Testing the Waters as a Non-Matriculated Student


If you’ve been reading my blog for the past couple of months, you know that I was accepted to a Master of Social Work program for Fall 2019. Before I applied for the program and made the decision to pursue a career in social work, I wanted to test the waters by taking a class in the program as a non-matriculated student. This means that you’re not formally enrolled, but you’re taking a class just as you would if you were in the program.


Fordham University's Non-Matriculated Program
The program I’ll be starting in the fall is offered by Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Services (GSS). You are eligible to take up to 4 classes as a non-matriculated student there. Any credits you earn will count towards your degree, should you decide to apply and are accepted, so long as your grade is a B or higher.

The original reason I decided on Fordham was because they have an online option for their Master of Social Work program, although online classes are not offered to non-matriculated students. They also have a campus that is 15 minutes from my house. I originally wanted to take an online class, but practicing social workers advised me to take it in-person as interactions with your professors and fellow students form a core component of your social work education.

More About Fordham GSS in Westchester
I’m so fortunate to have stumbled upon their program online, and to have such a quality learning institution so close to my house. I had a great experience in the class I took as a non-matriculated student. The administration and staff are accessible and supportive of the students, and my professor was really invested in making sure we learned the subject matter and succeeded in our studies. Aside from the convenient location, I really like that the campus is comprised of one building, which makes getting to class simpler.

They Make It Easy for You
Fordham also has great infrastructure from a technology perspective. The application process for non-matriculated status was seamless. It was done completely online, and they support e-transcripts, if your undergraduate university supports it. This means that you can request a transcript online from your undergraduate institution and they will transmit it electronically to Fordham University. No need to mail a hard copy or bring it to Admissions in person. Your application status is available online so you can get a real-time update at any time of day.

About the Class (and How Great It Was)
As for the class itself, it completely opened my eyes and upended my world view in a positive way. The class was, “Integrating Human Rights and Social Justice into Practice” and the subject matter was oppression, intersectionality, positionality, and unsurprisingly, human rights and social justice. From a technical skills perspective, I learned how to write APA-style papers through doing.

More importantly, the class changed the way I interact with and understand the world. I am able to view people’s words and actions through the lens of their specific place in society and their experiences. I no longer let it slide if someone makes and offensive comment because I see it my responsibility to speak up and let them know it’s not okay. In this way, Fordham has already given me a huge gift, and I’m looking forward to even more when I start the program this fall.

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