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Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs)

GSI Appointment Process

The LSA Honors Program offers rigorous, wide-reaching introductory Honors Core courses across the three academic divisions in LSA: the Natural Sciences, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities. These courses, which include First Year Writing (FYWR) courses, are designed by innovative faculty from various departments specifically for first- and second-year LSA Honors students. The LSA Honors Program is not an academic department, therefore, it does not retain its own faculty or graduate students. The Honors Program invites graduate students from external academic departments to apply to teach discussion sections associated with Core course lectures during the fall and winter terms.

All Honors Core discussion sections, both FYWR and non-FYWR, have an enrollment cap of 18. The ratio is one GSI to 18 students. GSIs are not allowed to teach more than 18 students per class. For FYWR discussion sections, GSIs teach one section for a 0.50% appointment. For non-FYWR discussion sections, GSIs teach two sections for a 0.50%  appointment. Occasionally, GSI graders are appointed to assist with Honors seminars that may have an enrollment cap up to 60. GSI graders do not teach but provide instructional support in other ways such as grading or holding office hours.

Key steps in the LSA Honors Program GSI appointment process are:

• Faculty instructors determine search parameters, including their preferences for master’s or PhD students. Per University requirements, to be appointed as a GSI or GSSA, a graduate student must be in good standing in their degree program and for Terms I and II, must be registered for not less than six (6) credit hours. With written approval of the student's faculty advisor, five (5) credit hours may be acceptable.

• Job openings are posted on the U-M careers site for two weeks, typically in late February for fall openings and in late October for winter openings.

• Graduate students must apply for positions, submitting BOTH a cover letter and resume/CV. Both documents should be provided to improve the prospect of being considered.

• Applications are shared with the faculty instructor who conducts the selection process. Faculty may be partial to graduate students from their home departments as their education and interests are most likely to closely align with the course topic.

• The Honors Program sends offers of employment to selected graduate students.

• The formal hiring procedure is handled by the Academic Human Resources department.

• The Honors Program notifies remaining applicants that positions are filled.

• Faculty instructors coordinate course preparation with their GSIs.

First-time GSIs teaching in LSA must attend the GSI Teaching Orientation offered by the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) in August and January. The Honors Program requires all fall term GSIs to participate in a GSI boot camp in August for an overview of Honors Core curriculum and organizational matters. An information session is offered in January for winter term GSIs. GSIs teaching a FYWR course for the first time must review the online guides offered on the Sweetland Center for Writing website prior to the boot camp orientation.


Department Contacts: Lisa Broome, Associate Director,

Barb Frecka, Administrative Coordinator,

LSA Honors Chat