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Non-Matriculating Student Definition Essay

Admission Standards

Admission to graduate study at The College of New Jersey is selective and competitive. Prospective applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the contents of the bulletin and to observe carefully the particular requirements of each individual program or option. Admission decisions are based generally on evidence of achievement in appropriate undergraduate studies, performance on nationally standardized tests, strength of recommendations, and other materials submitted with the application. Standards are applied rigorously but not mechanically, the purpose being to identify applicants who show promise of benefiting from advanced studies and of making significant contributions to both the college community and their chosen professions.

Admission Procedures

Those who wish to apply or to learn more about the graduate program should begin by contacting the Office of Graduate Studies at or 609/771-2300.

Admission Categories


Most students entering The College of New Jersey at the graduate level are candidates for a degree or certification program. Program options and requirements are outlined throughout this website and in the Graduate Bulletin. Students who are applying for admission into a specific degree or certificate program are applying for matriculation.

Individuals applying for matriculation are expected to hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent preparation from a foreign college or university. Applicants should have a 2.75 cumulative average or a 3.0 in the major at the undergraduate level, although some programs may have a higher requirement; must submit letters of recommendation from individuals who can evaluate their academic performance, relevant work experience, and/or ability to pursue graduate studies; must submit an essay calling for a personal evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses as prospective graduate students; and must provide scores from the general standardized test appropriate to the discipline. Some programs require scores from specialized sections of standardized tests; other programs require interviews or auditions (see program requirements). Graduate program candidates are approved for admission by the program admissions committee and endorsed by the dean. Notification of a decision will occur in writing.


Qualified applicants who wish to pursue graduate studies for professional renewal or personal growth may apply for non-matriculation.* Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a 2.75 cumulative average or 3.0 in the major from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent preparation from a foreign university or college. Admissions are competitive, and decisions are made by program admissions committees. Notification of a decision will occur in writing. A non-matriculant wishing to matriculate into a program must submit a separate application and all documentation necessary for matriculation according to the appropriate deadlines. Subsequent admission as a matriculant is not guaranteed.

Once accepted, a non-matriculant may enroll in graduate classes open to them if they meet the prerequisites and if space is available. Permission from the graduate coordinator and/or the instructor teaching the course may be required for registration for a particular course. Occasionally, a graduate student wishes to enroll in an undergraduate course. On such occasions, the graduate tuition rate would still apply.

A non-matriculant may choose to apply for admission as a matriculant in a graduate degree or certificate program; however, matriculation is not guaranteed. A non-matriculant has one year from the time of initial enrollment to matriculate into a degree program in order to utilize up to six credits taken prior to matriculation toward that degree or program. Failure to matriculate within this timeframe will negate the use of these credits toward a degree or program at TCNJ.

A non-matriculant is not eligible for need-based or federal financial aid.

*Non-matriculation is not available to students intending to apply for matriculation into the RTCM program. Students intending to study at one of TCNJ’s global sites, and are not ready to apply for matriculation into a specific program, may contact the Global Office at regarding attendance as a visiting student.

Non-Matriculated Students

Non-Matriculated (Non-Degree Seeking) Students

This status is reserved for students who are not seeking a degree or certificate at the time of admission, are not interested in receiving financial aid, and who wish to waive placement testing and academic advisement which would normally determine the suitability of their courses for degree fulfillment or transfer credit.

Because of these conditions, enrolling for classes under this status is streamlined.  Non-matriculated students do not follow the admission requirements of Matriculated students.  The Non-Matriculated student status is designed to allow any interested individual to attend college credit courses without declaring a major or seeking a degree.

Students who register under this status for a given semester may not matriculate until the following semester.  When a student wishes to become a matriculated student, they must follow the admission requirements for new matriculated students.

This status is most suited to students who wish to enroll in courses for the following reasons:  personal enrichment, learning/upgrading job skills, fulfilling degree requirements for another institution.

For further information regarding registration for Non-Matriculated students, please contact the Registrar's Office