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Before the start of your first semester at City Tech, you will receive an email invitation for academic advisement and class registration from the STAR (Scheduling Testing Advisement Registration) Center. Make an appointment to meet with a STAR advisor and register for your classes as soon as possible—early registration makes it more likely that the classes and times you want will be available. Choosing your classes each semester is one of the exciting parts of being a college student, but it is also a serious responsibility that requires thought and preparation on your part.

Registration is a Financial Commitment

When you sign up for courses, you are entering into a contract between the college and yourself. Unless you drop your classes before the first day of the semester, there is a financial obligation that you promise to pay, even if you later change your mind. If you drop a class in the first three weeks of the semester, you may receive a partial tuition refund, depending on whether you are a full-time or part-time student and on when you drop the class (see the current semester’s Academic Calendar for details on timing). If you withdraw from a class after the end of this period, you are responsible for paying the full tuition for the class. Even if you never attend a class or if you stop attending early on without informing the college by officially Withdrawing, you will be responsible for paying tuition.

Save Time and Money by Choosing Classes Wisely

How can you avoid paying tuition for classes that you don’t end up completing? Or wasting time by taking classes that don’t count toward your graduation?

Investigate the graduation requirements for your major so you know the classes you need to take. Consider your schedule carefully, including commuting time and work obligations, and make sure to sign up for classes at times you know you can attend consistently. Your STAR advisor will guide you, but only you know the specifics of your own schedule and goals. Prepare for your STAR Center appointment before you meet with your advisor and take responsibility for your own future.

Begin by visiting the web page of your intended major department on the City Tech website. Select “Degrees” and choose the major that you are enrolled in; then select “Degree Requirements” to see a list of courses and credits that you will need for graduation.

Exercise 1.2: Record Your degree requirements

Use your major department’s website to find and record the following information:

My major is:

The department office of my major is located:

I am enrolled in an Associate/Bachelor’s (circle one) degree program.

For my degree, I will need:

Total credits:

Credits in general education courses: 

Credits in program-specific courses:

Click to download a fillable document: Exercise 1.2: Record Your Degree Requirements

Find Courses Recommended by Your Major Department

On your major department’s web page, select “Sample Course of Study” to see recommended courses for each semester of your degree program.

For example, if you were planning to major in Data Science, you would begin by finding the Department of Computer Systems Technology on the City Tech website, and then after clicking “Degrees” select Data Science/BS (note that “BS” stands for Bachelor of Science). You’ll be shown a semester-by-semester suggested program of study that fulfills all graduation requirements for your chosen degree. Here are the suggested classes for the first year for a student majoring in Data Science:

College Credits

You’ll notice that each course is worth a certain number of credits—three is most typical, for courses that generally meet for 2 hours and 30 minutes per week, but this varies. For instance, many math classes meet for an additional hour each week and are worth four credits.

The Sample Courses of Study average 15 credits per semester, although some semesters, as in the example above, might be slightly more or less. This is because an Associate degree typically requires a total of 60 credits and a Bachelor’s degree typically requires 120, so in order to finish an Associate degree in two years or a Bachelor’s degree in four, you will need to successfully complete an average of 15 credits per semester.

How Many Credits Do I Have to Take?

How many credits–and therefore how many classes–to sign up for in your first semester is an important decision you’ll need to make. You will be considered a full-time student if you take between 12 and 18 credits in a semester. If you take fewer than 12 credits in a semester you will be considered a part-time student; taking more than 18 credits exceeds the academic credit limit and requires special permission.

If you choose to take 15 or more credits in a semester, you should consider college the equivalent of a full-time job. Between attending classes, studying, and completing assignments you should expect to spend at least 40 hours a week on college responsibilities.

Some full-time students choose to register for fewer classes, totaling 12-13 credits. This reduces the workload each semester but means it will take longer to graduate. If you are a New York State resident, full-time tuition is the same for anything from 12 to 18 credits in a semester, so you’ll end up paying more for college if you take more semesters to finish.

Think carefully about your schedule and determine how many credits make sense for you.


Looking back at the sample schedule for the Data Science major, you’ll see some classes that must be taken in the listed order: For example, English Composition I must be taken before English Composition II, and Precalculus must be taken before Calculus 1. Similarly, courses in the major, which in this case are the ones with the code CST (Computer Systems Technology) should typically be taken in the recommended order.

However, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose from among a wide range of classes outside your major to fulfill the college’s General Education requirements. Your time at City Tech will prepare you for a fulfilling career but college is more than just job training—it is also an opportunity to expand your horizons and LEARN about things that interest you.

Take a moment now to think about what you might like to explore and study. Do you want to learn a new language? Understand the physics of black holes? Explore the roots of Afro-Caribbean music?

Exercise 1.3: What else do you want to learn?

What are two topics outside of your major that you are interested in?



Click to download a fillable document: Exercise 1.3: What Else Do You Want To Learn?

make a plan before your STAR Center appointment

With your ideas from Exercise 1.3 in mind, look at the Sample Course of Study for your intended major and see where there might be opportunities to include courses in your areas of interest. For example, in the Data Science BS degree program, the first semester lists a General Education requirement called World Cultures and Global Issues. This is not a specific course that must be taken, but rather a broad category that can be fulfilled by a number of different courses. By following the WCGI link, you’ll find a long list of courses to choose from, ranging from African Folklore to Art History to foreign languages to World Music and more.

Note that there’s also some flexibility here in terms of scheduling: A Data Science major wouldn’t have to take their WCGI course in the first semester. That course could easily be swapped with the Life and Physical Sciences course listed in the second semester of the Sample Course of Study.

Choosing General Education courses that appeal to you will allow you to expand your knowledge, develop your critical thinking skills, learn about something you’re interested in … and fulfill a graduation requirement!

Find a few courses that interest you and count the number of credits you would like to register for. Then, make your appointment with the STAR Center to discuss and register for your first semester of classes!

College Proficiency for Incoming Students

To ensure that students have the fundamental skills to support college success, CUNY assesses proficiency in English and Math for all incoming students. Admitted students who could benefit from support to help them achieve proficiency have several options that may be discussed with your STAR advisor.

To achieve proficiency before your City Tech semester begins, enroll in one of the following summer or winter programs:

  • CUNY Start is a low-cost program offered at several CUNY campuses that helps students address their developmental English and math needs while preparing to meet CUNY’s proficiency milestones and be successful in credit-bearing courses.
  • MATH Start, offered here at City Tech, is available for students who need to attain proficiency in math.
  • CLIP is an intensive, low-cost ESL program for students who have been accepted to any CUNY college and informed that they are not English proficient.
  • FYSP (the First Year Summer Programs), located here at City Tech, offers tuition-free workshops for incoming and continuing students to develop skills and achieve proficiency in English, as well as to support a successful transition to college.

Students who do not demonstrate proficiency before their first City Tech semester will be placed in classes for Math and English that have supplemental requirements and added class time to help you gain proficiency. These co-requisite courses include ENG1101CO, MAT1275CO, and MAT1190CO. The STAR Center advisor will guide you regarding these requirements.

The program for College English as a Second Language (ESOL) offers courses in reading, writing (composition/ grammar) and speaking skills for non-native speakers of English. Students are identified as appropriate for courses in ESOL on the basis of the college’s assessment tests in reading and writing and through personal interviews during advisement.

Get a Head Start on College–Sign up for City Tech 101!

First Year Programs offers a tuition-free workshop called City Tech 101: Introduction to College designed to help new students start strong at New York City College of Technology. During the 8-session pre-semester workshop, students explore college success practices; learn instructional technologies; access resources and services available at the college; review college majors and degrees; utilize specialized college vocabulary; and work with professors and peer mentors specially prepared to support a new student’s transition to college. Ultimately, students who participate in City Tech 101 will be more confident to begin their City Tech career.

To find out more and register, contact First Year Programs,

Prepare for Your Upcoming Math Class

Math Prep Workshops provide incoming and current City Tech students a preview of select mathematical concepts just prior to taking the full-length course during the semester. Workshops are offered for Quantitative Reasoning (MAT 1190), College Algebra and Trigonometry (MAT 1275 and 1275CO), Pre-Calculus (MAT 1375), Calculus I (MAT 1475), and Calculus II (MAT 1575), and are held the week before Fall and Spring semesters begin. Students who take Math Prep Workshops will gain a strong foundation of mathematical understanding and demonstrate improved performance and confidence for the course.

Interested students can email First Year Programs at for registration information.

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Attend New Student Orientation

You will receive an email invitation to a new student orientation. Be sure to attend! This is a great chance to meet people and start getting comfortable on the City Tech campus. For questions or concerns contact Student Life and Development at

Reasonable Accommodations

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The Center for Student Accessibility provides support to enrolled students who have documented permanent or temporary disabilities. Students in need of reasonable accommodation should email the Center for Student Accessibility for more information and/or to set up an appointment.

Additional Enrollment Options

City Tech offers several programs that provide students with a range of services, benefits, and opportunities. Check to see if you are eligible to join any of these programs.

Environmental Building, E203 | 718-254-8624

The Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) emphasizes enriched academic, financial, and personal supports including comprehensive and personalized advisement, career counseling, tutoring, tuition waivers, MTA MetroCards, and additional financial assistance to defray the cost of textbooks. ASAP is designed to help motivated students to earn their Associate degree as quickly as possible, with a goal of graduating at least 50% of students within three years or less.


CSTEP is a student success program designed to provide freshmen and transfer students from underrepresented populations and economically disadvantaged backgrounds with the support needed to succeed in college. CSTEP offers advisement, scholarship and internship referrals, workshops on career planning, educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and more.

General Building, G503 | 718-260-5187

CUNY EDGE helps students who receive public assistance by providing each student support and guidance with academic and career pursuits. The program strives to assist students to achieve academic excellence, graduate on time, and obtain sustainable employment opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency. Advisement, goal-setting, career development, and self-advocacy workshops are available.

Namm Hall, N401 | 718-260-5680

Search for Education and Elevation through Knowledge (SEEK) is a higher education opportunity program designed to assist eligible students with personal, academic, and financial services. SEEK provides counseling, tutoring (both scheduled and walk–in), academic coaching, financial aid, and a wide range of special workshops and a computer lab to help students achieve academic success.

Services for Students Who Transfer to City Tech


Students who previously attended any college, university or proprietary school since graduating from high school or earning their high school equivalency diploma are considered transfers. CUNY policy requires that all students who have attended college, no matter how long ago, must apply as a Transfer Student and submit transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions.

Services for Students Who Are Veterans

Library Building, L236 | 718-260-4980

The Veterans Support Services Office provides veteran students with information and support to promote educational success and optimal social well-being. The office also collaborates with Campus Departments, Student Government Association and Student Clubs to facilitate various veteran-related programs and events.




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The Companion for the First Year at City Tech Copyright © by Office of First Year Programs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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