Taubman College

Graduate Student Instructor

Graduate Student Instructor Overview

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) at the University of Michigan are considered members of the community of scholars. GSIs contribute to our teaching enterprise by working as partners with the faculty members who develop and supervise course offerings. Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) are a very important part of our professional programs. Not only are they responsible for providing classroom or studio instruction in collaboration with one of our faculty members, they also become mentors, advisors, and friends to many students. Being a GSI at Taubman College is an opportunity to learn the subject that they teach thoroughly and also learn about teaching. Indeed, many students discover the rewards of teaching through being a GSI and go on to academic careers.

All Graduate Students are eligible for GSI positions and typically hold those offered within their field of study. The number of positions that is available depends on the program's teaching needs for the particular term. Each GSI appointment provides a full tuition waiver (for any appointment greater than 20%), monthly stipend, and health benefits during the term of appointment.


To be eligible to compete for an instructor position, a graduate student must commit to registering for at least 6 hours of coursework at Taubman College, and be qualified to do the teaching, which is outlined in the position description. Only students currently enrolled at Taubman College are eligible for GSI positions in the college. These positions, as posted, are subjected to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

Prior to serving as Graduate Student Instructors, students whose undergraduate education was at an institution where the language of instruction was not English are required to pass the Graduate Student Instructor Oral English Test, administered by the English Language Institute. The test assesses competence and effectiveness in the type of communication typically used by GSIs at the University of Michigan. A student who does not demonstrate the necessary proficiency will not be eligible to accept a GSI position and be encouraged or required to take courses offered by ELI in order pass the GSI-OET at the level required to serve as a GSI.

For more information about this test please see the ELI site: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/eli/testing/gsioet

The University will not discriminate against any employee for employment because of age, race, color, gender, religion, disability, height, weight, marital status, national origin, political persuasion or affiliation, sexual orientation, parental or pregnancy status, HIV antibody status, veteran status, membership in any social or political group or any other factor where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations that implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact information for the Office of Equity and Diversity Services, phone: 734/763-0235. [02-05 UM-GEO Contract, Article IX, Section A, item "c".]

Application Process

Students apply for GSI positions each term. Winter term GSI appointments, the online application process will open in October of the preceding fall term. For the Fall term GSI appointments, the online application process will open in February of the preceding winter term. An email announcement will be sent notifying students of the exact date the online process opens each term.

The application process is completed online. Be prepared to provide basic information about you as a student, a brief statement of your interests, which courses you are most interested in teaching, and your work history. Students are encouraged to contact faculty with whom they are interested in teaching.

GSI positions are awarded per term (fall/winter). The program chair will review GSI assignments based on faculty and student preferences. Faculty preferences, current GPA, work experience and program needs are considered in the selection process. Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an Employee does not receive his or her preferred assignment, he or she can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agent(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

List of Architecure GSI Positions

List of Urban Planning GSI Positions

Fall 2014 GSI Application

Applicants will be notified of the final decisions via email. If you are wondering about the status of the decision-making process, you should contact Laura Brown (laurajbr@umich.edu).