Essential Information for New Graduate Students

Your First Semester

Read this page carefully as it contains some time-sensitive information about enrolling in classes and navigating other start-up matters.

How to Register for Classes

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


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. As a reminder, audited courses do not count towards full-time enrollment nor towards the student’s Graduate Plan of Work (GPOW).

Course Selections

Your first step is to review the curricular requirements for your degree program, including any specific requirements for the first semester. If you’ve been offered a teaching assistantship, be sure to read the Essential Info for New Teaching Assistants page as well, as you may have additional requirements. You’ll register for your classes via your MyPack Portal, which you’ll be able to access once the Graduate School has received and processed your official transcripts. The online registration system will indicate which graduate (500-level) courses are scheduled for the fall/spring semester. Clicking on the course title will send you to the catalog description, and most instructors also provide more extended descriptions of their courses at the English Department’s courses page. Feel free to contact the instructor if you’d like to know more about a particular course.

In order to enroll, you’ll need to have your advising hold lifted. You can find our program advisor’s name on your Student Center page in MyPack Portal. Consult with your program advisor or the director of your program as you make your course selections—via email, phone or in person. Once your program advisor or director knows what you have planned, he or she will release your advising hold.

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

Please refer to the Residency page on the left side menu for details and instructions.

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.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Because the university requires students to have medical insurance, you will automatically be enrolled its mandatory student health insurance plan (SHIP) 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 to decline this coverage and charge. This waiver must be submitted by Census Day deadline. Please be aware, after you submit your waiver, SHIP will require you to continue submitting waivers for future semesters.

If you've been awarded a Teaching Assistantship, please refer to the "Essential Information for New Teaching Assistants" link on the left column for information pertaining to your health insurance.

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 Student Services Center 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 919-515-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 only print single copies 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 or off-campus housing. Living on campus is generally more expensive but may be more convenient. 

2. We have a Discord page where current and incoming students can share news and ask for information. Please ask the Graduate Services Coordinator for the invite code if you haven't received one or lost it.

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

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

5. To search for apartments/housing online, try websites such as Craigslist, Trulia,, Barker Realty and Preiss. (Google search those names to find their updated websites.)

6. For off campus housing, many grad students live around Avent Ferry Rd or inside of the 27606 zip code area as you can ride the bus to campus within this zip code.

7. A new start-up offers help in finding roommates: Let’s Room Together. No track record yet, so please let us know if you find this a useful service.


Student parking permits run out quickly so if you would like to park on campus, please check the Transportation page frequently for deadlines and updates.

If parking permits have sold out, you have the option to use the Park and Ride locations off-campus. It is free and connected to the WolfLine (NC State's bus line) but limited in space. Another option is to register for the GoPass ($5 for NCSU students as of July 2019) to use its Park and Ride within various cities (or local spots like the Carter-Finley Stadium) as well.

Helpful Links

Beginning-of-Semester Reminders


Enrollment Info from The Graduate School (MyPack Portal Checklist)

Graduate Calendars

Health Insurance Waiver (TAs)

Residency/Tuition Reclassification

Student ID

Voting Information

New Student Survival Guide

A Great Place to Live and Learn