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Master of Arts

Information for Non-matriculated Students


What is a non-matriculated student and should I become one?

A non-matriculated student is someone who signs up to take just a few classes without actually enrolling in the MA degree program. This status is appropriate for you if you fit into any of the following categories. Did you miss the deadline for applications to the MA program? Are you not sure if our MA program is right for you and want to try out a class or two before applying? Do you want to try a few courses just to get reacclimated to academic life before enrolling? Do you already have an MA and just want to do a few extra classes?

Will non-matriculated students automatically get admitted to the MA program later?

Please keep in mind that nonmatriculated student status does not guarantee admission to the MA program in any way. This is particularly true if you had a problematic undergraduate GPA. In such cases you need to be earning As as a nonmatriculated student, if you want to demonstrate that you are now capable of performing at the appropriate level. Having an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 and then getting Bs in our graduate courses means that you probably will not be admitted as a matriculated student, because you have not proven yourself academically, regardless of how many of our courses you may have taken.

How do I become a non-matriculated student?

First check with the Director of Graduate Studies (currently Andrea Walkden) to see if you qualify. Our program is very overcrowded, so we can only take a few non-matriculants. You need to show the DGS a transcript proving that you have at least a 3.0 GPA and an English minor. Once the DGS has approved your enrollment, go to the Graduate Admissions office in Jefferson 100 and fill out the paperwork. One form is a non-matriculated student permission form that must be signed by the DGS. The Graduate Nonmatriculant Application is available here.

How do I sign up for classes?

First do the paperwork at the Graduate Admissions office to get yourself enrolled. Second, look at the department’s course list to see what courses interest you (courses are posted outside the English Department, Klapper 601 or you may view them online). Third, look at the CUNY Schedule of Classes website to see whether those courses are still open.

Once you have determined what courses you want, go to the Director of Graduate Studies and ask her to register you. Tell her: 1) how many courses you want to enroll in; 2) the course numbers and course codes (i.e., “English 760, code 3498”) of the courses that interest you, in order of preference; 3) the name under which you have registered; and 4) your SSN. She will then enroll you and let you know when it’s done.

What courses should I take?

Non-matriculated students register after all of our degree students have already signed up for their courses. So it will not be a question of what’s best for you so much as what’s left. There may only be spots in two or three classes still available by the time you register. Thus it is not a good idea to be too picky about times or subjects If you decide you can’t do anything except on Monday nights, you may not get anything at all.

Can I take one of the MFA workshops as a non-matriculated student?

No. Workshops are reserved for our degree-seeking students. We have a huge number of creative writers clamoring for very few spots in these workshops. Also, a writing workshop is an intense bonding experience not suitable for a casual drop-in student. Thus, due to the great demand for workshops and the particular nature of the workshop, they are not available for non-matriculated students.

How can I get into a course if it says “closed”?

A course is “closed” if it already has its maximum enrollment. There are two ways to get into the course under these circumstances. 1) You can keep monitoring the CUNY Schedule of Classes website, waiting for someone to drop the course, at which point you should pounce on the opening and get the DGS to register you for the class immediately. 2) You can ask the professor for an overtally. Feel free to contact the professor before the class begins to find out whether you can get an overtally, but be aware that most faculty wait for the first day of class before granting overtallies because they have to see how many registered students show up, how big the room is, etc. You may, however, get lucky and find someone willing to give you an overtally before the course begins or put you on a waiting list. For specifics, see below.

How do I get an overtally?

Only the faculty member teaching that course has the right to overtally students into it. The DGS cannot place you in a course without the knowledge and consent of the instructor. An overtally is a permission slip to enroll in the course even though it is over the maximum allowable number of students. It is a piece of paper that says, essentially: “Professor Chaucer gives John Q. Student, SSN 123445678, permission to enroll in my course, English 777, course code 1234.” You can write up the note on any blank page and then just get the professor to sign it. Once you get that overtally form, you can take it to the DGS, the English Department secretary, or any English faculty member with access to Quasar (the college’s registration program) and get officially placed into the class.

Can the DGS tell me if the course I want opens up?

No. It is your responsibility to do this work. The DGS is registering dozens of non-matriculants and first-year students while advising dozens more, and will neither remember your particular preferences nor have the time to keep checking for your courses.

Can I transfer the credits if I eventually enroll in the MA program?

Yes, you’re allowed to transfer up to 12 credits to the MA. So if you know you are definitely going to enroll, it makes sense to try to take your required courses now (Click here to see required courses for each program). Realistically, however, there is very little chance of finding space in one of those courses, so after you’ve checked and ascertained that they’re full, go ahead and just take whatever you can and it will count later as one of your electives. Electives are any graduate course of your choice (Click here to see information regarding electives).

Can the DGS put me in Spanish and chemistry classes?

No. The English DGS can only enroll you in English classes. You have to ask the graduate representatives of each department to do your admission for the courses in that department.

Can the DGS enroll me in undergraduate English classes?

No. If you want to take undergraduate courses, then you enroll as an undergraduate non-matriculated student, not a graduate one. This involves different paperwork, but it is easier to do because you don’t need permission from a departmental representative.

Will they send me a bill?

Ask at the Registrar’s or Bursar’s office in Jefferson. They handle this, not the department. But you do need to check, because if you miss paying it on time you will be dropped from the class.


 Office Information

Director of Graduate Studies:
Andrea Walkden
Office: Klapper Hall, Room 604
Office Hours (Spring 2014): Mon 4:30-7:00pm, Wed 1:30-2:30pm, and by appointment

Assistant Director of Graduate Studies:
Caroline Kyungah Hong
Office: Klapper Hall, Room 636

Office Hours (Spring 2014): Tue 4:30-6:30pm, and by appointment

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