired as apprentice teachers of the Chinese language and will be instructing students of various backgrounds and ability levels. TAs must be available to work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, attending and leading the assigned section(s) and various other tasks without reservation. TAs should try to have flexible schedules as they may need to attend corresponding lectures on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Attendance to initial, weekly and wrap-up meetings are mandatory. Missing sections and/or meetings are grounds for dismissal.


To access the application, you must be a graduate student at UC San Diego, have your UC San Diego Student PID # (Example: A50012345) & TritonLink password.

Applications must be submitted on or before the deadline stated on the website or on the application prompt.

As stated on the application prompt (see website), applications must complete the following:

  1. Answer the questions in the online application.
  2. Upload your CV or résumé into the application. This information should be in English. It must detail the language teaching background that the applicant has. Those without language teaching experience need not apply.
  3. Your handwritten autobiography in Chinese characters. Ensure that your handwriting is clear and easy to see.  Applicants may use Traditional or Simplified character. TAs are required to be able to read, write & correct both. Do not type in Chinese characters.
  4. SCAN your hand printed document and UPLOAD that PDF into the online application.
  5. RECORD a VIDEO of yourself speaking for a minimum of 3 minutes. You are using this opportunity to introduce yourself in Mandarin to the Selection Committee and to speak on why you want to be a Chinese language TA. Do not read from texts and do not have background music or noise in your recording. Speak loud and clearly. You may upload the video to Youtube or Youku or another similar website. This portion of the application MUST be a video. Any applications submitted with a sound recording only will not be considered.  

Applications will not be considered if they are missing any of the application materials mentioned above.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the duties of a Chinese language TA?

Qualified graduate students are hired as Teaching Assistants (TA) to teach Mandarin Chinese to a maximum of 16 students on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in tutorials (also known as sections). A graduate student working as a TA must have a flexible schedule that permits him or her to lead 2 or more CHIN tutorial sections on those particular weekdays. Teaching as a TA includes but is not limited to practicing pronunciation, in class presentations, and answering student questions. The TAs offer quizzes in class, maintain confidential records of the grades, grade homework papers and exams and return these documents to the instructor/students in a timely manner. A TA hired at 25% must also spend 60 minutes in the assigned TA office to meet with students so that they may practice vocabulary/pronunciation drills or other aspects of tutoring. TAs also prepare or adjust a lesson and meet with instructors on a weekly basis to prepare for the upcoming week's classes. A new TA may be instructed to attend a corresponding lecture on Tuesday/Thursday to shadow a Chinese language instructor and learn his or her teaching method.

When can I apply for a TA position?

If you wish to be a TA in the fall you will need to apply during spring quarter, generally before May 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the winter you will need to apply during fall quarter, generally before November 15th. If you wish to be a TA in the spring you will need to apply during winter quarter, generally before February 15th. These dates vary depending on the UC calendar. Official deadline dates will be posted on this page. 

How many TAs do you hire?

Spring quarter in preparation for fall is the best time to apply for a TAship. In preparation for fall we hire a total of approximately 11-13 TAs. This means we usually hire 4 to 6 brand new TAs depending on how many of current TAs are graduating. Many TAs will continue to work for Chinese Studies program for the entire academic year or until they graduate. In winter quarter there is a reduction in enrollments which causes us to cancel some sections and therefore we will need fewer TAs. In spring quarter there is a further reduction in enrollments which causes us to offer fewer CHIN sections and then need fewer TAs.

Can you enter my information into the application for me?

No, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit his or her own full application in order to be considered for an available TA position.

It is after the deadline date, can I still submit my application? What are my chances of being selected?

You may check to see if the Chinese Studies Program is still considering additional applicants after the deadline date; however, it is very unlikely that the deadline would be extended. Please be aware that there are many new and continuing graduate students who are qualified to apply for the Chinese language Teaching Assistant position and the process is very competitive. To be considered as an applicant you should follow all instructions and complete your application by the deadline date.

Can I call or stop by to find out the results?

We greatly appreciate that you do not check on the status of the application process. Applicants are generally contacted via email or phone call four to six weeks after the application deadline with results. There may be the possibility that you are invited to come in for an interview, the Chinese Studies Program will call or email you. Please be patient.  DO NOT call, stop by or send emails to the Chinese Studies Program to inquire about the status of your application prior to the results are available as the program is unable to answer your inquiry until the decision making process is complete.

I'm currently a CHIN TA, do I really need to complete an application again?

Yes, anyone who is interested in being considered as a TA for the upcoming quarter MUST apply online. Graduate students that are currently working as teaching assistants must finish the online application and MUST drop off the completed CONFIRMATION PAGE at HSS 1009 by the deadline date.

Can I send you a mp3 or other sound wave instead of a CD? What about a thumb drive?

It is prefer that you submit a video online on Youtube or Youku. If you are having trouble and have attempted numerous times to upload then yes.  The online method is preferred as it makes it easier for the Selection Committee to quickly hear your pronunciation. If you do submit a USB thumb drive the Chinese Studies Office will make an effort for you to pick up your recording once the application review process is over.

How much will I be compensated as a TA?

The salary for a TA varies depending on the percentage of employment. Some TAs are hired at 25% or more. 25% results with a monthly salary of $1,113.95. Most Chinese language TAs are hired at 33% which results in $1,470.41 per month. Each quarter consists of three equal paycheck for the three months. Please note fees and taxes may be deducted from the monthly salary.

Any graduate student hired as a TA at 25% or more is eligible for a TAHI/TAFE fee remission (also known as a G-SHIP). Currently the fee remission is $5,280 in accordance with the 10/1/2016 agreement. This fee remission does not cover all of the fees. This amount of G-SHIP fee remission per quarter is based on the 2016-17 tuition and fees chart provided by the Graduate Division at UC San Diego.

When will the Chinese Studies Program give me the fee remission?

The Chinese Studies Program does not give or submit fee remissions. It is the graduate student's home department that enters the eligibility online and that prompts the Graduate Division to activate the fee remission.

Why am I required to enroll in CHIN 500? Why do I have to select letter grade?

In addition to the fee remission and a monthly salary you will be earning 2 or 4 units based on your assigned percentage for being a teaching apprentice. Your work output/response, employee attitude and effectiveness as a TA are measured via a grade. Each grad student will be earning a grade for CHIN 500.