All About the required 500 Course – When to take it, Waitlists, etc.

Let’s talk about ENGL 500, and when you should/must take it, since this is something that a lot of people have questions about.

Everyone must take 500 because it is designated in our NY State Board of Ed license as our program’s core course.

The course runs each fall semester, and only in the fall. It’s impossible for a student to complete their coursework during just a spring and summer semester so every student will be with us for at least one fall semester (and if you’re only with us for one fall semester, then of course you need to take 500 during that fall semester). If a student is with us for two or more fall semesters, though, that student can take 500 during any of those fall semesters. We recommend taking it later rather than sooner in your progress toward the degree, as 500 can be a weird and difficult course, something that might be overly confusing at the start of graduate studies. But you can take it whichever fall semester you want.

Every student who needs to take 500 during any particular fall running of the course will get into that running of the course. Students who need 500 during, say, fall 2017 are students who plan to graduate at the end of fall 2017, spring 2018, or summer 2018. Students who don’t plan to graduate until the fall 2018 semester or later do not need to take it during this fall 2017 (but may take it this fall).

Students who need 500 during any particular fall but don’t get into the course during open registration will still get in. This happens by getting on the waitlist. After the course fills we watch the waitlist for the next several months. If only several students get on the waitlist, we open the existing section of the course and give seats to those students. If, though, a lot of students get on the waitlist, then we consider opening a second section of the course. If that happens we split all of the students, both those registered and those on the waitlist, evenly across the two sections.

This is why you must get on the waitlist if 500 is full but you need to get into it. If you need to get 500 during a particular fall semester in order to graduate on time, you will get in. The one drawback to not getting a seat in 500 when seats were available during open registration is that you must be patient, as again we need several months to determine whether to open more seats in the existing section or to open a second section.

As always, contact me with any questions at