University Studies Discussion Leaders

Discussion Leaders (DLs) are dedicated upper-division students who serve as instructional assistants for the University Studies 1 First-Year Experience course.

What do Discussion Leaders do?

DL responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating unique lesson plans
  • Attending weekly University Studies 1 lectures
  • Leading a weekly 50-minute discussion section with a group of up to 25 first year students
  • Holding weekly office hours
  • Maintain weekly communication with all students throughout the quarter
  • Monitoring student progress and grading assignments
  • Creating an inclusive space for students to share their thoughts, opinions, and concerns
  • Attending weekly University Studies 190/192 seminars with fellow DLs
  • Completing all designated DL assignments
  • Engage in team-building and professional development activities with fellow DLs

Why should I apply to be a Discussion Leader?

Reflect on your first year in college and you may recall how overwhelming the transition can be. If you had someone to guide you, it probably made the experience easier. If you didn’t, you probably wish you had. As a Discussion Leader, you will be a guide for your first year students as they learn to successfully navigate UCI. Your role will be that of a mentor and teacher to first year students. The Discussion Leader program provides participants with leadership and professional development training. You will gain career-ready skills that you can transfer in your future career – public speaking, conflict management, cultural competency, networking, and more!


  • Open to rising 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students
  • Must have a high level of commitment and excellent time management skills
  • Must be available for University Studies 192 seminar in Spring 2024 (Fridays, 1:00-2:50 pm)
  • Must be available to lead a discussion section of University Studies 1 and to attend University Studies 192 seminar in Fall 2024 and Winter 2025
  • Must have a passion for helping students
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA preferred


  • Spring 2024: 2 graded units
  • Fall 2024 and Winter 2025: 4 graded units per quarter


Application Timeline (subject to change if needed)

The selection process will include an interview for applicants who submit the required application materials by the deadline and who are screened to continue in the process. Candidates will be interviewed by a panel consisting of staff and/or faculty.

Deadline for Winter 2024 applications: February 7th at 11:59PM

  • Winter Quarter Week 5 – Application reviews
  • Winter Quarter Week 6 – Group interviews
  • Winter Quarter Week 8 – Application status notifications
  • Winter Quarter Week 9 – Deadline to accept DL position offer