TC Visiting Scholars Policy and Program InformationTeachers College is host to many visitors and others who do not hold academic appointments at the College but who use its facilities and participate in its activities. To accommodate the needs of these individuals and recognize their contribution to its intellectual life, the College confers Visiting Scholar status, with limited benefits and privileges, according to the policies and procedures described below.
Eligibility for TC Visiting Scholar Status
Visiting Scholars generally hold a doctorate (or its equivalent from a country other than the United States) or are a recognized expert in the field, and are on leave from a regular faculty appointment at their employing institution. Included are scholars from abroad and from American universities and colleges outside the metropolitan area who are not teaching at the College or participating in a research project sponsored by the College. Practicing professionals and creative artists or US/international officials (and former officials) of government or non-government organizations, such as UN and their affiliates are also eligible to be a visiting scholar (and if needed, the requirement of the doctorate may be waived.)
Others eligible for Visiting Scholar privileges include Teachers College doctoral alumni; staff and doctoral students from and foreign universities and government ministries who are engaged in research of special interest to a Teachers College faculty member; and such other persons as will contribute to the intellectual activity of Teachers College, as approved by the Vice Provost.
Faculty Host Recommendation
Visiting Scholar status is conferred on behalf of the Provost and Dean of the College by the Vice Provost or the Director of the Office of International Student Services, on the recommendation of a faculty member in whose academic discipline the proposed visiting scholar has an interest. The faculty host should also obtain the approval of the department chair. TC institute directors and senior staff may also recommend an individual for Visiting Scholar status. A curriculum vita and description of research goals must accompany an application for Visiting Scholar status.
The faculty host will facilitate mutually beneficial interactions between the Visiting Scholar and department colleagues and students. Visiting Scholars are encouraged to present a summary report on their experience at Teachers College to the Provost.
Visiting Scholar Privileges at TC
Visiting Scholar privileges are limited to auditing courses with the permission of the instructor, attending open lectures, a Columbia University UNI (for access to electronic resources) and e-mail account, all services at Teachers College libraries and online services at Columbia libraries. Borrowing privileges at other libraries are not included. Information about access to other University libraries may be obtained at the Information Office, 201 Library.
Individuals may be granted Visiting Scholar status for up to one year. The designation ordinarily may be renewed for no more than one additional year. "Visiting Scholar" is a courtesy designation and does not signify a formal association with the College. No official records are maintained and no statement of activities is issued.
Visiting Scholars receive a special Teachers College identification card. They are responsible for arranging their own financial support and benefits, and they are not eligible for Teachers College housing or Columbia University Health Services/Medical Insurance. They may not be paid compensation from a Teachers College account, given a fellowship or be reimbursed for expenses without prior approval of the Vice Provost or the Director of the Office of International Services. They may receive an honorarium for participating in a conference or giving an occasional lecture if they are United States citizens or permanent residents or, in the case of non-resident aliens, if they have an appropriate visa and the prior authorization of the Director of the Office of International Services.
Visiting Scholars are not permitted to enroll in any classes for credit. Prospective visiting researchers wishing to take classes at TC should request an application for non-degree student status from the Office of Admission. Individuals in F-1 or J-1 student status are not granted Visiting Scholar privileges and are required to be full-time students. Contact the Office of International Services for more information.
J-1 Visa Sponsorship for Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals will ordinarily need a J-1 (research scholar category) visa in order to visit Teachers College. Upon submission of all documentation required by the government, the Office of International Services will issue a Form DS-2019 needed to support the J-1 visa application. Federal regulations require that the applicant for J-1 status have sufficient funds for the period of stay at Teachers College and meet the medical insurance requirements of the U.S. Department of State while in the U.S. The Application for Visa Certificate (to obtain Form DS-2019) is available from the Office of International Services. This office can provide complete details on complying with these requirements.