Frequently Asked Questions

Applying to the program

Please see Admissions and Aid for information on admission requirements and the application process.

Yes. We encourage international students to apply. Learn more about applying to the Graduate Center as an International Student.

Yes. The program welcomes students who have recently completed their Bachelor’s degree as well as students who are coming from a professional background.

Your two recommendations letters may be written by anyone in a professional supervising position who can speak to your work, though recommendations from faculty who have seen you perform in the classroom are preferred. See Admissions and Aid for further information.

The Data Analysis and Visualization Program will accept a maximum of 12 credits earned in another graduate program toward the 30 credits required for the M.S. Please send the following form to datavis@gc.cuny.edu and include the semester, course title, grade, brief description, and a CUNY GC course that you deem equivalent. 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);
  • The course(s) must not have been credited towards a prior graduate degree. If you have a prior graduate degree, you can transfer only credits that you earned in excess of the credits required for that degree.

Yes. Please contact the Program Director for more information.

Yes. Please contact the MALS Executive Officer for more information.

It depends. Some certificate programs, such as the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Certificate, welcome students into classes and will provide a letter saying that a master's student has completed certificate requirements. However, most certificate programs are intended for doctoral students and cannot grant official certificates to Master's students.

Yes, students can enroll for one or more courses per semester. Please review current Tuition and Fees for the cost-per-credit to enroll.

Questions regarding the Admissions process should be directed to the Admissions Office (admissions@gc.cuny.edu).

Questions regarding the M.S. Program may be directed to the Director.

Tuition and Aid

See current Tuition and Fees for the cost to attend, which is dependent on residency status and the number of credits taken per semester.

While The Graduate Center does not currently offer full-tuition scholarships or additional stipends for living expenses, there are funding opportunities available to master’s students that can help cover the cost of attendance. Visit the Office of Fellowships and Financial Aid for more information.

GC librarians have put together a great resource on funding that lists all of the major databases.

Some of these may be subscription databases accessible only to registered 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).

You can also check the Graduate Center's webpage on outside funding sources.

Courses and Requirements

Yes, the program will aim to offer at least one course each summer. Elective courses may be taken from other programs, such as MALS. View our current course schedules for more information.

Currently all of our courses are offered in an online or hybrid model. View our current course schedules for more information.

Please note that we do not guarantee the availability of online courses in the future.

Some courses are offered on weeknights from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. View our current course schedules for more information.

There are no weekend classes.

The typical class size is about 12-15 students.

Students who take two classes per semester (fall and spring) can expect to complete the 30-credit degree in two and a half years.

A capstone advisor is usually one of your professors. Capstone advisors must be members of the Graduate Center faculty. They do not need to be faculty members within the Data Analysis and Visualization program. Your capstone advisor should have some knowledge about the subject of your project. Given that the capstone is interdisciplinary and original, it is unlikely that any single professor will have an expertise in everything about your project. 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 capstone advisor is not the only professor to whom you can turn for help or advice on your capstone project.

Careers and Ongoing Studies

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, and career-service placement specialists all have something to offer to make you a strong Ph.D. applicant. All of these people can help a Ph.D. applicant with essential information about institutions, faculty, grants, and the admissions process. A successful Ph.D. applicant 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.

Yes. The MS Program in Data Analysis and Visualization is a field of study on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) STEM Designated Degree Program List, and meets one of the eligibility criteria required for F-1 status international students to apply to the USCIS for a STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension.

Learn more about OPT options for international students [add link]

Graduates can find positions in start-up companies, the non-profit sector, the cultural-heritage sector, and social media marketing companies.

Yes. You may find sources specifically designed for Master’s students in interviewing, networking, job searching, resume building, and applying for a Ph.D. through the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development.

Here are some of the many websites:

New York Foundation for the Arts classifieds;

Idealist.org lists jobs in the non-profit sector;

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

For help in your job search, visit the webpage of the Office of Career Planning or make an appointment to see Dr. Jennifer Furlong, the director of the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development at the Graduate Center. Dr. Furlong also organizes panels and events for students searching for jobs.

Student Life

Visit the GC Wellness Center for information on Student Health Insurance.

Yes, the GC Wellness Center provides health support services and mental health services and counseling.

There are various lounges and dining facilities at the GC, including the Robert E. Gilleece Student Center. Learn more about resources and facilities for students.

The Graduate Center 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 GC. It is a good idea to explore the GC 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 and centers that interest you. You may also visit the Graduate Center calendar for campus events.

CUNY students benefit from the Cultural Passport that gives students access to many cultural institutions in NYC for free or at a discount. Also visit CUNY Central’s website for more information.

Student Affairs also maintains the Student Activities & Discounts webpage on The Graduate Center website. The webpage offers free and discounted ticket information for exhibits, museums, and shows across the 5 boroughs; student discounts on products and services; and up-to-date information on events taking place on all CUNY campuses including The Graduate Center.