Written on July 2, 2018

CS Graduate Student Jobs

This FAQ gives a brief overview of the differences between various jobs offered by the department. It is intended to help students choose between available job options. If you have other questions about jobs, come ask us on Slack. We’ll also update this FAQ periodically.

Job Comparison

Title Pay (2022-2023) Hours (hr/wk) Tuition Waiver Health Insurance Student Fees Example Duties Courses Taught
Research Assistant (RA) at 50% appointment $13,885 / semester* 20 Do research
Teaching Assistant (TA) at 50% appointment $13,885 / semester* 20 Teach recitation
Hold office hours
Undergraduate Only
Course Manager (CM) $25 / hr <= 20** Responsibilities vary by course, but can include grading, administration and office hours. Will not include teaching recitation Both undergraduate and graduate classes
Course Grader (CG) $17 / hr <= 20** Responsibilities vary by course, but can include grading, interview grading. Will not include teaching recitation Both undergraduate and graduate classes

‘*’ This amount is distributed monthly. The monthly earnings is $3,085. Also, post proposal PhD students in the CS department get a raise to $3268/mo.

‘**’ Course Manager and Course Grader hours depend on course enrollment.

There are a few other rarer jobs, such as lead TA and graduate part time instructor (GPTI), but the above are the most common.

How to get one of these jobs

Rajshree sends out a survey about three months before each semester to look for TAs, and CM, CGs for courses. She then works with the curriculum/TA sub-committee to try and match the respondents with available courses. You can also find out about courses that need TAs, CM, CGs from Rajshree. For PhD students, your research advisor might occasionally ask you to TA their course.

For upper-level courses, you need to have taken the course before or have relevant experience in order to qualify to be a TA or CM, CGs.  

Typically, TAs are assigned with the following priorities

  1. PhD students with funding commitment
  2. PhD students without funding commitment and MS students who have previously held TAs
  3. Outstanding CM, CGs are also at times considered for TA positions, if needed.

At all priority levels, you must perform your TA duties well. Students who have previously held TA positions and underperformed do not get picked up again.

CM, CG positions mostly go to Masters students.

If you want an RA, you need to speak to a professor with research funding and convince them to hire you. For PhD students, the professor who funds your RA is typically your research advisor.

Maximum Hours

The university limits how many hours you can work in university positions:

The campus policy limits hourly student employees in all University of Colorado positions combined to a maximum of 25 hours per week or 50 hours per bi-weekly pay period during the academic year including exam weeks, spring break, and winter break; and to 40 hours per week or 80 hours per bi-weekly pay period in the summer.

In addition, if you are an international student, your visa may place limits on how much you can work:

In general, F1 and J1 international students maintaining status at CU-Boulder can work on campus a maximum of 20 hours a week during school. Refer to International Student and Scholar Services for additional information.

From Student Employment FAQs

Other On-Campus Jobs

Other on-campus jobs are listed at the Student Employment Office website. These may be especially interesting to you if you are on a F1 or J1 visa, as you can only work on campus.