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Media Studies

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 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 re-acclimated 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 non-matriculated 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 earn an A in all coursework as a non-matriculated 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?
Go to the Graduate Admissions website and apply for non-matriculate status. Note that this process includes a $125 filing fee and proof of completion of an undergraduate degree.  You begin the process by setting up an online account, which can be done here.

How do I sign up for classes?
Once you have been accepted and you have determined what courses you want, contact the Director of Graduate Studies (Mara Einstein: or call the Media Studies office (718-997-2950) and the departmental secretary can assist you.

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.

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, Media Studies 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 or the Media Studies Department secretary.

Can the DGS tell me if the course I want opens up?
No. It is your responsibility to do this work.

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.

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.


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Chair: Richard Maxwell
Dept. Office: G Building 100
Phone: 718-997-2950


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