Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a UCA?
A: UCA stands for Undergraduate Course Assistant, and is one of many student worker positions within CICS. A UCA is a student who have taken and done well in particular courses (or have sufficient expertise in a field), and was selected to assist professors and TAs in administering and/or developing the course they took.

Q: In general, what does a UCA do?
A: This depends on the needs of the instructor and course structure. Here are some examples of what UCAs do:

  1. Attending lectures to help with in-class activities or be aware of course content
  2. Grading class assignments, labs, or exams
  3. Leading lab assignments or discussions
  4. Responding to student questions (in-person during office hours, email, Piazza, etc.)
  5. Proctoring exams

For more details on what a UCA does, please visit this page.

Q: What are the job expectations for UCAs?
A: UCAs are expected to work on course administration/development tasks as assigned by the instructor or TA, and attend orientation and periodic training sessions/check-ins. In addition, UCAs should regularly communicate with their assigned professor regarding course logistics, grading, and/or any duties assigned.

Q: Is this a paid position?
A: Yes! UCAs are paid at a base rate of $15/hour. Returning UCAs are paid an additional $0.25/hour for each university semester they have worked (does not include summer or winter sessions). Head UCAs are paid at a rate of $17/hour, and UCA Coordinators are paid at a rate of $19/hour.

Q: How much will I be expected to work for?
A: UCAs are paid with the expectation that the professor or TA gives out tasks and duties that average out to 5 hours/week. Keep in mind that this may not be spread evenly (i.e. you may have 8 hours of work one week, and 2 hours of work the next). Time spent in orientation or attending course meetings or other course responsibilities before the contract date are covered within your stipend and you are expected to do these tasks.

Q: Can I know what the duties of each class are before filling out my preferences?
A: Unfortunately, since instructors shift every semester for many courses, it’s difficult for us to provide any general information on how a particular instructor will run a course and what the expected role of the UCAs will be. Some professors prefer that their UCAs stick to grading only, while others have UCAs hold office hours, or work on assignment infrastructure. If you have specific questions about a specific class, you can always email the UCA coordinators, talk to the course instructor, or a current UCA for that class.

Q: How do I apply? When will I know whether I’ve been selected?
A: We generally release applications around the mid-semester date for the following semester. When applications are live, they can be found here. We plan to release decisions toward the end of the semester.

Q: I am a current UCA. Is there any way I can get more involved?
A: Share your wisdom! It would be really helpful for UCAs in the years after to have a reference document or guide on how the course has been traditionally run, or any tips and tricks you’d like to share. We would love to keep track of and distribute these documents so that there is more consistency between semesters in how courses are run. In addition, we occasionally have openings for the UCA coordinator position.

Q: Who should I email if I have more questions?
A: You can email the UCA Coordinators at