Show The Graduate Center Menu

Fall 2018 Entering Students

Welcome new MALS students!

Please visit the following page with important information for newly admitted students. 


Key Dates

August 6 - August 16 
Mandatory Group Advising Sessions 

Monday, August 20
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

August 20, 21, 22
ONE STOP Services for new Graduate Center Students (9AM - 4PM on the C Level, closed for lunch 12:30-1:30PM)

  • Receive your Graduate Center ID card
  • Enroll in health insurance
  • Pay or ask questions about your Bursar’s bill
  • Meet with staff to discuss your fellowship package/financial aid awards
  • Register for courses
  • Activate your library account
  • Set-up your GC email account

Thursday, August 23
GC-wide Orientation for New Students
Master's Program Orientation

Monday, August 27
Classes begin

Sunday, September 2
Last day to register for classes

Sunday, September 16
Last day to drop classes without a W appearing on the student transcript

​Friday, November 9
Last day to drop a class with an unevaluated withdrawal (a grade of "W")

New Student Advising

The program will be setting up dates for mandatory group advising sessions for new students. You must attend a session to lift a hold on your record to be able to register for classes.
Please stay tuned for more information on this process in early August - an email will be sent with specific dates to sign up.

Orientation for New Students

CUNY Graduate Center New Student Orientation - August 23 10:00 AM  - 4:00 PM
CUNY Graduate Center Master's Program Orientation - August 23 5:00 - 8:00 PM at the Dining Commons (8th Floor)


Provided that you have completed all registration requirements and have attended an advising session to lift your advising hold, you should be able to register for classes through CUNYFirst on August 20 beginning at 9:30 am. 

All students are required to be in status each term. This means that students must either be registered or be on an approved Leave of Absence.

Helpful Registration Links:

Class Permissions 

If you find that a course offered by another department is closed or has restrictions, you can get in touch with the instructor for permission to enroll. Once you’ve got the instructor’s permission, you should arrange for a “registration override” by emailing the Assistant Program Officer of the department offering the course. Here’s a link to the doctoral programs.

Registering for Courses offered by the English and Comparative Literature Departments

Please note that the departments of English and Comparative Literature offer a 2-credit Pass/Fail option for all of their courses. This option is only available to students enrolled in the corresponding Ph.D. programs; MALS students should choose the 4-credit option when registering for English or Comparative Literature courses. When registering for variable credit courses, the registration will be processed automatically for the lowest credit value available. You may change this credit value by clicking on the credit number in the registration screen. 

Choosing a Track

All students are required to designate a chosen track in the MALS program -- though the choice can be amended at a later date if needed. Please designate your chosen track in the MALS program when you sign up for an advising session. Please take care of this as soon as possible. For more information about each track and its requirements, please see our Courses page

The Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies Course

Students are expected to take the "Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies" class during their first semester in the program – though students entering with a Master’s degree are exempted from this requirement. We encourage students to take this class during their first semester in the program. However, due to a larger-than-expected incoming class, we will not be able to accommodate all students who need the course in the Fall. If you cannot enroll in the class, do not worry -- additional sections will be offered during the Spring semester. If you have a master’s degree, you are exempted from the introductory course requirement. You can find our full list of courses here

MALS Core Courses

Students are encouraged to take the first core course for their track during their first semester in the program. If you do not take the core courses when they are offered, you may miss them in case they are not offered next year, and this may delay the completion of your degree down the line. In some cases, MALS core courses will be cross-listed with other programs. Students who would like to have these courses satisfy the core course requirement for their chosen track must register for the MALS course number. Core courses in the following tracks will not be offered in Fall 2018: Archaeology of the Classical, Late Antique, and Islamic Worlds; Fashion Studies; Science and Technology Studies; Sustainability Science and Education.

Transfer Credit

The Liberal Studies Program will accept a maximum of 12 credits earned in another graduate program toward the 30 credits required for the M.A. Please send the following form to the Assistant Program Officer, Kathy Koutsis ( Your request will be reviewed by the Executive Officer of the program. The following restrictions apply to these transfer credits:

  • The course(s) must have been completed with a grade of B or higher;
  • The course(s) must be comparable to courses offered by the Graduate Center (courses in creative or professional writing are not acceptable for transfer credit).

General Information About the Program

Please read about our general program requirements: Students start off by taking MALS 70000, “Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies,” and the first of two core courses in a single track. The two core courses should be taken during the student's first year in the program if both courses are offered. 
In addition, students select 18 credits of their choice from courses offered by the doctoral and interdisciplinary programs at the CUNY Graduate Center.
The Registrar’s website includes links to the academic calendar, CUNYFirst course schedule, and downloadable forms.
The Graduate Center will get in touch with information about network/email accounts, library accounts, photo IDs, etc.

Federal Aid Information
A few key points: Students must be registered for at least 6 credits to receive federal aid (Perkins, work study, Stafford and Graduate PLUS).  The amount of federal aid a student is eligible for is based on the number of credits the student registers for, a standardized cost of living amount, and the student’s financial need.  If a student drops from 9 to 6 credits, their aid eligibility decreases by the cost of those three credits.   If a student drops from 6 to 3 credits, all of their federal aid would be cancelled.
If a student completely withdraws from all classes prior to the 60% point of the the policy on our website comes into effect.  The 60% point is also when students who completely withdraw are entitled to keep their loans.  Any student who completely withdraws from their classes will give up any remaining work study eligibility.
For detailed information, visit  

MALS Student Association 

All MALS students are automatically members of the Student Association, which provides funding for student events and communicates student concerns and needs to the Program's Executive Officer and Deputy Executive Officer. The MALS SA announces our events and meetings in the MALS Student Group of the CUNY Academic Commons; be sure to look out for information on our Fall events, along with other ways to get involved in planning events, screenings, discussions, workshops, etc. Being active in the SA ensures that you have a say in your experience of the program, and it can provide a sense of community even as we disperse into our different course tracks and degree paths. 

MALS Student Group

This is a MALS student-only group based on the Academic Commons.  It is our hope that we can use this forum to build a stronger MALS student community. With this space, we would be better able to support one another, share our ideas and experiences, post possible courses of interest, and raise any questions or concerns we might have. 

  •  In order to join the group you will first need a valid GC e-mail account. You will be assigned a GC e-mail account 3-5 days after you register for courses. Use that e-mail to create an account on the CUNY Academic Commons.
  •  Once you're registered, visit the MALS Student Group and join the group.


Need to Contact Us?

The MALS Office is located on the 4th Floor of the Graduate Center. Queries about the MALS program may be addressed to the following:

M.A. Program in Liberal Studies
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4108

New York, NY 10016–4309

Tel: 212-817-8480


Acting Executive Officer
Dr. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

Deputy Executive Officer
Dr. Karen Miller

Assistant Program Officer
Katherine Koutsis