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FAQs


Financial Aid

Are there fellowships and scholarships available for Master’s students? MALS students in particular?

There is no institutional aid for Master’s students, however there is federal aid.

Federal Financial Assistance page: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Current-Students/Financial-Assistance

 

Where can I find funding for my degree?

GC librarians have put together a great resource on funding that lists all of the major databases: http://libguides.gc.cuny.edu/grants

Some of these may be subscription databases that students can only use once they’re officially students.  But, if you scroll down, you’ll see the Michigan, UCLA, and Duke databases that are open access.

In book form, there is also April Vahle Hamel’s Graduate School Funding Handbook (Penn Press, 2010), which walks you through the process (Jenny Furlong wrote the chapter on postdocs), and Pearson’s Getting Money for Graduate School (2003, so maybe a bit outdated).

 

Career Services

 

Does the Graduate Center offer career planning services for Master’s students?

Yes. You may find sources specifically designed for Master’s students in interviewing, netwroking, job searching, resume building, and applying for a PhD at: http://careerplan.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

 

Is there someone to advise me on career opportunities associated with my studies?

Individual departments and programs sometimes run career workshops.  Check their websites for more information.  Speak to faculty, advisors, and other students.

 

How can I find teaching or administrative jobs in the academy?

A Master’s degree, along with an excellent academic record and recommendations, can be enough to qualify for a position in a two-year college.   A Ph.D. is a requirement for teaching jobs in four-year institutions.  Even jobs that emphasize teaching will also require research and publication.  Professor jobs are listed with field-specific organizations and in journals, such as the Chronicle of Higher Ed, that are aimed at an academic readership.

A Master’s degree or a Ph.D. in any number of fields in the Humanities or Social Sciences, that is, not a professional degree in administration, can be a strong qualification for administrative posts in the academic world.   Those degrees show that you have reading, writing, technical, and research skills and, in addition, have some knowledge of how the academic world works.

 

Where are academic jobs listed?

The career services is a good place to start when looking for these jobs.  Often, colleges and universities have their own job-listings.  Here are some other good listings to check:

 

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium

http://hercjobs.org/

HigherEdJobs.com

http://www.higheredjobs.com/default.cfm

The Chronicle of Higher Education

http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/?eio=1

Diverse Issues in Higher Education has a job listing database.

http://diverseeducation.com/

Where are jobs outside of academia listed?

Here are some of the many websites:

New York Foundation for the Arts classifieds: http://www.nyfa.org/level2.asp?id=54&fid=1

Idealist.org (non profit)

Indeed.com (searches only job content within  your search terms).

For help in your job search, visit http://careerplan.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ or make an appointment to see Dr.  Jennifer Furlong, the director of the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development at the Graduate Center. She also organizes panels and events for students searching for jobs.
 

MALS Services

In what ways can I seek out help in becoming a PhD candidate?

Seek out help from as many people as you can at the Graduate Center, your undergraduate institution, and the university and department where you are thinking of applying.  Professors, fellow students, program administrators, admissions officers, career-service placement specialists, all have something to offer to make you a strong Ph.D. candidate.   All of these people can help a Ph.D. candidate with essential information about. institutions, faculty, grants, and the admissions process.  A successful Ph.D. candidate should have a research agenda and know the institution and professors where this agenda would best fit.  The personal statement and writing sample benefits from multiple readers.  It is important that someone familiar with the conventions of the subject read both.

 

How do I find a thesis advisor?

A thesis advisor is usually one of your professors.  The professor should teach in your track and have some knowledge about the subject of your thesis.   Given that the thesis is interdisciplinary and original, it is unlikely that any single professor will have an expertise in everything about your thesis.   Ideally, choose a professor with whom you have been able to  work well in the past.  Other students have found that this compatibility is more important than subject-matter expertise.   Remember that your thesis advisor is not the only professor to whom you can turn for help or advice on your thesis.

 

How do I choose a track?

Students choose a track to explore a topic that interests them, to fill in gaps in their education, and to enhance their resumes (see below under how a MALS degree can further goals outside of Academia).In researching which track you might want to choose you should check the MALS for a general description, requirements, and course offerings.  In addition, you can read detailed descriptions of courses offered in departments related to your track.   You can also contact faculty and/or MALS advisors to answer further questions.

List of MALS sequence, tracks and their information can be found here: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Elements/Academics-Research-Centers-Initiatives/Masters-Programs/Liberal-Studies/Courses

Can I change my track?
Yes, you can change your track at any point during the course of your program. In order to do so, please notify the MALS office via email (liberalstudies@gc.cuny.edu). You will be expected to meet all course requirements associated with the new track. Core courses taken in a different track may count towards the required 18 credits of electives, but not as core courses in the new track.

In what way can I use a MALS degree further career goals outside of Academia?

Choosing a track that will give you new expertise is one way that a MALS degree can further your career goals.  For instance, a student interested in working with immigrants could choose the Global Migration track  Choosing the Urban Education track could give you expertise for working in museums and with education non-profits. Students who select the Digital Humanities track or take courses in the track learn many highly useful technical skills that employers are often looking for. Being able to write clearly and communicate well, skills honed by writing papers and giving presentations in class, also can advance your career.

Also getting involved in various MALS related activities can advance your career goals. By working on Zeteo, one could gain practice running an online journal, editing and working with a team. Likewise being involved in the MALS student association presents opportunities to serve in a leadership capacity with the MALS program and at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Contact Jennifer Furlong at Career Placement Services.
 

MALS Student Life

Where are there common areas to study besides the library?

The  MALS study area in Room 4109 has computers, lockers, a large table, couch, and easy chair.

 

Is there a common area for people from different disciplines to socialize?

There are various lounges and dining facilities at the GC, including the Robert E. Gilleece Student Center, click here for more information.

 

Is there a student leadership group for me to get involved in/ meet other students?

Yes. There is a MALS student organization in addition to student organization for Grad Center students.  Student-run community site for students in the program on the CUNY Academic Commons :http://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/mals-student-group/

 

How do I find out what is going on around the university?

The Grad Center as a whole sponsors numerous events and lectures.  They are advertised prominently on the website and in the elevators.  There are many separate centers, programs, and departments that also host events at the Grad Center.  It is a good idea to explore the Grad Center’s website and even the building to find out about all of them.  The Center for the Humanities hosts many smaller seminars and workshops in addition to large public events.  You can go to their suite of offices on the Sixth Floor to find out about their offerings.  It is a good idea to get on the email lists of programs, etc. that interest you. You may also visit the Graduate Center calendar for campus events: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Public-Programming/Calendar

 

Are there any additional benefits I have access to as a student?… as in discounts around town etc.

Yes.   CUNY students benefit from the Cultural Passport – which gives students access to many cultural institutions in NYC for free or reduced charges – click here for more details. Also visit CUNY Central’s website for more information too.

 

Does MALS have mixers or gatherings?

Yes.  Look on the MALS student commons for announcements.
 

Health and Wellness

Is there a place where I can go for my health and well-being?

There is a Wellness Center in the GC – visit their website for more information.

 

Are there any health insurance options for students?

You may find health insurance options on: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Student-Life/Health-Wellness/Health-Insurance

 

Does the Graduate Center offer fitness classes?

The Graduate Center offers fitness classes facilitated by the Student Affairs office and the Doctoral Students’ Council. Classes include Pilates, Hatha Yoga, and Intermediate Yoga. Classes are free for students. See more at:

http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Student-Life/Health-Wellness/Fitness

 

Other Graduate Center Services

Centers & Institues: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Degrees-Research/Centers-Institutes

Initiatives & Committees: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Degrees-Research/Initiatives-Committees

CUNY Academic Commons & Open CUNY: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Student-Life/Student-Activities/CUNY-Academic-Commons-Open-CUNY

Lounges & Dining: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Student-Life/Student-Activities/Lounges-Dining

Housing Services: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Prospective-Current-Students/Student-Life/Housing

Please visit http://www.gc.cuny.edu/home for all other services provided by the Graduate Center.