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Adult Learning and Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Adult Learning and Leadership

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

FAQs > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students | AdmissionsAdult Education Guided Intensive Study (AEGIS)
Doctoral StudentsEmployment & VolunteerFinancial Considerations
GeneralStudent DemographicsStudent Life

Who do I contact to get more information about the ALL program?

For information about the program by mail, please contact the Office of Admissions.
For information about Financial Aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.
For information about Housing, please contact the Office of Residential Services.
For information for students with disabilities, please contact the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities.
For inquiries specifically related to our program, please contact Thelia Louise Singleton

I want to browse the schedule of courses. Can I do that?

Is there a residency requirement for the Ed.D. program?

For the traditional Ed.D. program in Adult Learning and Leadership there is not a residency requirement. The AEGIS program has a residency requirement for the duration of the summer intensive.

What is the difference between the Master of Arts (M.A.) and the Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree?

The Master of Arts degree requires a minimum of 45 points to complete the degree. The Master of Education is an advanced degree for applicants who have professional experience as well as a graduate degree in a related field before applying, and requires a minimum of 60 points to complete the degree.

What are the major requirements for the M.A., Ed.M, and Ed.D. programs?

Each degree program has its own set of requirements outlined in our program study guides, which are available on our website.  The study guides provide the frameworks for program planning, although students proceed with their course requirements in consultation with their designated advisor. The coursework portion of each degree program consists of required courses (offered annually or in alternate years), within-program electives, and extra-program electives; other requirements, unique to a program or portion thereof, are indicated in the study guides.

Can I take courses outside of Teachers College?

Students are able to take courses outside of Teachers College (TC) according to reciprocity criteria established by the College. All courses taken outside TC are subject to the tuition rates of the school offering the course. Consult the Registrar (Cross-Registration for TC Students) for current rates and for instruction on how to register to courses outside TC (but within Columbia University). Please see the TC Catalogue for information about taking courses through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium. There are necessary forms that may require advanced planning.

How do I know what courses are eligible electives?

Each concentration requires elective coursework in addition to the core requirements. Students need to consult with their respective advisor for details on these electives.

When can a student enter the program?

Our program currently only accepts applications for the Fall Semester. More information about applying to the program can be found here:

The current deadlines for applications are:

  • M.A.: April 15
  • Ed.M.: January 15
  • Ed.D.: January 2

May I enroll as a part-time student?

Yes. Many of our classes are offered from 5:10 pm-6:50 pm and 7:20 pm-9:00 pm to permit flexibility. Some classes are also offered during daytime hours. A few elective courses are also available during the weekends and via distance learning. In addition, we typically host networking events and colloquium speakers during the evenings to accommodate our part-time students.

Must I declare my enrollment status as either full-time or part-time?

No. You do not need to declare your enrollment status as either full-time or part-time because we do not differentiate between the two groups. The full-time and part-time students are provided equal services and support.

How long will it take me to complete the degree?

Typically, full-time M.A. students complete their program within two academic years, and our parttime students complete the program at varying speeds. Full-time Ed.M. students tend to complete their program within two and a half academic years. Full-time Ed.D. students sometimes complete their program within five academic years. Part-time Ed.M. and Ed.D. students also complete the program at varying speeds. These timeframes are approximate and depend on each person's working situation, personal life, and financial situation. Part-time students usually take two to three classes per term and full-time students typically enroll in four to six classes per term.

What supports will I be given?

In addition to advisors and sponsors, it is highly recommended that students take initiative to form study groups with other program colleagues. In many cases, students find these groups extremely valuable for academic and social support.

What is the relationship between Teachers College and Columbia University?

Teachers College is Columbia University's Graduate and Professional School of Education. The College has its own administration, governing board, and finances, while having access to the resources of Columbia University; such as the library, health services, recreational center, and so forth. Teachers College is defined as an affiliate of Columbia University.

Where do students typically live?

Most students commute from around the Tri-State area. Students who relocate to New York City usually live near the university on the Upper West Side of Manhattan or in graduate housing on campus.

Who do I contact about Teachers College graduate student housing?

Please contact the Student Housing Office for information about housing. They can be reached by phone at 212-678-3235, by email at, or online at We highly recommend that you return the housing application promptly if you would like to live in student housing. TC housing is very competitive.