Essential Information for New Graduate Students

Your First Semester

How to Register for Classes

This Grad School page explains how to enroll online via MyPack portal.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Because the university requires students to have medical insurance, you will automatically be enrolled in a medical insurance plan and you will be required to pay for it yourself. If you already have medical coverage, you MUST go on-line and request a waiver of the university health plan. If you've been awarded a Teaching Assistantship, please refer to the "Additional Info for Teaching Assistants" link below for information pertaining to your health insurance.

Course load

The standard full-time graduate course load is 9 hours for all programs with the possible exception of the final semester in your degree program. See Policies and Graduate School Regulations for more information.

MA English, Initial Research Requirement: ENG 669

Students in all MA concentrations except Linguistics should enroll in ENG 669 in their first semester.  ENG 669 (Methods and the Profession) is a 3-credit hour course designed to introduce you to the profession and the study of English. (This requirement does not apply to MFA or MS students.)

MA English, Language Requirement

A reading knowledge of one foreign language is required for the MA English degree in all concentrations. You are strongly encouraged to begin addressing this requirement in your first year, following one of several paths outlined on the requirement webpage.

How to Use your Unity ID and Password

This Office of Information Technology page explains how to use your Unity ID and password for the first time. 

Applying for In-State Residency for Tuition Purposes

If you are not a North Carolina resident but are hoping to qualify for in-state tuition in your second year, you will need to begin the residency process right away. As this website explains, you will be required to complete certain "residentiary acts" a full year before you apply for residency. NOTE: If you are a non-resident student and also a Teaching Assistant, you MUST apply for in-state residency before the start of your second year. The Grad School will not cover out-of-state tuition after the first year.

Graduate Plan of Work (GPOW)

Begin filling out your GPOW in your first semester, before you meet with your advisor for spring registration, around mid-late October.  This “document” is our record of your progress toward degree.  Each semester you should use it to record the courses you’re enrolled in and the degree requirements they pertain to. It’s your responsibility to update your plan after each enrollment period or schedule change.  SAVE your GPOW whenever you update it. Do NOT click “submit for approval” until you complete the plan at the start of your final semester.

Additional Info for Teaching Assistants

This page provides important information for your first semester as a TA.

Additional Info for International Students

This page links to the Office of International Services. All new international students must check in with this office upon admission. 

General Information

Ebills and Fee Payment 

Tuition Management Systems (TMS) and FAFSA (Financial Aid) are two options that can help to make payment of tuition and fees manageable.  

TMS partners with NC State to provide a monthly payment option free of interest.  TMS accounts can be established to help pay for all or part of a student's bill.  For more information on TMS, visit the Cashier's Office and Student Accounts page, "Monthly Payment Plan." 

For Financial Aid to cover all or part of a student's bill, the student must "accept" the financial aid awards by August 1st.  This information will be relayed to the Cashier's Office, notifying the office the student will be receiving financial aid and the aid will cover all or part of the bill.    Accepting financial aid awards works as a place holder keeping students from being dropped from their schedule until their financial aid is disbursed.  A student's schedule should not be dropped if their financial aid covers the amount they are required to pay on their student bill; the University understands many students rely on financial aid to cover the costs of attending school.  For more information about billing and financial aid, please visit the "Billing and Financial Aid" page.


Every student, upon acceptance to NCSU, is automatically issued a Unity ID and password which provide access to many university IT resources, including Email and Calendaring. Google Apps @ NC State is the official email system for all NC State students. This is the email account to which all official university communications are sent. Your email address is in this format: For more information visit the OIT (Office of InformationTechnology) homepage or call 515-HELP.

Google Groups

Google groups are the primary means of conveying important information and announcements of deadlines to all active graduate students in the Department of English. All communication from these groups is sent only to the official email address given to students by the university. Students should therefore check their NCSU email accounts on a regular basis. All active students in the MA, MFA and MS programs are automatically added to their respective Google group. You are free to post announcements/inquiries that you'd like the rest of the group to see. The DGP or Graduate Services Coordinator has to approve all posts, so you may notice a slight delay in your post being submitted to the group.

  • MA and MFA Google group: English Graduate Students
  • MS Google group: MSTC

Computers and Printing

For on-campus computer access, visit the Humanities Computing laboratories in Tompkins 113 (primarily PCs) and Winston 118 (Mac lab). Four desktop computers are also available for grad student use on the second floor of Tompkins, in carrels 210A and 220E.  Wireless access is available throughout campus as well. Please visit the OIT website for (much!) more information about computing on campus.

The department has one dedicated printer, Silko (outside Tompkins 221), for graduate students and TAs working on the second floor of Tompkins.  To print from your personal laptop, on the second floor, follow the instructions at this link:  Graduate students are permitted to print single copies (only) of teaching materials and course papers.  The department cannot offer printing for downloaded course readings or multiple copies of any document.  Printing access will be discontinued when the department's limited printing budget is exhausted.  Graduate students wishing to print more than one copy of any document should visit the WolfPrint page for information about printing on campus and to find a list of publicly available printers

House/Apartment Hunting Tips (from our graduate students)

1. Check out what University Housing has to offer if you'd like to consider living on campus. Living on campus is generally more expensive but may be more convenient. 

2. There is a NCSU yahoo group, "NCSU Newcomers," that may have some helpful info

3. Our English graduate students have their own facebook group. Here is the link: Feel free to join the group and ask questions!

4. To search for apartments/housing online, try websites such as Craigslist, Trulia,, Barker Realty and Preiss. (Just put those names into a google search and you should find the website.)

5. For off campus housing, many grad students live around Avent Ferry Rd, or in the 27606 zip code area, as you can ride the bus to campus in this zip code. Avent Ferry Rd has some affordable apartments. Sounds like it has some of the cheaper options near campus.

Helpful Links

Beginning-of-Semester Reminders


Enrollment Info from The Graduate School (MyPack Portal Checklist)

Graduate Calendars

Health Insurance Waiver (Non-TAs)

Residency/Tuition Reclassification

Student ID


Voting Information

New Student Survival Guide

A Great Place to Live and Learn