Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 20th Jul, 2016

New Student Orientation and Convocation



10:15 am – 4:15 pm







10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Proshansky Auditorium Lobby, Concourse Level



11:00 a.m., Proshansky Auditorium, Concourse Level

Presentations by Graduate Center President Chase F. Robinson, Distinguished Professor Cathy Davidson, and others.



12:00 p.m., Proshansky Auditorium Lobby, Concourse Level


Student Life and Presentation on Graduate Center Library Resources and Graduate Center Digital Initiatives

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Proshansky Auditorium, Concourse Level


Housing Workshop

2:00 p.m., C198, Concourse Level


How to Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment: What you need to know

2:00 p.m., C201, Concourse Level


Strategizing for Your Professional Success Throughout Your Academic Program 

-Office of Career Planning and Professional Development 

2:00 to 2:30 p.m., C202, Concourse Level


Launching Your Teaching Career with the Teaching and Learning Center

2:30 to 3:00 p.m., C202, Concourse Level


Managing the Transition:  Finding Your Way Into and Out of Doctoral Study

Wellness Center/ Student Counseling Services

2:30 to 3:15 p.m., C204, Concourse Level


Wellness Center/ Student Health Services

3:15 to 4:15 p.m., C204, Concourse Level




International Students: Immigration Information, Living in New York, and Understanding the Graduate Center’s Academic System

(Duplicate sessions: attend only one)


Tuesday, August 16 1 to 4 p.m., Room 9207


Tuesday, August 23 1 to 4 p.m., Room 9207


Students must check in with the Office of International Students as soon as they arrive in New York, and should plan to attend one session listed above.


Immunization Clinic

Wellness Center, Suite 6422

Wednesday, August 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Posted by: Angela Dunne | 20th Jul, 2016

Best Study Spots Around the GC

As a student of the Graduate Center, you will have to figure out how to use the city as your campus. Discovering a great study spot is the most challenging in this regard. In this post, I will give you a rundown of some of the best study spot options broken down into the following four categories: Within the GC, outdoor public spaces, indoor public spaces, and study-friendly cafes.
Within the GC:
Sometimes when you’re in the GC it’s hard to leave, or you’re pressed for time, or the sky is precipitating. In that case, there are some options for studying inside the building. We have the lovely Mina Rees Library, with several types of accommodations for your studying needs. There are computer stations, cubicles, tables and comfy chairs. You are guaranteed to find a comfortable and quiet space to study in the library. Also, your department’s lounge is there for your use, however, most of them are used for socializing with fellow grad students and are most definitely procrastination traps. If you don’t mind some noise, the Dining Commons on the 8th floor is available to use. There is ample seating space, and unlike most places in the GC, it has natural sunlight, and a lot of it. If you are looking for somewhere more quiet and maybe want to meet with a study buddy, there is also the seating area in the Foundation Lounge (room 1102) that can be accessed through 365 Express right off the lobby on the first floor.
Outdoor Public Spaces:
There are small windows of time during the academic year when the weather makes it comfortable enough to study outside. However, if the weather is good, you should take the opportunity to experience it. The closest outdoor space is Bryant Park on 41st street behind the New York Public Library. It is a beautiful space with a lot of seating. The second closest is Madison Square Park on 26th Street, right off Fifth Avenue.
Indoor Public Spaces:
You are welcome to study inside any of the branches of the New York Public Library. I encourage you to go and explore the main branch and discover your favorite spot within that beautiful NYC landmark. As for other indoor public spaces, the NYC Gov. actually created a zoning initiative program in 1961 that allotted additional building area to private developers in exchange for indoor public spaces. Luckily for us, there are a few of them around midtown. The most beautiful of these is maintained by The Ford Foundation and is located at 320 E 43rd St, although, unlike some of the others, this one doesn’t have many seating options.
Here is a link for more information:
Study-Friendly Cafés:
As for where to find the best coffee, I suggest you take a look at Gerry Martini’s post about caffeine. It is important to note that many of the places with the best coffee have very little space and would be better for grabbing your caffeine and heading to one of the indoor/outdoor public spaces to do your studying. Therefore my recommendations are more focused on whether or not a café is suitable as a study spot.
Here is a list of study-friendly cafés, roughly in the order of distance from the GC:
Pret a Manger– 389 Fifth Ave (on 36th street)
Panera Bread– 330 Fifth Ave (b/t 32nd and 33rd)
Gregory’s Coffee– 48 E 33rd St (b/t Park and Madison)
Caffebene– 39W 32nd St (off Fifth Ave)
Grace Street – 17 W 32nd St (b/t Fifth & Broadway)
Come Buy (Bubble Tea) – 251 Fifth Ave (b/t 28 &29th)
Argo Tea– 949 Broadway (at 23rd St)

Please comment below if you discover more study spot options around the GC!

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 14th Jul, 2016

Ten Articles All Doctoral Students Should Read

Posted by: Gerry Martini | 7th Jul, 2016

Loving the Libraries!

As a grad student, you will not only conduct research, but you will frantically search for your sources, whether those sources are books on 19th century Talmudic commentaries, articles on Puerto Rican feminist punk music, or photographs of Minoan wall paintings. The good news is that you can find everything in New York. The bad news is that you won’t necessarily find it as quickly as you want.

If you’ve already visited the Graduate Center, you probably noticed that Mina Rees Library seems pretty small for a university library. It is. However, through the Mina Rees Library you have access to all of the materials at all CUNY libraries and a large number of libraries across the United States. Through CLICS, you can request books from all other CUNY libraries and have them delivered to you at the GC. And if that isn’t enough, you can request articles, chapters, and books from other university libraries through the Interlibrary Loan program.

Another important research tool is the New York Public Library. The NYPL includes the Stephan A. Schwarzman research center (conveniently only eight blocks from the GC), the Science, Industry and Business Library (conveniently right behind the GC), and all of the local branches (convenience levels vary). To access the NYPL, you’ll need an NYPL card. If you live in New York, all you’ll need to do is present proof of residency (bank statement, photo identification, etc.). If you have the misfortune to live outside of New York, you’ll still be able to get a card through your affiliation with CUNY.

There are also lots of private libraries in New York, which thankfully have their collections linked to WorldCat. These include museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, as well as organizations such as the American Numismatic Society. Access varies, but your search might be well rewarded if you look off the beaten track.

Posted by: Bethany D. Holmstrom | 25th Jun, 2016

Seeing theatre in NYC on a budget…

Here’s some advice on seeing affordable theatre in New York: find out a show’s rush/discount policies before going, and always carry your student ID when going to the box office.

Student rush tickets demand both some flexibility (because there are no guarantees) and pre-planning. Many Broadway and off-Broadway shows will sell student rush tickets for $20-40 on the day of performance, typically limited to 1 or 2 tickets per student id. Be sure to carefully review the policies before you go: some box offices demand cash only, others let you use a debit/credit card. Rush tickets might be available when the box office opens in the morning, or might not be available until a few hours before the show ( see the Broadway theatre policies here:, and the off-Broadway offerings, here: Typically you have better luck scoring rush tickets on week-night shows (particularly for Broadway theatre) during the school year.

A few theatres provide discounted tickets throughout the season: Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Signature Theatre have $25 tickets for many shows with limited availability, so you are encouraged to book early. Other theatres ask that you join a mailing list/club online for student ticket prices, like Roundabout’s HipTix ( Unfortunately, many of the online/list programs have age restrictions (usually 30 or 35). Keep your eye on the Village Voice, Time Out, and discount mailing programs for upcoming shows and ticket deals.

Even the “hottest tickets” on Broadway, like The Book of Mormon, can be seen on a student budget (with a fair amount of luck, since Book of Mormon relies on a lottery system). You are in the best city for theatre in the entire country, and even on your paltry student budget that makes all your non-PhD-pursuing friends laugh (and then, if they are really good friends, buy you a pity drink—these good friends are the same ones that greatly appreciate it when you offer them the second discounted rush ticket you got, by the way), you can see a lot of amazing performances.

Posted by: Gwen Shaw | 24th Jun, 2016

Should You Audit Courses?

What is auditing? Why bother taking a course not for credit? What are the benefits? Not every department allows you to audit courses, but there are many that do. According to the GC Student Handbook:

Matriculated students may audit courses in which they have an interest so that they can increase their knowledge and proficiency. Students must formally register to audit courses in the same manner as for any other course…. “Unofficial” auditing is not permitted. Auditor status
cannot be changed to credit status after the change-of-program period has ended. Similarly, credit status cannot be changed to auditor status after the same period. The grade notation “AUD,” which carries no earned credit, cannot be changed to any other credit-bearing
I didn’t even consider auditing courses until I was in my second year at the GC. To be honest, I didn’t even know exactly what it entailed. But due to exam requirements in my program, I couldn’t register for as many credits as I had wanted to. The solution? Take one course for credit (it was all I could register for) and audit the rest!
Since then I’ve audited several courses. I wish someone had told me about it sooner. For me, auditing was a way for me to get experience with subject matter that had always seemed important but peripheral to my course of study. In addition, it allowed me to take courses with professors with whom I might want to work–without the pressure and anxiety of performing well in a subject matter that is not my strong suit. I was able to experience methods that I had always been resistant to without having to wrangle with writing a paper using them or working in a discipline outside my own.
Besides, who doesn’t want increased “knowledge and proficiency?” Sounds awesome. AND:
For doctoral Second- and Third-Level students, who are charged a flat tuition rate, there is no additional charge for auditing courses. [Woo hoo!]
BUT the GC Student Handbook continues:
For doctoral Second- and Third-Level students, who are charged a flat tuition rate, there is no additional charge for auditing courses. For doctoral First-Level students and  master’s students, audited courses will be included in the calculation of total credits to determine full- or part-time status. Students registered for 7 or more credits (whether for credit or as an audit) will be charged full-time tuition, whereas students registered for 6 or fewer total credits will be charged per credit. Thus, a student registered for both a 3-credit course for credit and a 3-credit course as an audit will be charged for 6 credits at the per-credit rate;
and a student registered for both a 3-credit course for  credit and a 4-credit course as an audit will be charged full-time tuition.

IMPORTANT! So, if you are not full-time or paying out-of-state tuition, auditing a course may not be in your best interest. The GC Student Handbook notes that

For billing purposes, courses taken by Level I students on an audit basis will be treated the same as courses taken for credit and will be included in the assessment of tuition charges.

Thinking about auditing a course? Talk to your department to see if that’s an option. Not sure about whether it’s a good idea for you? Contact the GC Registrar at 212-817-7500 or

Gwendolyn Shaw is a fourth-year doctoral student in Art History at the Graduate Center.

Posted by: Elaine Montilla | 20th Jun, 2016

Information Technology – New User Orientation

As a new member of the Graduate Center community, the Information Technology Department would like to introduce you to the services, products and information available.

You may email us at  if you have any questions, or need assistance.


Information Technology

Posted by: Gerry Martini | 14th Jun, 2016

New Students Day August 23rd

Please mark your calendars:


New Students Day

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

9am to 4pm

The Graduate Center, CUNY

365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street

New York, NY



Dining Commons

Specially priced student meals are available (with CUNY I.D.) in the Dining Commons Cafeteria, 8th Floor, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the semester and, on a limited basis, during the week preceding the start of classes.

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 13th Jun, 2016

Registration Information

Please be advised that new student registration at the Graduate Center will not begin until August 17th.   Registration materials will be sent out in early August and they will come to you by email.  Please make sure that you update us if you make any changes to your email address between now and then.  Send those updates to prior to registering.  After you have registered, any updates to your contact info should be directed to

Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 9th Jun, 2016

NY State Residency

If you are a US Citizen living in NY for the last year, but not at one continuous address since August 28th, 2015, then you need to document your residency with the registrar’s office.  There is a form to fill out that can be found here.

If you are a US citizen but not a NY resident for the past year, you may also want to look at the form to make sure that keep the necessary documents starting on August 27th of 2016 in order to qualify for NY State residency in your second year of study.

Questions about residency should be directed to the Registrar’s Office by email at

We look forward to seeing you in the Fall!

Older Posts »


Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar