UW CSE 12x/14x TA Program


Every quarter we hire a significant number of TAs for CSE 12x/14x. The TA application process is highly competitive. Applicants will first fill out a written application with some basic information and answers to short response questions. After this, we will select a group of applicants to submit a very short teaching video. In this video, each applicant should demonstrate the beginning of a lesson on a basic topic such as loops. This video should be done in one take and not edited. More information will be provided to applicants through email.

From these videos, the pool of applicants will be reduced and we will invite some individuals to come in for an in-person interview on campus. The interviews are conducted by our student TA Coordinators (experienced TAs who help run the program). In the interview, you will be asked to demonstrate how you would assist a student in office hours with a basic binary tree problem. You will also explain a topic of your choice from CSE 142/143 or CSE 121/122/123. Prior to your interview, you should prepare a five-minute lesson on your topic. You may not use materials (slides, handouts, etc.) other than the whiteboard. We are looking for candidates with strong technical abilities and excellent teaching and presentation skills. Interviews are fairly informal; you do not need to dress up or bring a resume.

Application Requirements

To be a TA you must have:

  • Completed or are about to complete CSE 143/123 (or equivalent course).
  • Strong grades in both CSE 142 and 143 or CSE 122 and 123 (or equivalent courses).
  • An open time schedule to attend all meetings and lectures.
  • A deep interest in Computer Science.
  • A passion for teaching.

You also must be:

  • Legally eligible to work in the USA
  • Registered for at least 6 credits per quarter during the normal school year (Autumn through Spring)
  • A responsible and dedicated individual who can manage the fairly intense workload of being a TA.
Note: CSE 12x/14x TAs do not have to be CSE Majors.

Time Commitments & Duties

TAing is a serious time commitment. TAs work an average of 17-19.5 hours per week. The break down is as follows:

  • Grade homework assignments, exams, and resubmissions - up to 7.5 hours per week
  • Attend lecture 2-3 hours a week for whichever class you TA
    • CSE 121: WF 11:30am to 12:20pm or 3:30pm to 4:20pm
    • CSE 122: WF 11:30am to 12:20pm or 3:30pm to 4:20pm
    • CSE 123: MW 12:30pm to 1:20pm or 2:30pm to 3:20pm
    • CSE 143: MWF 11:30am to 12:20pm
  • Attend staff meeting for 1.5 hours a week
    • CSE 121: Mondays 4:30 to 6:00pm
    • CSE 122: Mondays 4:30 to 6:00pm
    • CSE 123: Mondays 4:30 to 6:00pm
    • CSE 143: TBA
  • Attend the 12x/14x Community Meeting on Mondays 6:10 to 7:10pm
  • Attend New TA Training on Thursdays 4:30 to 6:00pm (for first quarter only)
  • Attend a Grading Party for their class (time determined quarter by quarter). Note: New TAs are required to attend Grading Parties at least an hour a week (see New TA Training section).
  • Host office hours (or work in the IPL) for a minimum of 2 hours per week
  • Lead Quiz Section (2 hours per week)

* All times listed above are in Pacific Time (PT). You can read more about mandatory TA duties here.


The starting pay for new TAs is $18.69/hour. TAs will receive hourly rate increases based on the number of quarters of experience as a TA. For more information visit the Undergrad TA Salary page

All TAs are protected by the UAW 4121 union (which protects all Student Academic Employees on all three UW campuses.) For more information visit their site at www.uaw4121.org

New TA Training

New TAs are required to participate in a weekly training program run by our undergraduate TA coordinators. The training sessions are held Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:00pm. In addition, new TAs are required to attend a one hour "grading party" each week in which we discuss how to grade the current programming assignment. The grading party time will be chosen after the quarter starts at a time that all of the new TAs can make.

TAs will be paid for attending the TA training and grading party.

Also, it is important to note that while every week you are given materials to teach from, it is expected that TAs are extremely knowledgeable about the course material as this will not be part of training.