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Diabetes Education and Management
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Diabetes Education and Management
In the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

Frequently Asked Questions > FAQ

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Q: Who can apply for this program?

A: Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for the CDE examination (

Q: Are all the courses online?         

A: Yes. All courses are offered online. There is no in-person requirement for this program.

Q: How long will the program take?

A: It is a 36-credit program, and Teachers College encourages students to take at least 6 credits per semester, which is considered part-time. By going part-time, a student can complete the program in six semesters. A full-time student (approximately 12 credits per semester) can complete the program in three semesters plus a summer.

Q: Are there required courses in the summer?

A: Yes. Two of the diabetes core courses are offered in the summer.

Q: How much time do the courses require?

A: Online courses differ from on-campus courses in that students do not come together for weekly class(es). Instead, students log on to an online learning platform and post their responses to discussion questions and to their fellow students and instructors. Assignments are also turned in online. It is recommended that students log on every day, but at least several times each week, in order to benefit from class discussions, contribute to the discussions, and earn full participation credit. In addition to time spent online, students have graduate level reading, studying and writing requirements.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: Information about the current cost of tuition at Teachers College can found by visiting and clicking on "tuition and fees."

Q: Is there scholarship available?

A: TC offers a limited amount of scholarship funding. There is a TC scholarship application at “finance your education.” There is also an application for federal funding. We strongly encourage applicants to inquire whether their employer offers tuition reimbursement and to look into opportunities for graduate education within their professional discipline.

Q: What can I do with this degree?

A: Our first group of students began the program in September, 2011. We anticipate that graduates of this program will be eligible for leadership positions in diabetes education. In addition to providing direct diabetes education, they will be prepared to manage diabetes education programs, teach lay or upcoming diabetes educators, apply research in practice, contribute new teaching interventions, develop policies and advocate for people with diabetes.

Our students indicate that they look forward to having this advanced degree because it will give them a credential in their specialty area. Even if they don’t plan to change jobs, they look forward to increased respect and leadership in their role.

Q: Does this program offer clinical hours that can be counted toward the CDE?

A: At this time, the Diabetes Education and Management Program does not include a clinical component. If a student needs diabetes education work experience, we encourage them to connect with the mentorship program put together jointly by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association:

Q: Does the program count toward the BC-ADM?

A: We have been working closely with the American Association of Diabetes Educators. As of March, 2012, AADE has indicated that the Teachers College MS in Diabetes Education and Management meets the requirement of a masters degree for BC-ADM eligibility.

Q: Is the Diabetes Education and Management Program accredited?

A: Our program is offered by the department of Health & Behavior Studies at Teachers College Columbia University. Teachers College is accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Program accreditation is conferred by the professional organization relevant to the program. Because the professional organization for diabetes educators (American Association of Diabetes Educators) does not currently offer accreditation, our program, itself, is not accredited. We are working closely with AADE on this matter.

Q: Does this program prepare someone for the CDE exam?

A: While our program is not considered specific preparation for the CDE exam, the content of the five core courses will certainly help prepare someone for taking the exam. The curriculum and content of our core diabetes courses are based on competencies set forth by the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.