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Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of International Services

Scholars & Faculty > Visiting Doctoral Students

Visiting Doctoral Students

Visiting Doctoral Students (VDS):
Eligibility for VDS status at the College is reserved for 1) doctoral students outside of Teachers College who are currently enrolled in a doctoral program at a regionally accredited institution within the United States, or its equivalent from a country other than the United States, 2) who have been invited by a current TC faculty member on full-time professorial appointment to collaborate on that faculty member’s research or by a current TC faculty member on full-time professorial appointment who has agreed to serve as a member of the visiting doctoral student’s dissertation committee. Doctoral students who meet these eligibility requirements must apply and be accepted to the College’s non-degree program online at Office of Admission and register for at least one Teachers College credit per semester during the term(s) of stay. 

Please note: Individuals who do not qualify as a VS (Visiting Scholar) or a VDS (Visiting Doctoral Student) are not eligible for visa sponsorship from the College.

Visa Sponsorship for VDS: If you are a currently enrolled doctoral student in a regionally accredited institution within the United States or are a currently enrolled doctoral student in a school outside of the United States but do not require J-1 visa sponsorship from Teachers College, you may apply directly to the Office of Admission.  Non-degree students making their own arrangements for immigration/visa status do not need to apply to or communicate with the Office of International Services.
If you are a currently enrolled doctoral student in a school outside of the United States and do require J-1 visa sponsorship from Teachers College, an Application for “Visa Certification for Visiting Doctoral Student” can be found at TC OIS website under the Forms section. Please note that the application will not be reviewed until after the VDS has been officially admitted as a non-degree student. 

The application requires that the VDS have official written sponsorship from a current TC faculty member on full-time professorial appointment.  Teachers College does not provide visa sponsorship for non-degree students who are not officially sponsored by a current TC faculty member.  Non-degree students making their own arrangements for immigration/visa status do not need to apply with the Office of International Services.In order to be eligible for admission, please see the requirements outlined by Admissions at the Office of Admission website.  International educational credentials must be collected and prepared well in advance and documentation must be accompanied by a notarized English translation.  Applicants must submit a copy of the degree evaluation evaluated by WES, CIES or ARRACO along with a copy of the baccalaureate transcripts. If English is not the sole language of instruction for the baccalaureate degree, a copy of the TEFOL/ IEIL test score must also be submitted.  

Scholars & Faculty


Office of International Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
Box 7, 525 W 120th Street
New York, New York 10027-6696
Phone: (212) 678-3939 ♦ ~ Fax: (212) 678-3990 ♦ Email: