Admissions and Aid

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Tuition and Fees

Master’s students at the Graduate Center who are residents of New York State and registered for a minimum of 12 credits per semester will pay a flat fee for tuition. Out-of-state residents and students taking less than 12 credits will be charged on a per-credit basis.

See current master’s tuition rates >>

Fellowships and Financial Aid

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, including scholarships, federal and private loans, and federal work-study.

Explore financial aid for master’s students >>

Frequently Asked Questions

You will acquire important analytical tools, including qualitative and quantitative methods, for studying immigrant communities; new cultural, racial, and gender identities; and interactions between immigrants and host societies. Students with a quantitative bent can develop expertise in demographic and statistical analyses. Those more qualitatively oriented can immerse themselves in immigrant communities and engage in ethnographic, historical, and cultural studies. You will also learn about the politics and policies of immigration as well as immigrant integration, often in comparative perspective. You will have freedom to define your own research agenda, in consultation with your faculty advisor, and to frame and develop your own master’s thesis or capstone project.

Students may choose to take courses addressing different areas of international migration. They may also design their own area of specialization, in consultation with their faculty advisor. Possible areas of specialization include Comparative Immigration, Global Immigrant Cities, Assimilation and Integration, and Immigration Politics and Policies. By focusing their coursework, students can acquire notable expertise within one important area of international migration; doing so will also allow students to be better prepared for Ph.D. programs and careers in the field.

The program will prepare you for work in a wide range of social service agencies, human rights groups, and research or advocacy organizations. It will also enhance your qualifications for admission into doctoral programs in a range of social science fields. You will study with experts in migration studies; they will discuss your goals with you and help you frame your experience to achieve them.

Students come to the study of international migration from many different backgrounds. Some have practitioner backgrounds in government or advocacy organizations or nonprofits focused on helping immigrants and refugees. Others have academic backgrounds in a wide range of disciplines, including in the social sciences (such as sociology, political science, international relations, public policy, anthropology, or urban studies) or humanities (such as cultural studies, theater and film, history, or literature). All in all, the International Migration Studies program is open to students who want to understand many aspects of international migration, including the social, cultural, economic, and civic and political dynamics of immigrants’ interactions with their host societies.

You apply online, and applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for admission:

  1. Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent abroad, with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 (B average) or higher;
  2. Submit transcripts of all college and graduate work;
  3. Submit two letters of recommendation from people who can speak to your strengths and preparedness for graduate study (e.g. professors/academics, supervisors, colleagues).
  4. Submit a personal statement of up to 1,000 words, explaining why you want to obtain this degree and how your interests and academic/professional background are relevant to the degree; 
  5. Submit a sample or samples of writing (in English) of no more than 20 pages in total (e.g. term paper, essay, published academic or journalistic article, report, op-eds, blog posts).
  6. Submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores for students who have not earned a degree in an English-speaking country.

The best way is to come to the program’s Open House, which will be held in the Sociology program lounge (Room 6112 at the Graduate Center at 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street, in New York City) on March 6, at 5:30pm. You are also warmly invited to attend an immigration talk right before the Open House in the same location. The Open House will allow you to informally meet other interested applicants, faculty members, staff, and current doctoral students with interests in migration studies.

The M.A. program is a 30-credit program, and how quickly students complete it depends on their chosen course load. For example, full-time students taking 9 credits (3 courses) or more per semester can finish in a year and a half to two years; part-time students taking 6 credits (2 courses) per semester will finish in two and half years.

Information on Graduate Center tuition and fees can be found here.

All courses are offered at the Graduate Center as face-to-face courses, which usually meet once a week.

You are likely to find many other students, in the International Migration Studies program and in related master’s and doctoral programs, who share your interests. Students at the Graduate Center participate in many student groups and advocacy organizations. You will be invited to a regular speakers’ series on immigration, which draws faculty and students from varied Graduate Center academic programs and other universities in the area.