NEW STUDENTS – FALL 2021
Welcome to The Graduate Center!
The Fall 2021 New Student Orientation will be taking place online.
Students should check with their academic programs for information on program-specific orientations. International students are also required to complete a MANDATORY orientation session and will receive an email with instructions on how to register for one of the sessions. For more information, please contact the Office of International Students at email@example.com.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although getting your Ph.D. might seem like enough work (for a lifetime…), the GC offers several unique opportunities for additional bells and whistles to add to that fancy degree, like Doctoral Certificates! These certificates allow you to engage in interdisciplinary research in areas that are related, but outside, your home discipline. These doctoral certificates are approved by the state and give you the experience to work and teach in interdisciplinary fields for which there is no Ph.D. degree at the Graduate Center.
You can earn a doctoral certificate in the following areas:
Each of these programs consists of about five classes, or 15 credits: two or three core courses and two electives from anywhere at the GC (often these come from your home discipline, but don’t have to). Depending on the courses taken and the certificate program, you might even be able to use a cross-listed course twice for two different–yet applicable–certificates! This means that your New American Cinema class might count for both the Film Studies elective AND the American Studies elective! Use the links above to contact the Certificate Program with any questions or for more information.
So why bother? The certificates give you a theoretical and practical foundation through core courses in an interdisciplinary field of interest. In addition, because they are recognized by both the GC and the state, they appear on your transcript, which may come in handy when you’re on the market [for a *fingers crossed* tenure-track job]. Some of these interdisciplinary subject areas are also ones that are difficult to find in doctoral programs (although not impossible), so the doctoral certificate is an excellent way to demonstrate your interest in multiple areas at a doctoral level while earning your Ph.D. in one of the 30+ programs available at the GC. Consider it an enhanced non-related minor in a different discipline.
The upshot: If you have the time and desire, the certificate programs are a great way to broaden your knowledge and credentials to cover a wider range of interesting, interdisciplinary work. You’ll meet people from many different programs at the GC in your core classes, and learn new perspectives and methodologies.
Ask me; I’m earning five certificates, both for my own edification and research, as well as for my future job prospects. It does increase time-to-degree: I’m taking an extra year of coursework to finish everything (plus I came in without a M.A., so I am not as pressed for time as some of my colleagues who entered with one). That said, if you can spare the extra couple of classes, the certificate programs are a wonderful way to interact with colleagues from many different fields and work on complex problems with new, different, and exciting tools.
Gwendolyn Shaw is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Art History Program at the Graduate Center.
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.