All students in the program will be offered a total of three 25% CA (Course Assistantship) appointments in their second year, pending good progress in the program as evaluated by the faculty. Some students will also receive funding in their first year, and/or a higher level of funding.

In the base case, for all Design Impact students, this means your tuition during the quarters you have a CA assignment will be less, and you will receive a stipend. Financial details are below. Some students might receive a 50% CA. Some may receive a research assistantship (RA) by working in a professor’s lab — this is not covered here but follows the same basic structure. For full information, refer to 7.3.1 Assistantships: Policy.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn through mentorship and teaching. We consider this a large distinction between our program and other Master-level design program: we don’t just teach you, we mentor you in teaching others. This will give you a deep mastery of skills.


For 2019-2020, per Quarter (10 weeks).

CA AppointmentWho will receive itStipend per QuarterTuition Assistance per Quarter
25%All Design Impact students, for 3 quarters$5,478$6,055
50%Some students for some quarters.$10,956$12,110


CA Appointment Basics

A Course Assistant (CA) is a graduate or coterminal student who works part time helping an instructor with a class. The CA’s responsibilities can include office hours for individual student assistance, review or study sessions, occasional lectures, preparation of assignments, grading exams, projects, and solutions. A CA for a laboratory class may also be responsible for laboratory supervision, equipment, or demonstrations. Most CAs given to Design Impact students will be for undergraduate Product Design classes.

CAs are appointed on a percent time basis. The levels of CAships are 50% appointment (20 hours per week) and 25% (10 hours per week). These levels of work are typical; however, some appointments may require more effort and others less.

The University typically restricts the academic load of a 50% CA to 10 units per quarter and fully covers tuition. The philosophy is that a student cannot work half time and take a full academic load and do both justice. The tuition for a 25% CA is not fully covered and the 25% CA must pay for the difference between full tuition and the CA tuition grant. A 25% CA must take at least 8 units during the quarter of the CA position.