Some US universities ban first-year graduate students from working outside TA/RA.

How can US universities check whether graduate students work outside TA/RA?

  • 7
    They likely don’t go out of their way to check, but if you are their waiter at a restaurant there might be raised eyebrows. Actually, the professors don’t care unless it is impacting work.
    – Jon Custer
    Aug 17, 2018 at 1:47
  • 1
    ...where “raised eyebrows” means “you lose your TAship”.
    – JeffE
    Aug 17, 2018 at 13:16
  • 2
    They have them followed ... Obviously not but if their work suffers and it comes to light then they can act as necessary.
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 18, 2018 at 6:44
  • If they have no way to check, feel free to convert your comments into an answer. Aug 18, 2018 at 19:55
  • Why do you ask? Is it a purely hypothetical or do you think that you somehow need to respond to a violation?
    – Buffy
    Sep 11, 2018 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


How can they or how do they?

The chances are pretty slim that a university is able to follow-up on graduate students extracurricular lives. Perhaps it happens if someone gives them reasons to but it is still very unlikely. The exception to this is within the university system -- I would expect that to be easier for them to do (as pointed out by Jon Custer in the comments).

How can they? Well, anything is possible. Someone could make this their investigative mission. They could hire someone like a private investigator. They could play secret agent themselves and follow you. These all are possible but unlikely.

  • When rolling a dice, it's preferable to know how bias it is. Sep 11, 2018 at 13:45
  • @FranckDernoncourt I agree, that's why I attempted to give the likelihood just before the attempted humor comment. Apparently I didn't do a good job. I'll adjust my answer accordingly. Thank you for your suggestion. Sep 11, 2018 at 13:48
  • I'll note that "how should they" is another aspect of this.
    – Buffy
    Sep 11, 2018 at 13:51
  • I'm still hazy on the context to this question as it affects the answer considerably. Sep 11, 2018 at 16:04

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