Division of Science






Department of Mathematics
The City College of New York
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031

Phone: (212) 650-5346
Fax: (212) 650-6294

Frequently asked questions: miscellaneous and administrative aspects

I'm a graduate student having a hard time in a course. Should I drop the course or tough it out?

There are many concerns here, and this can be a difficult decision. You will want to talk to your instructor and/or a Graduate Advisor. But there are several important pieces of information to know and to factor into your decision:

  • There are no "D" grades for graduate students, so getting a score of 69 or below will result in an F.
  • If you retake a course, both grades (the grade you got the first time and the grade you got the second time) are counted in your GPA. This is different from the way that undergraduate GPAs are computeed, where (subject to some limitations) the new grade may replace the old grade.
  • Given that a 3.0 GPA is needed to remain in good standing and to graduate, getting a low grade can make things difficult for quite some time or result in immediate dismissal from the program. For example, a 4 credit F will require getting 12 credits of A grades (3 other 4 credit courses) to balance out and bring the average GPA to 3.0, or it will require 20 credits of A- grades or 44 credits of B+ grades to return to a 3.0 average. Note that the degree requires only 30 credits.
  • Even B- grade, which gives 2.7 grade points, is a serious problem as that is below the required 3.0 GPA and would need to be balanced out by better performance in other courses.

I think I've met all of the graduation requirements, what do I need to do to make sure that I graduate?

First, check with a Graduate Advisor to ensure you are meeting all of the program requirements. There are three possible dates for awarding degrees each year: February, June, or September. You apply for graduation through CUNYfirst. More information on how to apply and the deadlines are listed on CCNY's Applying for Graduation page, and those deadlines are rock-solid.

What is a good way of seeing what the course schedule will be?

To plan your courses, you can consult the CUNY First classes page, then selecting “CCNY”, the desired semester, ” “Mathematics” “Course number contains a 0” and deselecting “show open courses only" to see the available times and courses.

Help, there's a graduate course I need but the registrar's page shows that there are no available seats! What do I do?

The registrar's course page doesn't account for additional students enrolling with the department's permission, and we are generally able to place math MS degree students in their appropriate needed courses even if that page shows no available seats. Check with a Graduate Advisor if you are unable to enroll yourself due to there being no available seats in a graduate mathematics course.

Help, there's a graduate course I would like to take but the system keeps saying I don't have the prerequisites when I really do! What do I do?

The registrar's system doesn't always recognize prerequisites and may be preventing you from enrolling in a course you have the prerequisites for. Check with a Graduate Advisor if you are unable to enroll yourself for enrollment. Note that under the CUNY First system, the advisors merely give permission for students to enroll in courses; the student must complete the enrollment themselves.

I'm a CCNY math grad student and I'd like to take a course at another CUNY institution, how does that work?

There is the CUNY ePermit process for taking courses at other institutions which can be appropriate in special situations. Check with a Graduate Advisor and note that this can generally only apply to A-level graduate courses, with rare exceptions for the more advanced Graduate Center courses. Even if approved by a Graduate Advisor, this can be a tricky process to navigate. Details on the process are provided on CCNY's E-Permit Instructions and Information page. Note in particular there are several restrictions: * You must be a matriculated student. (In particular, you can not be a non-degree student.) * You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. * You must have already completed your first semester at CCNY. (Though, there has been at least one exception to this.)

For best results,

  1. Contact a Graduate Advisor before starting the epermit process for approval.
  2. Mention that your course has the approval of a math program Graduate Advisor in the comment box of your epermit application.

The course offerings at all CUNY campuses are available on CUNY First.

Note that the Graduate Advisor and the CCNY administration may be unlikely to approve ePermit courses without a compelling justification.

I'm interested in doing an independent study. How does that work?

Independent study courses are possible in situations where there is a compelling reason, such as a research project or studying an important mathematical topic that is not regularly offered via courses. The first step in an independent study is finding a faculty member who is willing to supervise it. Once that is set, you need to complete the independent study form and email it to the graduate advisor. This needs to be completed and submitted well before the term starts. Note that though the administrative course numbers for independent study courses typically start with "B" they are not considered B-level courses for the purpose of the degree requirements.

I am international student needing a visa. Whom should I contact?

Graduate admissions has expertise in this area, and the CCNY International Students and Scholars Office with offices in NAC 1107 is an excellent resource for international students.

How many credits do I need to be considered a "full-time" student?

This depends upon the purpose. For some visa considerations, full-time is considered to be 9 or more credits. For some financial aid and scholarship purposes, full-time is often considered to be 12 or more credits. Check with the appropriate office to determine what is relevant for your purpose.

My work schedule is too heavy for me to take any courses next semester. What should I do?

Historically, the registrar has been very flexible about students in good standing not enrolling for courses for one semester and then returning later. That process is now more formalized with a required "Maintenance of Matriculation" process described here and then later a Re-Entry Application, available here which must be submitted three months before returning to take courses at CCNY. Contact a graduate advisor for assistance if you have difficulties with this process.

I wasn't able to take courses last semester or last year but I am interested in returning to take courses. What should I do?

For students who were matriculated but haven't taken courses in a semester, there is a required Re-Entry Application, available here which must be submitted several weeks before the first day of classes. Deadlines are listed under the heading "Non-Degree/ Re-Admit" on CCNY's Graduate Programs and Deadlines Page. Contact a graduate advisor for assistance if you have difficulties with this process.

I'd like to get a small gift as a token of appreciation for my instructor or graduate advisor as that is a typical thing to do in my country. May I do that?

No, there are strict guidelines for gifts and CUNY has established a zero tolerance policy regarding gifts of any value from students to faculty. Faculty may be disciplined for accepting gifts, so do not put faculty in a position where they are likely to face disciplinary action.

I was conditionally admitted. Can I start taking graduate courses right away or do I need to wait?

Yes, possibly. There may be graduate courses offered which have the courses you may need to take (typically 32300 and 32404) as prerequisites which would not be good to take, but there may also be some graduate courses which do not require them or where it may be possible to take 32404 at the same time, as a co-requisite.

I was conditionally admitted. How long do I have to satisfy the conditions of my admission?

You have one year to satisfy the conditions of your matriculation, so do not postpone taking the required courses and doing well in them.

What happened to the undergraduate courses math 32400 and 32500 and 31800? I saw some reference to them but I don't see them listed as courses now.

The old 3 credit Math 32400 (Advanced Calculus II) and Math 32500 (Advanced Calculus III) courses have been supplanted with a combined 4 credit course Math 32404. That course had been tentatively numbered Math 31800 (Multivariable Advanced Calculus) but from Fall 2009 onward it has its more appropriate number Math 32404 (Advanced Calculus II.)

I have more specific questions, when can I see a Graduate Advisor?

Check the Administrators Page for the Graduate Advisor office hours during registration and during the semester. No appointment is needed for visits during office hours, and the graduate advisors are happy to schedule appointments at other times if those hours don't work well. Email is a good method of contacting the graduate advisors as well as for making appointments.

I'm a graduate student and I'm not getting email notifications from the Graduate Advisor.

We are currently sending emails to the address student's list as preferred email in CUNYFirst. If you would like them sent elsewhere, please update this address. Send end mail to Graduate Advisor if you are having issues.

Return to the graduate program page