Registration and Matriculation

Definition of Registration, Matriculation, and Full-time Status

This section is meant to assist students in understanding the difference between “being registered” and “being matriculated,” as those terms are commonly used. The distinction is an important one because many aspects of your student life are affected (e.g., matriculant status affects financial aid, housing, and in some cases, insurance coverage). A student is considered registered when the student has enrolled in classes, and when the student has fulfilled financial obligations to the satisfaction of the Bursar (in most cases, this involves full payment of tuition).

Matriculation means the student:

  • has satisfactorily met all Admissions Office requirements for acceptance into a degree or certificate program (that usually includes, but is not limited to, evidence of secondary school graduation and final official transcripts of all college work); and,
  • enrolled in course work leading to a degree (for an exception, see Leave of Absence section).

Students are not matriculated until they have met all requirements for admission. In some cases, students are admitted to the School (with the expectation on the part of the Admissions Office that requirements will be met), register, and are not yet matriculated. Students must establish matriculant status immediately upon entering school if accepted as a degree or certificate student.

One is considered a full-time student if registered for 12 or more credits in a semester. Note: At NYU, “units”, “points” and “credits” are interchangeable terms.

Maintenance of Matriculation and Equivalency

Maintenance of Matriculation

Graduate students who have completed all course work, but have yet to complete final thesis requirements, must maintain matriculation each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements are fulfilled. To maintain matriculation, students complete a registration form in their department using the appropriate course number. In addition to the maintenance of matriculation fee, students are charged a registration and services fee by the University. Student health insurance fees are charged for those who opt to enroll in one of the available plans.

Special note on Graduate Film and Interactive Telecommunications: Because students are eligible to use equipment while maintaining matriculation, students are assessed mandatory lab and equipment insurance fees in addition to those listed above.


Certification of full-time or half-time equivalency status can be important for one or more of the following reasons: a) eligibility for financial aid; b) renewal or fulfillment of the terms of a student visa; c) deferral of student loan repayments; d) eligibility for certain health insurance plans.

  • Full-time equivalency: a student may be judged by their department as full-time equivalent if they are engaged in at least forty hours of work on the thesis project each week of the semester.
  • Half-time equivalency: a student may be judged by their department as half-time equivalent if they are engaged in at least twenty hours of work on the thesis project each week of the semester.
  • Equivalency while registered for course work: a student may be judged as full-time or half-time equivalent through a combination of registered course work (six credits is the equivalent of twenty hours per week) and work on the thesis project.

Time limits on equivalency: a student maintaining matriculation may be certified as full-time equivalent for a maximum of two consecutive semesters. A student may be certified as half-time equivalent for a maximum of four consecutive semesters.

Special Note on Maintenance of Matriculation in General:

Maintenance of matriculation is mandatory for any graduate student still working toward their degree. Certification of equivalency, however, is not necessarily required, or even permitted in some cases where the student is maintaining matriculation. For example, a student maintains matriculation for two semesters and is certified full-time equivalent for both semesters. If the student does not graduate at the end of this period, then an extension must be applied for through the department, or they simply maintain matriculation without equivalency. Any student being certified full-time or half-time equivalent is either registered for course work or maintaining matriculation.

Procedure for Maintaining Matriculation and Establishing Equivalency:

To maintain matriculation, the student registers for Maintaining Matriculation via Albert (MAINT-GT). The student must also complete an equivalency form to be approved by the department chair and the Director of Academic Services in Tisch Student Affairs for full-time or half-time equivalency. Registration for maintenance of matriculation and equivalency must be completed no later than the end of second week of the semester.

Important notes on equivalency:

  • A student employed full-time MAY NOT request full-time equivalency.
  • The department chair must authorize and sign equivalency certification.
  • Extensions beyond the two-semester limit for full-time equivalency and four semesters for half-time equivalency are granted only under exceptional circumstances. They will be given only when a compelling case can be made to the Associate Dean that the student has been working steadily on the thesis and has a valid reason for the extension.
  • Students taking leaves of absence or receiving waivers of matriculation fees are not eligible for either full-time or half-time equivalency.

Applying for Permission to Register Off-Campus

Generally speaking, once a student has matriculated at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, the student is expected to complete all coursework at this institution. Classes in professional training, general education (liberal arts) and electives are seen as complementing each other and requisite courses in all areas are expected to be completed within the curriculum at New York University. Students interested in studying away are encouraged to look at NYU-sponsored programs first before turning to any outside curriculum.

There are occasions when students will wish to seek permission to take non-NYU courses either abroad or off-campus at another university within the country. If a student feels they have a sound educational reason for doing so, the student is encouraged to apply for permission to pursue the study and have credits apply to the degree here. There are two essential criteria governing this permission:

  • Permission to register at another university, whether during the summer or during the academic year, whether inside the U.S. or abroad, will be granted only for compelling educational reasons. An example of a compelling educational reason might be a film student interested in bringing knowledge of Native American studies to her work in documentary film. A semester-long specialized program in Native American studies at another university would complement the student’s program here and would be a reason for granting a leave of absence with permission to register off-campus and have the credits applied to the Tisch degree.
  • In order to obtain permission, the course(s) should be in subject areas that are not taught at New York University. If the subject area of the course is available at New York University, students are expected to take courses in that subject at NYU. For example, a student seeking to take a psychology course at a local university over the summer between his junior and senior year would be generally not be allowed to have those credits transfer, since there are a full range of psychology classes offered here at NYU.

* There is one exception to these criteria. Students may enroll in a maximum of eight summer or J-term credits at another institution for any reason during their undergraduate career. Students must still seek permission to register for such courses using the procedure described below.

To obtain permission, students should begin by speaking with a departmental advisor. To pursue permission after that, students must fill out the Application for Permission to Register Off-Campus with a Leave of Absence for off-campus study requests during the academic school year. Students requesting permission to study off-campus during the summer should use the Application for Permission to Register Off-Campus for summer. 

The appropriate form with the supporting documentation should be submitted to the student’s department chair for approval. The forms are available in the department, through the Office of Student Affairs, or online at If the request is approved by the department, the form is then forwarded to the Office of Student Affairs for consideration. Final approval is granted by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

A number of additional conditions govern off-campus registration. To be eligible for permission:

  1. A student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 at the time of application.
  2. The proposed off-campus coursework must be at a properly accredited institution.
  3. Credit for off-campus study cannot comprise any of the last 32 credits to be earned for graduation from New York University.* This is not in reference to the 8 Summer or J-term credits referred to previously.
  4. The proposed off-campus credit cannot cause the student to exceed the maximum number of transfer credits allowed by the student’s department.

For the coursework to be credited to the Tisch degree:

  1. Credit will be given only for coursework that has been approved on the Permission to Register Off-Campus form. If you plan on registering for a different course, you must obtain approval before the off-campus class begins.
  2. A grade of “C” or better must be obtained for credit to be granted. Credit will not be granted for courses taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
  3. After completion of study, the student must, at the earliest date possible, have an official transcript of completed work sent to the Tisch Office of Student Affairs at No credit can be granted without receipt of an official transcript. 

The normal conditions applying to a regular leave of absence also apply to a leave with permission to register off-campus (during the academic school year).

Note that NYU operates on a semester system. If permission is granted to attend a university on the quarter system, credit will be granted according to the following formula: each quarter hour is equivalent to two thirds of a semester hour. A four credit quarter-hour course, therefore, will usually translate to two semester credits at NYU. NYU does not grant fractions of credits.