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I read an email from UCSD (CSE department) stating:

M.S. Graduate students are not permitted to work at all during their first year (CPT or any employment) due to CSE polices instated by the faculty committee for our graduate students. Graduate students are eligible to apply for UCSD campus graduate student TAships or research positions.

Why do some US universities / departments ban first-year graduate students from working outside TA/RA?

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It seems obvious that they want students to focus on their studies for the first year.

I don't know why they feel this way, but as a state funded education that is putting public resources into a student's education, they don't want those resources "wasted" or used ineffectively.

If a student proves him/herself the prohibition ends. I would hope that the last part is reinforcing this. TA fine. Research fine. Because we can have some control over how much effort is spent there.

I would object to such policies if they excluded financially needy students. I don't know how they manage that issue.

But even institutions that run graduate schools but are not publicly funded still subsidize student education to some extent. As high as tuition can be at some places it is often matched by other sources. I'm assuming the institutions are non-profit. Not all are, and that has its own problems, but those are very unlikely to have such rules.

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