Hester Coan and two students

New Master's Student Guide

New Master's Student Guide

Rutgers General Information

Accepting admission - All newly admitted applicants must accept their admission and indicate their intent to join the Rutgers University community as a graduate student. Please do so at this page.

University NetID and Email - All new graduate students are required to activate a NetID as soon as possible. In activating a NetID, you are creating your unique identity in the University-wide identification and authentication system. With a NetID, you will be able to access library services, course websites, our online registration system (WebReg), and much more. While creating your NetID, you will also be setting up your Rutgers Email account. This email account will be the University’s primary means of communication and you are responsible for all email sent by the University to this address, so we recommend checking it often or by having your emails forwarded to an address that you do check often. To set up this account, visit netid.rutgers.edu and click on “NetID Activation”. To have your emails forwarded, visit netid.rutgers.edu and click on “Manage Email Addresses”.

Health Insurance - Full-time Rutgers students are required to show proof of insurance coverage. Students must either waive (show proof of private health insurance) or enroll in the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan. Hard waiver details and online forms can be found on this site.  The link will also be available on the student’s tuition bill. Full-time students who do not show proof of adequate health insurance will be automatically enrolled in the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan and the premium will be added to the student’s bill. Students with private health insurance and part-time students may voluntarily enroll in a University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan. For details on plans and how to enroll, please visit this siteNOTE: Online degree programs or non-matriculated students registered for online courses only are not eligible to enroll.

Health insurance, student or private, is separate from Health Services on campus. For questions regarding University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plans administered by United Healthcare Insurance Company, call 1-800-505-4160; or call 1-848-932-8285 for Rutgers Student Insurance Office.

    Immunizations - all on-campus Rutgers degree-seeking students are required to submit their immunization records. Complete information, including a link to the downloadable form, is available on the website of Rutgers University Health Services.

    ID Cards - First-Year Graduate students must be registered for classes to be eligible for an RUconnection card. Graduate students have access to Rutgers University libraries, computer labs, recreation centers, RU Express accounts, and meal plans via their RUconnection card. Obtain an ID Card.

    Parking - All eligible students of the University are required to have a parking permit for any vehicle that they park on campus. The university offers many different types of permits, be sure to purchase a permit that best suits your needs. Obtain a parking permit.

    Scholastic Standing Policies - Candidates for School of Communication and Information graduate degrees are expected to earn grades of B or better in their coursework. No more than 6 credits bearing a grade of C or C+, and no credits bearing a grade of F or IN, may be used in meeting requirements for the master's degree. Students who receive more 6 credits of C or C+ grades, or more than 3 credits of F grades, or expired incomplete grades are placed on probation or dismissed from the program.

    Amount of Time to Complete a Program 

    • MI Students have three years to complete the program. On a part-time basis, students must register for a minimum of 12 credits per year unless special permission is obtained from the director of the program. The program may not be completed by enrollment during Summer Session only. No more than 9 credits may be taken in any one summer without permission of the program director.
    • MCM Students have four years to complete the program. The MCM degree typically requires three semesters of full-time study; 12 credits per semester is the maximum course load. Study is frequently pursued on a part-time basis.

    Deadlines to Apply for Graduation 

    • October 1 for October graduates (finish during the summer term)
    • January 4 for January graduates (finish during the fall term)
    • March 15 for May graduates (finish during the spring term)


      Register for Classes - Log in to WebReg. WebReg is short for web registration. It is the website where you can register for classes online. WebReg also allows you to search for open courses. For instructions on how to use WebReg, please review the Registration Instructions.

      Please note that Fall registration begins in April and Spring registration begins in November. Once you have the pertinent information and know the courses you need, register at your leisure. If you have difficulty registering, contact the Office of Student Services (SCISS@comminfo.rutgers.edu or 848.932.7550 option 2). If you would like advisement or have questions about the curriculum, please consult with your Graduate Program Director:

      MCM - Rick Dool,Ph.D.
      MI - Lilia Pavlovsky, Ph.D.

      Find/Order Textbooks - Use Rutgers' Online Bookstore and navigate through the process by following the instructions. Enter the term, department, course number, and section where prompted to do so. The department, course, and section are the numbers separated by ":" in the course number; ex. "aa:bbb:ccc:dd".

      aa = School code (not used to find books)
      bbb = Department
      ccc = Course
      dd = Section

      In some cases, textbooks have not yet been associated with classes. When this is the case, email your professor to ask what books are being used.

        Use the Rutgers Directory to find your professors
        Step 1: Find their name on the Online Schedule of Courses.
        Step 2: Search their name via the Rutgers Directory.
        Step 3: Locate their name (next to the “Comm/Div/Dept” entitled “SC&I-department”).

          Access Online Course Material via eCollege - At Rutgers, the web-based course delivery system you will use for your courses is called eCollege. Like on-campus courses, online courses at Rutgers are not available until the first day of class. Also, you may or may not receive a notification via eCollege about enrollment. Do no panic if you do not! Some courses send notifications and others do not. So long as you are registered in webreg, you will have access to the course material in eCollege upon the start of the semester.

          Pay your Term Bill - Paper term bills will no longer be mailed to students' home addresses. All students are required to have an official email address as well as a NetID and password. You will be sent an email when your term bill is viewable on the Student Accounting website. Please check that your email is correct at the University Directory.

          Important Admission and Enrollment Information:

          Acceptance of Admission - Your offer of acceptance is valid for one academic year. To maintain your acceptance, you must enroll in and complete at least three credits within the first semester of your acceptance. Otherwise, you may need to reapply for admission. If you wish to defer admission to a subsequent term, you must contact the program director.

          Transfer Credits (MCM) -Visit the MCM transfer credit page for the most up to date information.

          Transfer Credits (MI) - Visit the MI admissions page for the most up to date information.

          Matriculation Continued (Leave of Absence) - Students who must interrupt their studies may, with the approval of a program director, register for Matriculation Continued (leave of absence). There is no tuition fee for this registration, although a student fee is charged. Students who do not register for Matriculation Continued will be charged a reactivation fee upon their return to the program. (Students on temporary visas who interrupt their studies must in most cases leave the United States during such periods.) Matriculation Continued is available only to students not enrolled in any coursework and not using faculty time and university facilities, except to complete previous coursework from classes with incomplete or temporary grades. Students may enroll in Matriculation Continued for a maximum of two consecutive semesters.

          MI students are expected to complete their program within three years; a request to extend the time for the degree would have to be done separately. All MI students who are engaged in the completion of degree requirements are expected to register for at least six credits per term or twelve credits per year, including summer, in order to meet the three year limit for the degree.

          MCM students are expected to complete their program within four years; a request to extend the time for the degree would have to be done separately. The degree typically requires three semesters of full-time study; 12 credits per semester is the maximum course load. Study is frequently pursued on a part-time basis.