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Academic Policies

16. Assistants-in-Instruction

Every graduate student is required to participate in the instruction of undergraduates for at least one term (one term as a full AI, or two terms has half time AI) as a significant part of his/her education. If desired for additional training or in case of financial need, additional terms as AI may be possible.  Students may be asked to be AIs beyond the minimal requirement if necessitated by enrollment levels in departmental classes.

The department has a set of guidelines to assist in making reasonable AI assignments, on the basis of expertise, timing and previous AI experience.

The department will assign AI’s as soon as possible after the course schedule is known.  The order of selection for AI assignments from first to last is:

 i. students supported by department funds

 ii. volunteers

 iii. students with unfulfilled AI commitment

-- excluding 1st years and 2nd semester - 2nd years

 iv. People who have met the minimum AI requirement

A student may be allowed to opt out of an assignment in any one semester with the stipulation that he or she will be obligated to teach the following semester, depending on the needs of the department.

AIs typically lead precept meetings, grade homework assignments and papers, assist in laboratory instruction in various combinations depending on the course.  Information on AI preparation and training is available at the McGraw Center for Learning and Teaching (

In connection with the work of instruction, your attention is directed to a rule of the University that is strictly enforced:

No professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, assistant-in-instruction, or fellow shall tutor students of the University privately for remuneration during the academic year.

No one engaged in giving instruction in the University shall be permitted at any time to tutor students privately for those examinations in which he himself takes part, either in the way of preparing questions or reading papers.