What is the purpose and philosophy of the IRP?

The IRP is a unique educational program based on the concept of peer learning. In essence, members of the IRP develop study groups that are led by the students themselves.

What are the qualifications for membership?

Membership in the IRP is open to all retired or semiretired individuals, regardless of age, education, or career background. The IRP seeks candidates who have the time and energy to commit to serious study, who enjoy learning and actively contributing to class discussions, and who will become integral members of the IRP community by coordinating study groups, joining one of the many committees, or participating in some other significant way.

Is there an age requirement for membership?

There is no age requirement to join the IRP. Any retired or semiretired individual is invited to apply for membership. Current members range in age from the early 50s to the 90s. The average IRP member is 71 years old.

How do I apply?

Applications are reviewed in the preceding spring and summer for fall enrollment and in the preceding fall for spring enrollment. Attendance at a 90-minute information session and an interview are required prior to admission. Learn more on the Join Us page.

Is membership limited to NYC residents?

No, members come from all over the New York metropolitan area. In order to foster the sense of collegiality that is central to the program, regular attendance is important. Members should be able to travel to class in normal weather conditions.

Do I need to have a degree to be a member?

Although more than 90 percent of our members have degrees and almost half have advanced degrees, membership is open to people of all educational backgrounds. Aligned with the public education mission of CUNY, The IRP actively seeks applications from individuals of underrepresented groups and people of color, and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or physical limitation.

Can I get a degree through IRP?

The IRP is a noncredit, nondegree program. Members participate in study groups for the pure pleasure of learning.

How many courses may I take per semester?

Students take a minimum of two or a maximum of three study groups per semester. If a student leads a study group, he or she may take a total of four study groups (including the one he or she is leading) that semester.

If accepted, do I have to lead a study group?

You do not have to agree to lead a study group to be accepted into the program. However, after several semesters of class participation, many members find they are ready to assume the responsibility of leading a study group. Leaders choose study group topics based on their interests and expertise. Most study group leaders find the experience gratifying because they have a chance to hone their expertise while sharing their knowledge with others.

Once accepted, do I have to attend every semester?

Students may take a leave of absence for up to two consecutive semesters. Members on leave must pay a nominal fee each semester to remain on the mailing list. After an absence of more than two semesters, members must reapply for admission.

What is the tuition?

Tuition is currently $1,135 for the 2020-2021 academic year or $715 for a single semester and includes full participation in the IRP program and many additional benefits.

The IER offers a limited number of needs-based scholarships In order tohelp cover Graduate Center fees.

Refund Policy

All refund requests must be made in writing or by e-mail (not by telephone or through the instructor). Refunds are computed from the date that written notice is received, and only made by institutional check to or to the credit card of the payor of record. There are no cash refunds. Non-instructional fees, such as administrative costs charged by third party ticket platforms, are non-refundable.

  • 100% tuition refund, minus any non-instructional fees, will be issued if the notice of withdrawal is received at least two business days before the first class session.
  • 50% tuition refund, minus any non-instructional fees, will be issued if the notice of withdrawal is received at least one business day before the second class session. 
  • After the second class session, no refunds or "credits" will be granted. 

Please see the Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation refund policy for more information.

How does the IRP differ from other traditional adult continuing education programs?

All members of the IRP community share responsibility for the academic program. In addition, the IRP offers members a host of social and non-academic activities.

More questions?

Browse our website, email engagement@gc.cuny.edu, or call 212.817.AISI.