Graduate Student Employment

Research Assistants

Research Assistantships are occasionally offered by the department. Contact Maria Ruby, the Graduate Coordinator, for more information.

Teaching Assistants (TA)

TAs in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese hold 50% appointments (20 hours per week) during the 9-month academic year. Click here for the current salary scale.  Rates shown on the salary scale are for 100% appointments, so TAs make half of this amount (pre-tax). New graduate students teach one section of elementary Spanish (SPA 1, 2, 3) or Portuguese (1, 2, 3) per quarter under the supervision of a faculty member.

Overall Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0
  • Full-time graduate student (12 units per quarter)
  • Good Academic Standing
  • Fulfillment of oral English proficiency requirements (for international graduate students only) 
  • Eligibility Checklist completed prior to the start of each quarter

Teaching Assistant Duties

Duties for Teaching Assistants in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese include:

  • Presenting all lectures
  • Preparation
  • Holding weekly office hours
  • Reading and evaluating all written student work
  • Proctoring exams
  • Recording/maintaining student records (grades)
  • Possible other tasks, depending on specific course

New Teaching Assistants

Normally, all new TAs will enroll in SPA 390 in their first quarter of teaching. (SPA 390 is offered during fall quarter ONLY.) Exceptions will be made for students with acceptable prior teaching experience. Graduate Students who have not TAed at UC Davis before are required to complete the CEE orientation, as well as the department orientation (held in mid-September).

Continuing Teaching Assistants

Continuing students with teaching positions will be contacted in early spring for information about their plans for the next academic year, including their desire to continue their teaching appointment.  Continuing TAs must attend the department orientation each year (held in mid-September).

Information from the Graduate Student Employment Handbook

  • Pay Period: TAs are paid in 3 equal installments per quarter. For the Fall Quarter, TAs receive paychecks on November 1, December 1, and January 2. 
  • Fee Remission: Graduate students hired as TAs, Readers or Tutors, at 25% or greater time receive a partial Fee & Tuition remission, which includes the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) fees. These graduate student employees are still responsible for paying local campus fees, as well as non-resident supplemental tuition (NRST) if the student is not a California resident.  If the TA has a fellowship for NRST he/she will pay the same amount per quarter as a California resident: current remission rates.  To insure you do not receive a late fee, see for each quarter's deadline.
  • TA Loan Fund: There is also a TA Loan Fund to assist TAs over the lean period at the beginning of the quarter. It is administered by the Short Term Loan Office (located in the Financial Aid Office). Visit the financial aid office in Dutton Hall for information on applying for a loan.
  • Moving Expenses: New graduate students who are appointed as TAs at 50% time for the full academic year and who move to Davis from outside of California may receive partial compensation for their moving expenses based on the approximate air miles from the point of origin to UC Davis.


  • How do I get credit (units) for my work as a TA? 
  • 50% TAs may sign up for 4 units of SPA 396.  Visit grad staff offices for the CRN.  Make sure to sign up for the section led by your TA Supervisor.
  • What form(s) of ID do I need to be hired? 
  • You need 1 document from list A or 1 document from list B and 1 document from list C (see page 9).  International Students, make sure to bring your i-20 or DS-2019 as well: I-9 Acceptable Documents.