Admissions and Applying to Teachers College
Applying to Teachers College
Thank you for your interest in Teachers College, Columbia University. For more information regarding Admission to Teachers College, please refer to the Office of Admission website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply.
About the Application Process
Teachers College is a graduate-only institution. Applicants must hold, or be in the process of obtaining, the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree in order to be considered for admission. Applicants from the U.S. are also required to hold, or be in the process of obtaining, the undergraduate baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Applicants may apply to only one program at a time per application cycle. One application is allowed for either Summer or Fall and one for Spring.
Teachers College admits students for Spring, Summer, and Fall entry. However, not all programs or degree levels are available for all entry terms.
A complete list of available programs, degrees, and entry terms can be found on the Office of Admission website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply.
How to Apply
The Teachers College Application for Admission is available online at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply and can be completed over several sessions, if necessary.
The complete Teachers College application consists of the application form, as well as additional materials to be submitted online and may include items submitted seperately to the Office of Admission.
Applicants are responsible for collecting and submitting all required application materials to the Office of Admission. Official scores of any required standardized test, such as the TOEFL, GRE, or MAT must be directly reported to Teachers College Office of Admission by the Testing Centers. Refer to the “Standardized Tests” section for more information.
A Teachers College ID number (TC ID) is issued to each applicant via e-mail once her/his application form has been fully submitted. The TC ID is a randomly-generated eight-digit number preceded by the letter “T” that is used to identify the applicant throughout the application and enrollment process.
Any application components that cannot be submitted online should be mailed to:
Teachers College, Columbia University
Office of Admission, Box 302
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027-6696
Applicants using DHL, FedEx, or UPS should have their materials delivered to:
Teachers College, Columbia University
Thorndike Hall, 3rd Floor
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027-6696
For most Teachers College programs, the application deadlines for all required application items be be received are as follows:
Summer or Fall Entry
Ph.D. Final Deadline: December 15
Early Deadline: January 2
Final Deadline: April 1
Early Deadline: January 15
Final Deadline: April 15
Final Deadline: November 1
- Not all programs are available for all entry terms.
- Only complete applications will be eligible for review. In order for an application to be considered complete, the Office of Admission must receive all required application materials by the designated deadline.
- Priority for scholarship consideration is given to those applicants who apply and complete the Teachers College Scholarship application by published early deadlines.
- Applications received after the early deadline may be considered on a space-available basis.
Components of the Complete Application
Below is a list of items that must be received by the Office of Admission to ensure a complete application. Please note only complete applications will be eligible for review.
Under no circumstances can any application materials submitted to the Office of Admission be returned to an applicant or forwarded to another college, university, or place of business including other schools within Columbia University. All records submitted in support of an application for admission become part of a student’s permanent record at Teachers College.
Completed Application Form
The Application for Admission is available online at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply. A valid e-mail address must be included on the application form, as it will be used for all correspondence from the Office of Admission.
- New application $65
- Re-application $35
- Non-Degree $65
The application fee is a non-refundable submission fee.
The application fee must be submitted electronically through the online application (credit card or checking or savings account routing number). Application fees made by checking or savings account routing number must be drawn on a U.S. bank.
Statement of Purpose
Applicants should present a carefully planned and written statement of purpose two to three pages in length, double-spaced, describing their background, past work in the intended field of study, plans for graduate study and a professional career, or any other information they feel is relevant. Applicants who are currently registered in a graduate program at another university should explain why they wish to leave. The statement of purpose must be submitted electronically as a part of the online application.
For current requirements regarding transcript submission, please visit the Office of Admission website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply.
For educational institutions located outside of the United States or Canada, the Office of Admission requires a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable). Refer to the Office of Admission's website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply for more information.
Official transcripts are required from all academic institutions for applicants offered admission to Teachers College. Teachers College reserves the right to withdraw an application or an admission offer, if there is a discrepancy between unofficial transcripts/documents used for application review and the official original transcript.
Letters of Reference
Applicants are required to submit two letters of recommendation, unless a third is required. More information can be found on the Office of Admission website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply.
Letters of recommendation should be written by people who can comment from personal knowledge on the applicant’s academic or professional qualifications for graduate study. Wherever possible, letters of recommendation should be submitted from academic sources. However, if an applicant has been out of school for a number of years, professional recommendations may be used in most cases.
Recommendations written by family members or friends are not appropriate for the purposes of this application. A credentials file at a previous college or university may be submitted to fulfill the letters of recommendation requirement. However, if an applicant has been out of school for five or more years, one additional current letter of recommendation should be submitted.
Letters of recommendation may be submitted electronically through the online application or in paper form. Applicants must provide the name, title, relationship and email of each recommender in the space provided on the online application, regardless of the method of submission.
If a paper letter of recommendation is submitted, applicants should request that each letter of recommendation be returned to the applicant in a sealed envelope with the signature of the recommender across the sealed flap. Each recommendation must be received by the Office of Admission in its original sealed envelope. If the recommender prefers, the letter may be sent directly to the Office of Admission at Teachers College. The recommender’s signature must appear on both the letter of recommendation and across the sealed flap. Open or unsigned reference letters will not be accepted.
Letters of recommendation are used for admission and scholarship review in the applicant’s intended field of study only. All letters of recommendation are destroyed after the review process.
A current résumé or chronological listing of employment and other significant activities must be submitted electronically through the online application.
Standardized Tests are required by some, but not all, Teachers College degree programs. All submitted test scores received by the Office of Admission will be available for review by the Admission committee.
Applicants are expected to take any required standardized tests well before the application deadline(s). Official scores of any required standardized test, such as the TOEFL, GRE, or MAT must be directly reported to Teachers College Office of Admission by the Testing Centers. Expired scores will not be accepted. The official scores must be received by the application deadline.
For the TOEFL, GRE, or other tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the assigned institution code for Teachers College is 2905. No department code should be indicated.
For all applicants who received a baccalaureate degree from an institution where English is not the sole official language of instruction, an English proficiency exam must be taken. An English proficiency exam is required regardless of where the applicant received a graduate degree (if any). We accept TOEFL or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
- The minimum TOEFL exam score required by Teachers College is 100 on the internet-based exam (IBT), 250 on the computer-based exam (CBT), and 600 on the paper-based exam (PBT). The TOEFL is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). Applicants may obtain further information on TOEFL at www.toefl.org or from their local overseas educational advising center (www.educationusa.state.gov).
- The minimum IELTS exam score required by Teachers College is an overall band score of 7.0.
- Applicants to the Teaching of English as a Second Language (TESOL) or Applied Linguistics programs must submit an English proficiency exam score if their native language is not English, regardless of where their undergraduate and/or graduate degree was obtained. In addition, these programs have exam restrictions and minimum score requirements that differ from all other Teachers College programs. Refer to the program website for more information.
Supplemental Application Requirements
Some programs require additional application materials such as standardized test scores or writing samples (separate from the Statement of Purpose). Refer to the Areas of Study section (www.tc.columbia.edu/apply) for more information.
Other Admission Policies
Notification of Decision
The length of the application review process varies from program to program. The Office of Admission will notify the applicant via e-mail once a decision has been published. This notification will include instructions on how to retrieve the application decision through the online application. The official notification of the decision is the letter bearing the signature of the Director of Admission. Decisions will not be given over the telephone.
For Summer/Fall applicants who submit a complete application by the published early application deadlines, it is our goal to publish decisions around mid-March. Spring term applicants and applicants applying after the early deadline will be notified on a rolling basis.
Members of the Admissions staff are not permitted to discuss specific details regarding the decision on any application. Admission committee meetings are confidential and information cannot be shared with applicants or any other party. Admission decisions are final.
If you have applied to Teachers College three times and were denied admission each time, you must wait three years before submitting another application.
In order to ensure a place in a program, a $300 U.S. non-refundable tuition deposit must be received by Teachers College. Deposit deadlines will be included in the letter of admission. The tuition deposit must be submitted electronically through the Admission Response Form (credit card or checking or savings account routing number). Deposits made by checking or savings account routing number must be drawn on a U.S. bank. Upon enrollment, the tuition deposit will be credited to the student’s account.
Deferral of Admission
Students may defer their admission to a Master of Arts, Master of Education, or Master of Science degree program for one year, unless otherwise specified by the program. Students admitted to doctoral programs must have the written permission of the program to which they were admitted to defer an offer of admission. Requests for deferral of admission must be indicated on the Deferral Response Form. Pending approval, students are required to submit a $300 U.S. non-refundable tuition deposit and an additional $300 US non-refundable deferral deposit in order to secure enrollment for the following year. Upon enrollment both the tuition deposit and deferral deposit will be credited to the student's account.
International applicants must hold, or be in the process of obtaining, the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree in order to be reviewed for admission to Teachers College. Applicants who do not meet this requirement will not be considered for admission.
Applicants are expected to collect and prepare international educational credentials well in advance of the application deadline. Incomplete records will not be reviewed for admission.
If an applicant’s credentials are from an institution outside of the United States and Canada, the Office of Admission requires an official course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable). It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the necessary paperwork and payment to an approved evaluation service, and to request and official copy of the report to be sent to the Office of Admission. The completed evaluation must be received by the appropriate admission deadline. The evaluation copy provided to Teachers College becomes an official academic record document and the sole property of Teachers College upon its receipt. Evaluations will be reviewed by Teachers College administrators and the determination of degree equivalency to U.S. degrees is at the discretion of Teachers College. For more information, please visit the Office of Admission website at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply.
If a school an applicant attended is no longer in existence or it is impossible to obtain official documents from the school attended, the applicant should have the Ministry of Education of that country furnish an official statement testifying to the impossibility of obtaining records. The Ministry should also supply Teachers College with a list of courses ordinarily required in the degree program an applicant has followed in that school or university.
Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from a college or university where English is not the sole official language of instruction must take an exam to establish English Language proficiency. Refer to “Standardized Tests” for more information.
Applicants should not submit bank statements or other proof of funds with application materials.
Documents necessary to obtain a student visa (I-20 or DS-2019) are sent to the Office of International Services only after an applicant is officially admitted to Teachers College and has submitted the Application for Visa Certificate (AVC) (available online at www.tc.columbia.edu/international), and supporting documents certifying that the applicant has the necessary funds to meet the cost of full-time study at Teachers College. Holders of student visas (F-1 or J-1) are required to study full-time (at least 12 points per semester). A copy of the ID page(s) of the passport or national ID card, as well as address in the applicant’s country of permanent residence are also required.
Be certain that any form not issued in English is accompanied by a notarized English translation.
Individuals holding B-1 or B-2 status, or who entered the United States on a visa waiver, may be in violation of their status if they enroll in classes.
Contact International Services at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions related to visas or visit www.tc.columbia.edu/international.
Students with Disabilities
The Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (www.tc.columbia.edu/oasid) ensures that programs and services at Teachers College are physically, programmatically, and attitudinally accessible to individuals with disabilities. Equal access is achieved through individualized responses addressing the needs of individuals with conditions including, but not limited to, vision, hearing or mobility impairments, medical conditions, or learning disabilities that affect one or more academic activities.
Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities
163 Thorndike Hall
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027-6696
Tel/Voice: (212) 678-3689
TTY: (212) 678-3853
Video Phone: (866) 624-3281
Fax: (212) 678-3793
Admission as a Non-Degree Student
Non-degree status is available to all applicants holding the equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree.
The non-degree application is available online at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply. A valid e-mail address must be included on the application form, as it will be used for correspondence from the Office of Admission.
The non-degree application consists of the online non-degree application form, $65.00 non-refundable application fee, and either a copy or official transcripts from the undergradaute baccalaureate institution showing a conferred baccalaureate degree and all academic courses and grades. All three application items can be submitted electronically through the online non-degree application process. Additional application materials may be required based on the non-degree program.
A non-degree student may take up to 16 credit points as long as the academic standards of the College are met.
In order to exceed the maximum of 16 points, a non-degree student must either:
- Be admitted to a Teachers College degree program, or
- Obtain approval from the Registrar for continued registration under non-degree status.
Admission to non-degree status implies no commitment for admission to a degree, advanced certificate or non-credit program. Should a non-degree student become a degree candidate, a maximum of 16 points (8 in the major field) taken in non-degree status may be applied toward a degree program.
Admission as an Advanced Certificate Student
Advances Certificate status is available to all applicants holding the equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree.
The advanced certificate application is available online by using the non-degree application at www.tc.columbia.edu/apply. A valid e-mail address must be included on the application form, as it will be used for correspondence from the Office of Admission.
The advanced certificate application consists of the online non-degree application form, $65.00 non-refundable application fee, and either a copy of official transcripts from the undergradaute baccalaureate institution showing a conferred baccalaureate degree and all academic courses and grades. All three application items can be submitted electronically through the online non-degree application process. Additional application materials may be required based on the advanced certificate program requirements.
Admission to an advanced certificate status implies no commitment for admission to a degree, non-degree or non-credit program.
Admission as a Non-Credit Student
Refer to the Continuing Professional Studies website at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/continuing-professional-studies/ for more information about non-credit options at Teachers College.
Admission to a non-credit status implies no commitment for admission to a degree, non-degree or advanced certificate program.
Program Change Form
Current Teachers College students enrolled in a teacher certification program or a program that offers multiple tracks may use a Program Change Form to apply to switch from one certification/track to another in the same program. The Program Change Form must be signed and approved by the Program Coordinator before the Office of Admission can begin to process the form. A signed and approved Program Change Form does not guarantee admission until after it is reviewed by the Office of Admission. The Director of Admission reserves the right to request additional application materials from the applicant, even after the form has been signed by the Program Coordinator. The Program Change Form is not intended to be used as a means to re-apply to different programs or advanced degrees at Teachers College. For these requests the online application is recommended. The Office of Admission will notify the applicant via e-mail once a decision has been published. The official notification of the decision is the letter bearing the signature of the Director of Admission. Decisions will not be given over the telephone.
Office of Admission
Thorndike Hall, 3rd Floor
Phone: (212) 678-3710
Fax: (212) 678-4171
Statement of Non Discrimination
Teachers College does not disciminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, acestry, age, marital status, citizenship status, veteran status, disability, pregnancy and gender expression or any other criterion specified by federal, state or local laws in the adminitration of its admission, employment and educational policies or scholarships, loan, athletic and other school administrated programs.
The Office of Financial Aid recognizes that the pursuit of a graduate education includes a financial commitment for the student and family. We also know that identifying and securing financial resources plays a significant role in planning for graduate school. To this end, we are committed to reducing financial barriers and offering students the best financial aid package possible in the form of institutional scholarships, federal grants and student loans, and employment opportunities. Please visit the website at www.tc.edu/financialaid/ for further information on the financial aid process, grants and internal and external scholarships.