L&S Student Assistants - Undergraduate Assistant

This KB outlines the definition, duties and evaluation processes for Undergraduate Assistants in the College of Letters & Science and provides links to appointment letter templates. Contact HR Associate Director Laura Fisk or your STS/SA HR Business Partner with questions.

What are Undergraduate Assistants and what is their role?

The Undergraduate Assistant title is used for hiring undergraduate students only when a department has exhausted its efforts to find qualified and eligible graduate students.  There are two types of “Undergraduate Assistants”.  They both use the same title (Undergraduate Assistant SA014) but are differentiated by pay basis and rate:  

I. Undergraduate Assistant – Teaching Assistant   

II. Undergraduate Assistant – Grader/Reader 

What are special considerations when hiring Undergraduate Assistants?

Undergraduate Assistants are not eligible for benefits such as health insurance or for tuition remission/waiver.  

How do departments/programs go about hiring Undergraduate Assistants?

PRIOR APPROVAL IS REQUIRED to hire both types of Undergraduate Assistants. Hiring undergraduates into positions normally filled by graduate students requires special approval.  To request approval, email HR Associate Director Laura Fisk (laura.fisk@wisc.edu) with the following information: 

  • Staffing and enrollment details about the course. 
  • Course-specific criteria for selection of qualified an Undergraduate Assistant (e.g., GPA within major, courses taken, prior teaching/tutoring experience). 
  • Confirmation the department has attempted to recruit qualified and eligible graduate students for the position (for example, posting on the Student Job Board)
  • Name of candidate, supervisor, and course name/number 

I. Undergraduate Assistant – Teaching Assistant 

Undergraduate Assistant – Teaching Assistants may only be hired for secondary sections (discussion sections or labs) and must be supervised by a qualified faculty or staff member in a primary section

What does an Undergraduate Assistant – Teaching Assistant do?

  • They perform the same duties as graduate students hired as Teaching Assistants, with similar workload/FTE and expectations. 
  • Similar to TAs, in addition to leading discussion sections or labs, they might hold office hours, grade, attend lecture and course meetings, etc.

 What are other departmental responsibilities in employing Undergraduate Assistant – Teaching Assistants?  

Departments must use the same performance evaluation used with TAs to review performance of UA-TAs.  UA-TAs, like TAs, must be informed of the evaluation process and criteria for evaluation at the start of the period for which they are being evaluated. For more information see L&S Performance Evaluations for TAs, PAs, and UAs.

Departments must send UA-TAs an appointment letter by the start date of the appointment along with a workload that outlines the duties of the position and approximates the amount of time those duties will require over the course of the semester. 

II. Undergraduate Assistant – Grader/Reader 

Undergraduate Assistant – Grader/Readers perform the same duties as graduate student Grader/Readers. For more information see L&S Student Assistant - Grader/Reader.

Letter Template

See L&S Student Assistant Appointment Letters

See Also:




Keywords:Undergraduate Assistant, Graduate Assistant, UA, TA, Staffing, Instructor ls, student assistant, SA   Doc ID:93858
Owner:Cassandra K.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
Created:2019-08-14 11:57 CDTUpdated:2022-05-09 14:49 CDT
Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
CleanURL:https://kb.wisc.edu/ls-student-assistants-undergraduate-assistant
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