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Urban and Regional Planning Positions

Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) at the University of Michigan are considered members of the community of scholars.

Graduate Student Instructor Overview

Applicants must be students in the Urban and Regional Planning Program. Only students who have satisfactory academic performance are eligible for a GSI position.  Satisfactory academic progress is defined as:

  • a B average
  • no more than one outstanding incomplete
  • progress toward degree at the rate of 9 or more credits per semester

Do not apply to GSI for a course that meets at the same time as a course you will be enrolled in.

All positions require that you submit a cover letter and a resume combined into a single PDF file.

The cover letter header must include:

  • name
  • program (MURP or PhD)
  • expected date of graduation (MM/YYYY)
  • Umich email address
  • Student ID #
  • Position(s) you are applying for, listed in ranked order from highest to lowest.

Please note that only students currently enrolled at Taubman College are eligible to apply to become a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) in Taubman College. These positions, as posted, are subjected to a collective bargaining agreement between the Regents of the University of Michigan and the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO 3550.

The program chair is responsible for final selection of applicants.

All Graduate students of Taubman College are eligible to apply for GSI positions but each program hires students from within their field.

Dual-degree students must take 75% of their course work in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours in the term they hold a GSI position.

"The University will not discriminate against any applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, familial status, parental status or pregnancy status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, height, weight, disability, citizenship status, veteran status, HIV antibody status, political belief, membership in any social or political organization, participation in a grievance or complaint whether formal or informal, or any other factor where the item in question will not interfere with job performance and where the employee is otherwise qualified. The University of Michigan agrees to abide by the protections afforded employees with disabilities as outlined in the rules and regulations, which implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Fall 2017 GSI Positions

Job Opening ID - 139731

Apply here

Working Title
Urban Planning Graduate Student Instructor positions at Taubman College

URP 357- Architecture, Sustainability and the City

Positions: up to 3
Effort: 25%

This course provides an introduction to the design of the built environment, society’s largest investment and biggest consumer of energy. The focus of the course will range from the room to the building to the city to the metropolis, including spaces and places that are consciously planned and intentionally designed, as well as ones that are vernacular and informal. In addition to Western history, theory and practice of architecture and urban planning, case studies of buildings and cities of different cultures and periods will be presented to deepen the student’s understanding of the environmental, economic, socio-cultural and aesthetic impacts of design and urbanism. Contemporary problems and opportunities in sustainable/resilient building and urban design will be considered, including renewable energy, resource and water conservation, and waste management. Livability, walkability, bikeability and transit, as well as the importance of a vibrant, diverse public realm in a healthy community will be studied.

GSI responsibilities: The GSI attends classes and is responsible for a discussion section that meets once a week. The GSI participates in the design of the course/section assignments and examinations.  May hold office hours. The GSIs must work collaboratively as well as independently grade and evaluate student work.  

Required qualifications: Academic experience in architecture, sustainability and urbanism. History and theory courses in architecture, urban design and planning are helpful, as is experience in energy, environmental and ecological issues is desirable.

Desired qualifications: Prior relevant course work, strong academic performance, enthusiastic, conscientious, well organized, active listening skills, writing skills. 

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning.

URP 504 - Introduction to Statistics 

Positions: up to 1
Effort: 25% 

This course is intended primarily for students who have no background in statistics and should be taken before UP 504. It introduces statistical concepts such as probability, descriptive statistics, tests of differences in populations, correlation, and linear regression. The course will familiarize students with computerized spreadsheets and statistical packages.

GSI responsibilities: Attend class, lead and/or assist with discussion section(s), grade assignments, and hold office hours. Detailed assignments will be worked out with the instructor.

Qualifications: Prior relevant course work, strong academic performance and teaching experience.

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning.

URP 509: Public Economics 

Positions: up to 1 position
Effort: 50% 

This is a course in the application of microeconomic modes of reasoning to problems that planners address. The course begins with an overview of the economist's analysis of the relationship between markets and efficiency, including concepts of supply and demand, elasticity, marginalism, opportunity costs, consumer surplus, market competition, and equilibrium. The course then delineates efficiency- and equity-based rationales for planning, and explores how economic modes of thinking can aid in the design of planning interventions to alter market outcomes. This section of the course also considers strengths and weaknesses of both planning and market solutions in various contexts. Finally, the course applies economic modes of thinking to specific planning problems, developing tools of benefit-cost, cost-effectiveness and fiscal impact analysis, together with an exploration into the economics of transportation, pollution, and land use regulation. MUP students lacking previous coursework in microeconomics should enroll in this course; all other MUP students are welcome as well.

GSI responsibilities: Attend class, lead and/or assist with discussion section(s), grade assignments, and hold office hours. Detailed assignments will be worked out with the instructor.

Desired qualifications: Intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic; interested in working with students, conscientious, well organized, good listening and reading skills; writing skills.

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning.

URP 510 – Fiscal Planning and Management 

Positions: up to 1 position
Effort: 50%

Fiscal Planning and Management is designed to provide urban planners and related professionals with the methods of public financial management and analysis used in urban planning and public policy contexts. The course includes topics such as: fiscal planning and management systems, budgeting, revenues, intergovernmental relations, debt financing, fiscal analysis, public investment analysis and fiscal impact analysis. The course requires lecture and seminar sessions, independent reading, a short paper and problem sets. The focus is on the practical and professional rather than the theoretical aspects of fiscal planning.

GSI responsibilities: The GSI will hold several review sessions for students whose mastery of economics requires academic support and will hold tutorials for students who are not proficient in Excel. The GSI may hold office hours to meet with students who need additional assistance in economics and/or Excel, and may conduct various exercises. 

Required qualifications: Academic experience in microeconomics and Excel.  Must have successfully completed this course at Taubman OR taught this course as a GSI at Taubman. 

Desired qualifications: Intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic; interested in working with students, conscientious, well organized, good listening and reading skills; writing skills.

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning.

URP 520 - Introduction to GIS  

Positions: up to 1 position
Effort: 25%

This course provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and how it may be applied to solve urban planning problems. Emphasis is on basic principles and concepts of GIS, theory and tools of spatial analysis, and broad exposure to GIS applications such as land use, infrastructure, and environmental planning. Topics include the history of GIS, hardware and software requirements, spatial data types, data formats and sources, spatial analysis techniques, making maps and reports, and fundamentals of database design.

GSI responsibilities: Attend class, lead and/or assist with discussion section(s), grade assignments, and hold office hours. Detailed assignments will be worked out with the instructor.

Required qualifications: Professionalism (possessing the characteristics of punctuality, dependability, and accountability); Organizational ability and knowledge of GIS technology. Relevant course work, strong academic performance.

Desired qualifications: Experience or promise in leading oral discussions, as well as assessing students’ work.

Eligible: Masters or PhD students in Urban Planning.