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Full-Time/Half-Time Equivalency

The University defines full-time course work as enrollment in a minimum of 12 units in one semester (the two summer sessions combined are regarded as one semester); this load is considered to be the equivalent of 40 units of study per week. Half-time status is defined as enrollment in a minimum of 6 units in one semester.

Graduate students may be certified as having full-time or half-time equivalency for an academic term under several conditions that are explained below under Eligibility for Equivalency.  Generally, students are eligible for full-time or half-time equivalency for a maximum of four semesters.  Students should also understand that equivalencies carry no unit value toward the degree.

Equivalency is used to help students retain their eligibility for loans, but it does not make a student eligible for scholarships. Scholarship funding can be used ONLY to cover the actual cost of tuition generated by enrollment in courses, that is, the actual number of units for which a student is enrolled.  Thus, students awarded a scholarship for study in the Gallatin MA program would not be eligible to retain the scholarship based on equivalency.

Please note that during a semester in which a student seeks equivalency while registered only for Master's Thesis II (2 units) or Master's Thesis and Defense (3 units) or Thesis Advisement (1 unit), the student will be registered for fewer than six units and, therefore, not able to receive a Gallatin scholarship. Students may still, however, be eligible for loans. Please consult the Office of Financial Aid at 212-998-4444 for more information.  

Gallatin may certify full-time or half-time equivalency under any of the following circumstances:

  • A student who is working full time on the thesis and is registered for Master's Thesis II or Thesis and Defense or Thesis Advisement may be granted full-time or half-time equivalency.  Equivalency granted for any of these reasons counts toward the four-semester maximum for equivalency.
  • A student who needs fewer than 12 units to reach 36 units may register for 11 or fewer units and will be eligible for equivalency; she/he may not, however, be considered for equivalency if she/he takes fewer units than needed to get a total of 36. This form of equivalency may be granted one time only, and if granted, would count as one of the four semesters maximum for equivalency.
  • A student working as a Graduate Assistant or Research Assistant at NYU for at least 20 hours per week may be granted full-time equivalency if she/he is registered for at least 6 units, or half-time equivalency if she/he is registered for 3 to 5 units; a student is eligible for this equivalency for as many semesters as she/he works as a Graduate Assistant or Research Assistant.
  • A student who is taking an approved graduate class at another university as concurrent registration may be eligible for full-time equivalency, if the student is enrolled for a combined total of 12 units or more at both NYU and the other institution, or half-time equivalency, if the student is enrolled for a combined total of 6-11 units at both NYU and the other institution. Equivalency may be required for eligibility for insurance, financial aid or visa status. Keep in mind that NYU financial aid grants and scholarships are awarded on the basis of courses taken at NYU only.
     

  • Read the Eligibility for Equivalency section above.
  • Discuss your academic plan with your adviser and the possibility of seeking equivalency.
  • Register for your classes. Students must be registered before equivalency can be posted on their record.
  • Complete the online Full-time/Half-time Equivalency form. no later than two weeks before the first day of classes in the semester for which equivalency is requested.  (The Gallatin School will not be held liable for any loans returned to the lender as a result of late processing of the equivalency application; students are fully responsible for investigating the terms, conditions and deadlines related to their loans.)
  • Alert your adviser that he or she will be asked to approve your request for equivalency. Gallatin will send an email to your adviser to verify his or her approval. (Note that it is the student's responsibility to follow up with the adviser to make sure that he or she submits approval.)
  • Gallatin will notify students after the application has been reviewed.
  • If you have questions about this process, please contact the Administrative Director of the MA program.  

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Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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