Columbia Computer Science Instructional Assistant Page

Thank you for your interest in an Instructional Assistant position. Please refer to FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions.

Announcements (For Fall 2016)

Last updated: 7/6/2016

-- No new announcements --


The Computer Science Department requires that you:

  1. Are a currently registered student at Columbia University
  2. Are in good academic and conduct standing with the University (For more information, refer to Columbia Engineering Policy on Conduct and Discipline and Columbia University Policies and Regulations)

Please note that by submitting your IA application, you grant permission to the Computer Science Department to inquire about your disciplinary and conduct history and also grant permission to the Graduate Student Affairs Office/the Office of Judicial Affairs to release relevant information.

Application Process

You apply for an Instructional Assistant position using the Computer Science Department’s MICE system. If you do not have a MICE account, please email Please go to the Instructional Assistant menu and select “Instructional Assistant Application” to start the application process.

If you are selected to be an Instructional Assistant, you will receive an email from the MICE system. Please note that while most of the Instructional Assistant assignments are completed by the first week of classes, the selection process may continue until 2 to 3 weeks into the semester.

Appointment Process

You will be notified by email when you are selected for an Instructional Assistant position. An Instructional Assistant who has never worked at the university must complete an I-9 regardless of citizenship or visa status within 3 days of accepting the position in MICE. The official start date to provide the I-9 Processing Center is the date you complete your I-9 form. You cannot start working without completing the I-9 process.

If you do not have a social security number please print the attached employment packet [see below], go directly to the I-9 Processing Center at 210 Kent Hall to complete the employment verification process [as outlined on first page of the employment packet] and print out the appropriate employment packet as outlined below.

If you have previously worked in the Computer Science Department as a CA or CA Fellow please click here for reactivation forms and submit originals documents to Ms. Jessica Rosa during her office hours. Please do not print double-sided copies.

If you were previously a TA III no additional paperwork is necessary unless your I-20 has expired. If your I-20 has expired, take your updated I-20, I-94, visa and passport to the I-9 Processing Center to update your I-9. Bring the updated I-9, I-20, I-94, visa and passport to Ms. Jessica Rosa so your personnel record can be updated. You cannot be placed on payroll without completing this process.

If you have accepted a TA III position for the first time, click here to obtain the employment packet. If you have accepted a CA or CA Fellow position click here for the employment packet. Please do not print double-sided copies. Submit the completed employment packet and necessary documents to Ms. Jessica Rosa in 455A CSB.

Failure to complete the I-9 process within 3 days of accepting the position in MICE will result in a forfeiture of the position and pay. Submission of employment paperwork is required before you begin your work.

Students completing PhD teaching requirements do not have to complete any paperwork but are required to accept the position in MICE. All currently funded GRAs who will be paid for TA duties as add-comp must accept the position in MICE and complete the Add Comp Authorization form click here. Upon completion you must forward the form, via email attachment, it to your faculty advisor for electronic approval. The completed form with your faculty’s approval must then be emailed to the Department Chair for approval. Please copy Jessica Rosa on all Add Comp approval requests emails sent to faculty.


There are three different types of Instructional Assistant positions: Teaching Assistant, TAIII, and Course Assistant.

Teaching Assistants are mostly doctoral students. For a few first- and second-year undergraduate courses with large enrollments, high-achieving undergraduate students who have performed well in these courses may serve as Teaching Assistants (TAIII) for several semesters. Primary responsibilities include:

Course Assistants are high-achieving MS and advanced UG students who have performed well in the course or a course with similar content. Primary responsibilities are:

Course Assistants do not hold recitation sections or to give lectures. Specific duties may vary based on class and instructor requirements.

Code of Conduct

As an Instructional Assistant, you play a valuable and integral role in shaping the ethical direction of our students. You are ambassadors and role models. As such, the following four principles must be adhered to: respect, trustworthiness, fairness, and responsibility. An Instructional Assistant treats others with respect: An Instructional Assistant acts in a trustworthy manner: An Instructional Assistant treats students fairly: An Instructional Assistant acts in a responsible manner:


If you have any questions please contact me at and the IA coordinators at