UTA Information

Applications for the Fall 2020 semester are closed.

Due to Covid-19, we have extended the application window so that you can sign up to be a UTA for the fall at any point during the summer. We are currently prioritizing hiring students that will be in North Carolina for the Fall. We cannot accept applicants who will be residing outside the country and we cannot accept anyone on a volunteer basis.

If you have already applied, please let uta-program@cs.duke.edu know if you would like to:

  1. update your course preferences
  2. remove your application from consideration

last update: 8/10/2020


If you have taken a CompSci course previously, then you know there are many other people helping the professor to support your learning in that course, e.g., returning feedback about your assignments, reviewing concepts in a recitation section. Most of these duties are done by undergraduate students just like you! Here, you can get a chance to take part in a rewarding job, allowing you to help your fellow students out as they go through the same journey you once did.

Depending on which course(s) you applied for, you may receive separate emails with follow up surveys or questions. Students applying for 101 and 201 will have to interview.

Our goal is to get back to you early summer break. However, keep in mind different courses have different timelines for UTA selections.

Contact the UTA Program Coordinator, Georgia Tse, uta-program@cs.duke.edu, if you have any questions about being a UTA or your application.


Ideally, you loved the course that you want to UTA for! You should have at least taken the course before and have done well, or communicate with the professor that you feel confident that you grasped the materials covered in the course you would like to UTA.

Even if you have been a UTA, you must re-apply to be a UTA each semester.

For 101&201 -- If you choose one as a first choice and the other as a second choice, you will not likely be considered for the second choice course, regardless if you were a previous UTA for that course. For example, if you put 101 as your first choice and 201 as your second choice, you will not be considered for 201 because it is your second choice, and vice versa. This is only the case for 101&201 because of the number of applications we receive.

Courses that need UTAs for Fall 2020

Course Expected Duties Consideration
CompSci 94: Programming/Problem Solving (Rodger)
  • Lecture is taught as a lab, must attend
    lectures to help.
  • Grade
  • Hold office hours

Min Requirement: Completion of CompSci 101.

Must have availability to attend lecture sections online TUTH 10:15-11:30am.

CompSci 101: Intro to Computer Science (Rodger)
  • Attend one lab training per week
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead lab section
  • Hold office hours
  • Grade exams and final

Labs are F 10:15am-4:45pm.

Lab training will likely be after 6 on Mondays or Tuesday nights.

CompSci 201: Data Structures and Algorithms (Astrachan, Fain)
  • Attend weekly meetings
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead discussion section
  • Hold office hours in the evening
  • Grade exams and final

Must have availability to lead a discussion section, which are throughout F 10:15am–4:45pm.

CompSci 230: Discrete Math for CompSci (Donald)
  • Attend regular grading parties
  • Grade assignments
  • Lead recitation session
  • Hold office hours in the evening
  • Grade exams

Min. requirement: CompSci 230 or equivalent. You should be able to handle the concepts the students work with in this course.

Recitation is various times on F 1:45pm-4:45pm.

CompSci 250: Computer Architecture (Wills, ECE)
  • Attend weekly meetings
  • Grade exams via grading parties

Pick at least 2 of the following:

  • Lead recitation session
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Piazza questions
  • Grade homework

Min. requirement: CompSci 250 or equivalent. You should be able to handle the concepts the students work with in this course.


CompSci 260: Intro to Genomics (Hartemink)
  • Hold weekly office hours
  • Answer questions on Piazza
  • Contribute to timely grading, done as a group one day every other week

Must have taken CompSci 260 or otherwise be knowledgeable about the course material and Python.

If you have taken CompSci 260, you need not attend the lectures (though you are welcome to)

CompSci 290.01: Algorithms in the Real World (Fain)   Background in Algorithms and project management experience
CompSci 290.02: Intro to Mobile Application Programming (Thomas)   Must have taken this course previously or have app development experience.
CompSci 290.04 Graph Matrix    
CompSci 307D: Software Design and Implementation (Duvall)
  • Evaluate student projects
  • Attend regular planning meeting
  • Independently meet with students regularly
  • Grade student demos
Min Requirement: Completion of CompSci 307 and internship experience by Fall 2020 OR CompSci 308
CompSci 310: Intro to Operating Systems (Chase)
  • Hold office hours in the evenings
CompSci 316: Intro to Database Systems (Roy)
  • Lead recitation sessions (new in Fall'20)
  • Grade assignments and exams
  • Supervise team projects
  • Answer questions on piazza
  • Hold office hours
  • Attend planning meetings
CompSci 330: Design/Analysis Algorithms (Panigrahi, Ge)
  • Attend regular grading parties
  • Hold office hours
  • Grade exams
  • Run recitation sections
Recitation sections are various times F 8:30am-8:15pm.
CompSci 371: Elements of Machine Learning (Tomasi)
  • Hold office hours
  • Answer Piazza queries
  • Help grade assignments and exams (grading parties with Gradescope) 

Minimum requirements: Completion of COMPSCI 371D or COMPSCI 571 or COMPSCI 671.

CompSci 671: Statistical Machine Learning (Rudin)

Some subset of this list, depending on preference:

  • Leading discussion
  • Design of materials (hw, tests, kaggle competitions)
  • Grading
  • Office hours
  • Webmaster
  • Answer Piazza

If there is a course not listed here that you have been asked to UTA, or have heard needs UTAs, you may list the course number in the last free response question on the application.

Duties and Commitment

Being a UTA is a serious obligation that requires a firm and substantial weekly commitment on your part. It requires timely checking and responses to communication (e.g. email, Slack, Piazza). It is a semester-by-semester job that extends from the first day of classes through the end of final exams. You must re-apply each semester.

All UTAs will be required to attend a training session at the beginning of the semester before school starts.

Duties will vary between classes, but you can generally expect to do some of the following:

  • Grade – Responsibilities range from students’ assignments or in upper-level courses, projects. Sometimes a professor may have UTAs grade student exams.
  • Hold office hours – Most courses will have office hours in the evening. Office hours are used to answer student questions about topics covered in lecture, homework problems, etc.
  • Lead a recitation/lab – Lower level courses such as 101, 201, 230, etc. have a discussion section where students will get more application problems on topics covered in class. UTAs will lead students through the problems and facilitate collaboration and discussion among students about the topic. UTAs will have to prepare beforehand by attending a lab meeting, and/or looking over the material, and/or doing the problems beforehand so that they can come prepared for answering questions.
  • Answer Piazza questions – Most courses use Piazza as a tool where instructors can post course announcements, and communicate important information to students. Students can use this platform to ask questions about logistics of the course, get clarification on the homework, or a study problem. The professor cannot answer all questions in a timely manner, so UTAs will also respond to questions that students may have.
  • Attend planning meetings – Faculty will arrange a regular meeting to gather all their UTAs so that they can prepare UTAs for the upcoming week or address questions and concerns that UTAs may also have.
  • Meet with student groups – Some project-based courses such as 308 or 316 will require that UTAs independently meet with the group of students that they are assigned to.
  • Administrative duties - If you are a Head UTA, you may have to send out emails and organize various UTAs for specific duties. The professor will be in close contact and instruct you.
  • Attend lecture - Some faculty need UTAs during regular class time because the course is structured like a lab.


The pay begins at $12 per hour with opportunities for promotions and increases every semester of serving as a UTA. You must detail your hours biweekly and fill out a timecard on time.

Work Study

Work study is not required for this job, but it is encouraged. You do not have to be on financial aid to be on work study. Please see the Duke Financial Aid Work Study section for more information on how to sign up for work study.