Research and Learning Assistants - What you Need to Know!

Last Update 9/20/23

Research Assistant (RA) and Learning Assistant (LA) positions are approved as Field Study placements. 

Research Assistants: 

  • Research Assistants (RAs) get hands-on experience in supporting the ongoing research projects of Social Ecology faculty. Students often work closely with, and are mentored by both the faculty and their graduate students while getting valuable research experience and knowledge for graduate school. Specific research projects and duties vary widely based on the nature and the area of research being conducted. Please review the RA positions listed in the catalog for details on the type of research and specific duties available. 

Learning Assistants: 

  • Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate peer educators that work with students in the classroom setting to support and facilitate active learning in courses that are traditionally difficult or have high enrollment. LAs are required to enroll in a 2-unit LA pedagogy/training course concurrent to their first quarter as an LA (in addition to the SE 195/SE 195W and the UNI STU 198 course). LAs are an important part of the instructional team. In the classroom, LAs support professors and graduate teaching assistants (TAs) with active learning -- typically in the form of group activities or discussions. Outside the classroom, LAs meet, reflect, and plan course curriculum and student progress with professors and TAs on a weekly basis.

What research and learning assistantships can count as field placements? 

  • RA and LA positions LISTED on the School of Social Ecology Based Placement Catalog are automatically approved! 
  • RA and LA positions WITHIN the School of Social Ecology, NOT LISTED on the catalog may still approved as a field study placement. Approval of non-listed RA/LA positions requires attaining consent from the faculty in charge to use their lab/class as a field study placement and they agree to take on the role of your field study supervisor. Faculty supervisors must also agree to submit final evaluations in which they confirm the completion of your fieldwork hours and to be responsive to email correspondence from our office. 
  • RA and LA positions OUTSIDE of the School of Social Ecology must be reviewed and approved by the Field Study Director before they can be submitted as a field placement. Submit your position for review through the RA Clearance Form. 


There are specific enrollment requirements for RAs and LAs as described below, so PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY:

You MUST enroll in the correct number of SE 195 or SE 195W units in addition to the SE 198 (for RAs) or UNI STU 198 (for LAs) units as specified below. 

Each of the enrollment specifications outlined below will fulfill your Field Study requirement 

You will need to request an authorization code from your faculty RA or LA supervisor (NOT your Field Study course instructor) to enroll in SE 198 or UNI STU 198. Please reach out to them directly when your registration window opens.

Enrollment Requirements for Research/Learning Assistants for Field Study (Fall, Winter, Spring):

**FOR SUMMER REASEARCH ASSISTANTS ONLY: Students are NOT required by our office to enroll in additional SE 198 units for Summer--please check with your faculty research supervisor to confirm whether enrollment in summer SE 198 is a requirement on their end. 

  • RAs in SE 195 must enroll in exactly: 2 units (SE 195) + 2 units (SE 198) = 4 total units
  • LAs in SE 195 must enroll in exactly: 2 units (SE 195) + 2 units (UNI STU 198) + 2 units (UNI STU 176) = 6 total units
    • UNI STU 198 + UNI STU 176 must be taken P/NP 
  • RAs in SE 195W must enroll in exactly: 4 units (SE 195W) + 2 units (SE 198) = 6 total units
  • LAs in SE 195W must enroll in exactly: 4 units (SE 195W) + 2 units (UNI STU 198) + 2 units (UNI STU 176) = 8 total units
    • UNI STU 198 + UNI STU 176 must be taken P/NP 

*Please visit the UCI CLAP for more information about learning assistantships