3.1.2 Guidelines for Acting Instructor-Graduate Students

(last updated 03/15/13)

COCI will approve the appointment of graduate students as Acting Instructor-Graduate Students (AI-GS) only to teach upper division undergraduate courses (numbered 100-199) and only under the following circumstances and conditions:


Requests to appoint a graduate student as an AI-GS for an upper division course must be justified by at least one of the following circumstances: 

  1. the appointment is being sought in order to fill an unexpected vacancy (e.g., sudden faculty illness or leave); or
  1. the appointment is being sought in order to present a course on a topic that is within the department’s intellectual area but for which it has, in the term in question, no appropriate faculty member (in this circumstance the department should assure the Committee that it will, in the future, seek to have the course taught by an appropriate faculty specialist); or
  1. the appointment is being sought because:

    (a) staffing the course entirely with faculty members would seriously deplete the department’s other course offerings; and

    (b) students working on dissertations are specially suited to teach such a course; for example, a research methods course.

In all three circumstances above, COCI’s approval is effective for a limited period, usually one term.


In order for a graduate student to be approved as an AI-GS under one of the preceding circumstances, the graduate student must:

  1. be advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D.;
  1. have demonstrated ability as a teacher whose expertise is appropriate to the course, with at least two years or four semesters of university- or college-level teaching experience (not including summer session);
  1. be recommended to the Committee by the department chair (or designate) and the Associate Dean of the Graduate Division (or designate); and
  1. comply with all criteria established by the Graduate Council (e.g., students must be currently enrolled at UC Berkeley and must have demonstrated English language proficiency2). For Summer Sessions, students must be enrolled the spring semester immediately before or the fall semester immediately after the summer term in question.


2Graduate Council’s criteria for assessing non-native English speakers’ language proficiency are: (1) Holding a B.A. or B.S. from a U.S. institution, (2) Passing the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK), and/or (3) Passing the Next Generation TOEFL exam with a score of 26 or better (per UC Berkeley Graduate Division Admissions Handbook, http://graddashboard.berkeley.edu/admissions/departmental-review-and-eva...(link is external)).