All students in the program will be offered a 25% CA (Course Assistantship) appointment for all three quarters of 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 for their second year.

In the base case, for all Design Impact students, this means your tuition for the second year will be less, and you will receive a stipend. Financial details are below. Some students will 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 2016-2017, per Quarter (10 weeks).

CA AppointmentWho will receive itStipend per QuarterTuition Assistance per Quarter
25%All second year Design Impact students, for all 3 quarters$4,644$5,465
Some students for some quarters50%$9,288$10,930

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.