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Architecture GSI Positions

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

Graduate Student Instructor Overview

GSIs contribute to our teaching enterprise by working as partners with the faculty members who develop and supervise course offerings. Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) are a very important part of our professional programs. Not only are they responsible for providing classroom or studio instruction in collaboration with one of our faculty members, they also become mentors, advisors, and friends to many students. Being a GSI at Taubman College is an opportunity to learn the subject that they teach thoroughly and also learn about teaching. Indeed, many students discover the rewards of teaching through being a GSI and go on to academic careers.

All Taubman College graduate students are eligible for GSI positions and typically hold those offered within their field of study. The number of positions that is available depends on the program's teaching needs for the particular term. Each GSI appointment provides a full tuition waiver (for any appointment greater than 20%), monthly stipend, and health benefits during the term of appointment.

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.

Only students who have satisfactory academic performance are eligible for a GSI position. Satisfactory academic progress is defined as:

  • a 3.0  GPA or above
  • 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 (MUP, M.Arch, PhD)
  • expected date of graduation (MM/YYYY)
  • Umich email address
  • Student ID #
  • Position(s) you are applying for, listed in ranked order of preference from highest to lowest.

The percentage of effort for each position is outlined in the fraction calculation when the position is offered.  GSI and Faculty should check in regularly to ensure that the outline on the fraction calculation accurately reflects the effort.

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.

Architecture applicants will be reviewed by the faculty noted on the job description; in cases where the faculty is TBA the chair will review applications in consultation with faculty who teach in that subject area.  Urban and Regional Planning applicants will be reviewed by the chair. They will review the cover letter and resume submitted as part of the application. Selection criteria will include:

  • Relevant academic experience
  • Academic Standing of 3.0 or more
  • Professional and well thought out cover letter stating specific skills, and resume indicating the use of those skills. If the applicant has made email or in-person contact with the faculty member or chair about the GSI position, those communications can be considered as representative of the applicant’s communication style
  • Individual faculty may choose to conduct interviews with qualified applicants

After review of the architecture applicants, faculty will rank up to four candidates for each GSI position.  In addition to selecting their top applicants, faculty can list those applicants whose qualifications are not sufficient to serve as a GSI in the course.

In both programs the chair will be responsible for matching faculty and student preferences for final GSI assignments. 

The percentage of effort for each position is detailed in the posting. Should enrollment warrant, and the GSI agree, an increase in percentage is possible. GSI and Faculty should check in regularly to ensure that the outline on the fraction calculation accurately reflects the effort. Unsuccessful applications will be retained for consideration in the event that there are last minute openings for available positions. In the event that an Employee does not receive his or her preferred assignment, he or she can request a written explanation or an in-person interview with the hiring agent(s) to be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. 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.” 

How to Apply: Fall 2021 GSI Positions

Complete both of the following steps to apply:

Step 1: Submit cover letter(s) and a resume combined into a single PDF file through the university career site.

Step 2: List the course(s) you are applying for at the link below. Rank in order of preference when applying for multiple positions.

Select Course

Position Details

Job Opening ID#: 206560
Posting date: 11/1/2021
Working title: Architecture Graduate Student Instructor at Taubman College

Winter 2022 GSI Positions

Arch 251 Seeing
Arch 252 Measuring

Positions:  Up to 2
Appointment:  23.7%
Faculty:  Melissa Harris

Freehand studio drawing courses limited to pencil and pen, these introductory classes concentrate upon seeing, describing, and analyzing form through linear graphic means. Though intended primarily for students considering a design-related career, the courses are open to students from any discipline wishing to improve their visual literacy. Arch 251, Seeing, focuses upon understanding the role of line in creating form.  Arch 252, Measuring, introduces principles of orthographic and perspective projection. The two courses are each seven weeks in duration, and GSI’s will be hired for both courses.

GSI Responsibilities:

The GSI participates in the cultivation of student's visual literacy and prepares them for future learning in the design realm, particularly for those interested in the field of Architecture. They will actively participate in the student's understanding of the material taught during class and provide critical response to the work. The GSIs collaboratively grade the student portfolios at the end of the term.

Attend class (6 hours per week) and hold office hours (1 hour/week). During class the GSI provides individual roving critique, elaboration by example (often by drawing) of understanding and clarifying daily objectives. As the course builds exercise by exercise, the GSI should have both a long-term view and a grasp of each assignment. Several days prior to classes starting, a 2-3 hour meeting serves to outline the semester.

Prior to class each morning, the GSI is expected to have the technology ready for use. This means arriving to class before it starts. While the students stream in, they might also supervise the pinning up of drawings. Twice there are extended grading periods (varies on size of class, but typically 2-4 hours x 2 per term). In these evaluation sessions, the GSI’s work together and in parallel with the professor assessing, taking notes, recording, and delivering grades and suggestions for improvement to each student individually.

GSI’s are also expected to meet with excused absent students to review missed material. (1 hour/week). Regular meetings with instructor to monitor progress, discuss efficacy, and student concerns should take an hour per week. (.5 hour/week) Weekly work commitment will average 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

Required qualifications:  GPA 3.0 or above; proficiency with freehand studio-drawing, and ability to communicate about design. Please include in cover letter the courses taken relevant to hand drawing.

Desired qualifications: GPA 3.5 or above, strong academic record in architectural or art drawing courses.

Eligible: Masters students in Architecture and Urban Design.

Arch 323 History of Architecture 

Positions: up to 4
Appointment: 23.7 %
Faculty: Andrew Herscher 

Course Description:   This course is the second in the undergraduate two-course sequence (Arch 313/323) surveying the history of architecture from antiquity to the present. This course will provide an introduction to global architecture and urbanism from the 16th century to the present. A major theme will be architectural engagements with such global contexts as imperialism, colonialism, capitalism and modernization. Rather than assuming that these contexts simply pre-exist and shape architecture, the course will pursue the co-constitutive interactions between architecture and its various economic, political, social and cultural surrounds. In exploring these interactions, the course will present architectural history not as an empirically-verifiable record, but as a discursive representation of the past, a mediation of present concerns, and a production of possible futures: a project that can open up new ways of thinking about and practicing architecture.

GSI Responsibilities: GSIs will run discussion sections, assist in drafting assignments and exams, grade student work, and hold weekly office hours. Weekly work commitment will average 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

Required Qualifications: Knowledge of the history of architecture; strong writing skills; classes/background in architecture. Phd or MSci students are preferred in this course, but M.Arch students are considered, and have been appointed

Desired Qualifications: Enthusiasm, intelligence, ambition, organizational skills, analytical skills

Eligible: Masters or Doctoral students in Architecture, and Masters students in Urban Design

Arch 324 Structures II

Positions: up to 5
Appointment: 23.7 %
Faculty: Peter von Buelow 

Course Description:   This course covers the basic principles of elastic behavior for different materials such as wood, steel, concrete, and composite materials and compares the properties and applications of materials generally. It investigates cross sectional stress and strain behavior in flexure and in shear, and torsion as well as the stability of beams and columns. The qualitative behavior of combined stresses and fracture in materials is also covered.

GSI responsibilities: GSIs must attend general course lectures on Mondays and Fridays and teach a recitation section each Wednesday. GSIs are responsible for helping their recitation students with assignments and grading exams and projects. They also provide general support for the course. Weekly work commitment will average 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

  • attend lectures. 2  hr/wk
  • prepare recitation.  2  hr/wk
  • give recitation. 1  hr/wk
  • attend weekly meeting. 1  hr/wk
  • answer student questions. 1  hr/wk
  • support course development. 1  hr/wk
  • grade exams and projects. 1  hr/wk

Required Qualifications: Courses or background in architectural or engineering structures; knowledge of structural system analysis and design; good analytic ability – math, physics and basic mechanics. Include a brief CV outlining your experience and qualifications.

Desired Qualifications:  Communication skills; organizational ability; instructional experience; computational expertise; comfortable explaining how structures work; experience in construction.

Eligibility: Masters or Doctoral students in Architecture.

Arch 326: Design Fundaments II

Positions: up to 2
Appointment : 23.7%
Faculty: Joy Knoblauch and Craig Wilkins 

This course will expose students to the intellectual history of architecture through examination of key writings, designs, buildings, landscapes, and urban propositions. Students encounter three main topics of debate, namely: the role of institutions, technology, and urbanism in architecture.

Course objectives are:

  1. Explore ongoing theoretical, historical, and ideological conversations that construct the broader significances of design
  2. Explore classic writing in architecture
  3. Engage a new vocabulary of architectural terminology

GSI Responsibilities: GSIs will each run a discussion section, assist in drafting assignments and exams, and grade student work. The GSI will attend all lectures (1 hour, twice a week), run discussion section (1 hour, once a week), attend a brief weekly meeting to coordinate teaching, assist with grading assignments with commentary that aims to improve and enhance students’ critical thinking and analysis skills, provide assistance and clarification on issues related to the course to students via e-mails and in-person in meetings as necessary. Weekly work commitment will average 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

Required qualifications: GPA 3.0 or above, acute coursework knowledge of design fundamentals, architectural thinking; strong thinking, speaking, and writing skills. Please include in cover letter the courses taken relevant to this course.

Desired qualifications: GPA above 3.5, Intelligent, energetic, and enthusiastic for diverse approaches to architectural thought, familiar with key arguments about the social and political significance of design; interested in working with students, conscientious, well-organized, good listening and reading skills; writing skills. Experience or promise in leading oral discussions.

Eligible: Masters students in Architecture and Urban Design, Doctoral students in Architecture. 

Arch 572: Architectural Theory + Criticism

Positions: up to 5
Appointment: 23.7%
Faculty: Ana María León

Course Description:   This course examines contemporary architectural theory and criticism through the presentation and study of significant texts and buildings of the present and recent past. The goal of the course is to introduce and investigate the formal, technological, social, political, and economic debates at issue within the discipline. Students learn to evaluate and articulate the interactions between theory and practice, thereby enabling them to formulate and assess strategies for the making of architecture.

GSI responsibilities: GSIs will run discussion sections, assist in drafting assignments and exams, and grade student work.  The GSI will attend all required lectures (2 hours), run discussion section ( 1 hour), assist with the grading assignments with commentary that aims to improve and enhance students’ critical thinking and analysis skills in relation to the issues of architectural history (2 hours), provide assistance and clarification on issues related to course to students over e-mails and in-person in meetings as necessary (2 hours). Weekly time work commitment 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

Required qualifications: GPA 3.0 or above, completion of Arch 572 with distinction. Knowledge of the history of architecture; strong writing skills; classes/background in architecture. Phd or MSci students are preferred in this course, but M.Arch students are considered, and have been appointed if they have a strong academic record.

Desired qualifications: GPA above 3.5, enthusiasm, intelligence, ambition, organizational skills, analytical skills.

Eligible:  Masters students in Architecture and Urban Design, Doctoral students in Architecture. 

Arch 583 – Professional Practice

Positions:  up to 3
Appointment: 23.7%
Faculty: Irene Hwang and Julia McMorrough

Course Description: ARCH 583 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE is a graduate-level course dedicated to familiarizing students with the fundamental principles of architectural practice in the context of today’s rapidly evolving design industry. Divided into three parts—01 PRACTICE, 02 SERVICE, and 03 ENTREPRENEURSHIP—the course will examine the complexities of the discipline, intertwined and complicit with broader global and local economic conditions, labor markets, political issues, and cultural representation. ARCH 583 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE is designed as a space for civic participation, to expand the scope of influence of the architect towards a better future for policy, culture, technology, humanity, and the built environment. 

GSI responsibilities:  GSIs attend virtual or in-person class sessions + 1 teaching team meeting a week + office hours (4.5-5.25 hrs). GSIs host zoom meetings (break-out rooms, and zoom polls), moderate slack/google classroom conversation, post updates, help coordinate with guest speakers, and keep track of student submissions (~2-3 hrs). Depending on degree level, some grading may be included in responsibilities (~1 hr). GSIs are the backbone to the class, and provide an invaluable role in giving insight into the topics, teaching, and development/growth of the course. Thus, faculty and GSIs develop a close working relationship that builds upon the GSIs’ professional development.. Weekly time work commitment ~ 9.25 hrs a week. 

Required qualifications:  GPA above 3.0, completion of Arch 583 (if candidate does not have prior coursework or an architecture license)

Desired qualifications: GPA 3.5 or above some past professional experience in architecture or architecture related fields (e.g., construction, business, engineering among others), architecture license 

Eligible:  Master or Doctoral students in Architecture.

Arch 425- Environmental Systems 

Positions: up to 1 for each section
Effort: 23.7%
Faculty: Jong-Jin Kim / Lars Junghans  

Course Description:  This course addresses human needs and comfort in relation to the natural and man-made environments. Specific topics include: active and passive heating and cooling, ventilation, day lighting and electrical lighting systems, building acoustics, code requirements for energy conservation, communication systems, and conveyance systems.

GSI responsibilities: Each GSI attends classes and is responsible for a discussion section. The GSI participates in the cultivation of students’ visual literacy and prepare them for any further course work they may pursue in the field of Architecture. The GSIs collaboratively grade the exams and each GSI grades his or her own section's assignments.

GSI Tasks:

  • Conduct weekly discussion meetings with students (tutorial meetings)
  • Teach students in sustainable design aspects (lead students in class project)
  • Grading (assignments, class project, exam)

GSI responsibilities: attend lectures (2 hours per week), prepare for discussion sections (1 hour per week) and run 1 (one) discussion section per two weeks (0.51 hour per week), grade student work (3 hours per week), meet weekly with Instructor (1 hour per week) Proctor exams and grading after the end of semester (up to 15 hours). Weekly time work commitment 7.5 to 9.49 hours.

Required qualifications: GPA 3.0 or higher; Classes or background in Architecture and Environmental Studies. General knowledge in: sustainable architecture design, architectural design aspects, daylight in architecture, energy and load calculations (thermodynamic for architects), ventilation concepts in architecture, water distribution

Desired qualifications: Ambition, intelligence, basic engineering and computer skills (CAD). Knowledge in building physics (classes ARCH 315 or similar (undergraduate), classes with L. Junghans and/or Jong-Jin KimM. Navvab at UM (graduate level).

Eligible:  Masters students in Architecture and Urban Design.

Arch 537 - Fabrication

Positions: up to 3
Appointment: 25%    
Faculty: Steven Mankouche

Course description: Through focused workshop/project-based assignments, the course explores a range of practices in computational design, and digital and analog fabrication, including material prototyping, construction, fabrication, manufacturing, and assembly processes. Linking heuristic knowledge with design and representation, this compulsory course for the M. Arch degree program is intended to introduce digital fabrication tools and techniques to students. 

GSI Responsibilities: The GSIs participate in aiding students with fabrication processes, linking computational design and workflow with physical making, troubleshooting digital files, and offering advice to design integration with specific material explorations. The GSIs will work with the faculty across all the sections, helping with workshop setup, in-class discussion, grading, logistical coordination with material supplies necessary for the course, coordinating with staff at the Fablab, overall administration activities, and development of a website for the course work to be displayed. GSIs may lead their own section (3 hours per week), hold office hours (2 hours per week), and attend one 1 hours coordination meeting peer week. Office hours include meeting with students that have excused absences. It is expected that the GSIs will help with workshop setup prior to class time at the Fablab, this includes tools, material, and station set up, work with students during class, and/or work with students remotely, especially for computational troubleshooting. The GSIs will work closely with the coordinator throughout the semester to ensure that all the sections for the course will run smoothly. Assistance to the coordinator will include administrative tasks. NOTE, GSIs have to be comfortable to meet faculty and students in person at the FabLab. This is an in-person course intended to provide primarily in-person teaching with some remote instruction. Given the nature of the course, working at the FabLab is a must. Weekly commitment will average about 12 hours, the types of work will vary depending on the demands of the course.

Required Qualifications: GPA 3.0 or above; computational skills (this might include proficiency with Rhino, Grasshopper, some Python programming experience, and Adobe Creative Suite); and digital and analog fabrication skills. Please include in the cover letter the courses taken relevant to computational design and digital fabrication, as well as competency level on software and for all the tools in the Fablab. 

Desired Qualifications:  GPA 3.5 or above, strong academic record in architectural design courses, experience and knowledge of some digital fabrication tools available at the Fablab.

Eligible: M.S DMT students, Masters students in Architecture, Doctoral students in Architecture.

Arch 516 – Architectural Representation

Faculty: Ellie Abrons
Positions: 1 per semester
Effort: 23.7%

Through practical skills and critical discourse, this course empowers students to convey observations and ideas about objects and space into visual media. “Architectural representation” as a topic can refer to many things: orthographic projections, constructed perspectives, diagrams, models, renderings, and so forth. This class focuses more narrowly on the production of images and the way in which physical and digital materials must be taken together in the consideration of representation today. This focus acknowledges the multi-mediatic, telemetric quality of the architect’s tools and the primacy of the digital screen in our contemporary experience of the world. The course prepares students to use today’s digital tools to design and speculate through hybrid forms of image-making.

GSI responsibilities:  GSI is responsible for developing demonstration materials (including digital models, images, and videos), producing software tutorials, providing tech support to students, and assisting in the grading of weekly assignments. Weekly time commitment is 9 hours.

Required qualifications:  Prior completion of Arch 516 and intermediate/advanced knowledge of Rhino, VRay, Enscape, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop. Experience with AR applications such as Fologram, Zappar, or Lens Studio preferred.

Eligible:  Master or Doctoral students in Architecture.

NOTE: please submit 3-5 images of your as part of your resume.

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