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Higher and Postsecondary Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Higher and Postsecondary Education

In the Department of Organization & Leadership

FAQs and Inquiries > FAQ


Prospective Students

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

To inquire about the Teachers College admissions process, please contact the Admissions Office.

To schedule a tour of Teachers College, please visit the Office of Admissions website.

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 information for international students, please contact the Office of International Services.

For inquiries related to the M.A., Ed.M. and Ed.D. programs, please contact Ms. Diana Chadi:

To inquire further about the HPSE Internship Program, please contact Mr. Leslie Williams:

For general questions, please contact our Academic Secretary Ms. Lucy Tam:

Does the HPSE Program Have an Open House for Prospective Students?


The HPSE Open House for Prospective Students runs in conjunction with Teachers College Fall Open House.  The Open House provides prospective students with the opportunity to learn more about the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program at Teachers College, as well as meet some of the current faculty and students. The 2015 HPSE Open House will take place on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13 from 6PM-8PM (with sign-ins beginning at 5:30PM).  To RSVP, for the HPSE Open House, please fill out this form.

The HPSE Open House will take place in Everett Lounge, Teachers College, Columbia University. The address for Teachers College is:

525 West 120th Street

NY, NY 10027

To find out more information on the Teachers College Fall Open House and Teachers College tours, please visit the Office of Admissions website.

For further information about the Open House, please contact the HPSE Inquiries Coordinator, Ms. Diana Chadi.


How do I know that the HPSE program fits my career and research interests?

The faculty members in our program cover a wide range of areas in the field of education. To learn more specifically about whether or not your interests are covered in our program, please look over the faculty profiles.  Please also read through our Program Description, as this provides detail as to the mission and goals of each degree program.

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

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

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree requires a minimum of 32 points to complete the degree. The Master of Education (Ed.M) is an advanced degree for applicants who have professional experience and would like to further their learning and research into the field of higher education.  The Master of Education (Ed.M.) degree 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 requirements.

When can a student enter the program?

Our program currently only accepts applications for the Fall semester, but you may start taking classes in the Summer sessions prior the start of the Fall semester.  More information about applying to the program can be found here:

The deadlines for applications for entry in 2015 – 2016 year are:
M.A.: Early deadline - January 15, 2015; Final deadline - July 1, 2015
Ed.M.: Early deadline - January 15, 2015; Final deadline - April 15, 2015
Ed.D.: January 2, 2015

May I enroll as a part-time student?

Yes. In previous years, approximately 75% of our M.A. students were enrolled as full-time students and held a 20-hour a week internship; while the other 25% of the M.A. students were enrolled as part-time students with full-time careers.  For Ed.M. and Ed.D. students, approximately 75% of the students enrolled in these degree levels worked full-time and took classes part-time; while the other 25% were full-time students.

Many of our classes are offered from 3:00pm - 4:40pm, 5:10pm - 6:50pm, and 7:20pm - 9:00pm 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, the program typically hosts networking events and colloquium speakers during the evenings to accommodate our part-time students.

Do I have to declare my enrollment status as either full-time or part-time?

No, there is no need to declare your enrollment status - there is no differentiation between the two groups, and both full-time and part-time students are provided with equal services and support.

How long will it take me to complete the degree?

Typically, full-time M.A. students complete their program within one academic year, and our part-time students complete the program at varying speeds. Full-time Ed.M. students tend to complete their program within two and a half academic years. There is no specific timeframe for Ed.D. students. Please note that these timeframes are approximate and depend on each person's working situation, personal life, and financial situation.

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.

I already have a Master's Degree. Can I transfer credits from my Master's program to TC?

Only students enrolled in the Ed.D. and Ed.M. program in HPSE are eligible to transfer credit to TC.

Please refer to the Transfer Credit Guide.

How can I find out more about the experiences of students in the program?

To find out more about the experiences of HPSE alums, please check out our Alumni Profiles page.


How do I apply?

Applications are available from the Teachers College Office of Admissions. Information and forms can be found at:

What are the required materials for applying?

The following are required materials for applying to the Higher and Postsecondary Education program:
1. Application for Admission & Fee
2. Statement of Purpose
3. Resume
4. Official Transcript(s)
5. Three Letters of Recommendation, two of which must be academic
6. Academic Writing Sample (of 10 pages or less)

Please visit the Teachers College Interactive Program Guide to find out more information of required materials.

For any questions related to applying to the Higher and Postsecondary Education program, please email the Office of Admissions Office.

What are the criteria for acceptance into the M.A., Ed.M., and Ed.D. programs?

In determining the qualifications for admission, we use a contemporary model whereby a weakness in one area can be compensated for by a strength in another area.  That is, we look at the entire profile of each applicant across a number of different areas.  Typically, a strong applicant is one with solid and consistent record of achievement across various domains.  In general, we focus on intellectual capacity, fit with the offerings of the Higher and Postsecondary Education program, relevant background and experience, and dedication and commitment to obtaining the degree.  In evaluating applications, we examine each of the required items for admission with careful review.  Our goal is to determine applicants' individual merits and potential contributions to the field as well as to the entering class.

Applicants to all degree levels should discuss past educational preparation and professional goals in their personal statements, including their anticipated work (e.g. professional and/or research interest) within the degree program to which they are applying.  In addition to the general application documentation required, all applicants must submit an academic writing sample (e.g., class paper) that shows how they handle scholarly materials: such as data, ideas, concepts, theoretical perspectives.  Ed.M. and Ed.D. applicants should submit a paper written for a graduate level class.  Doctoral applicants should have a Master's degree in a relevant discipline or field of work experience in higher education.  Please review our requirements online at the Teachers College Areas of Study.

Are any standardized exams required?

The GRE scores are not required for the Higher and Postsecondary Education for any of the degree levels (M.A., Ed.M. and Ed.D.). The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all applicants who have received their undergraduate degree from an institution where the language of instruction is not English.

Please visit the Teachers College Guide to Admission:

What is the time frame for admission decisions? When will I know if I have been accepted?

Generally speaking, the Teachers College Admissions Office notifies students who applied by the priority TC deadline at some point around mid-March. Applicants who met the final deadline tend to hear from the TC Admissions Office around early to late May.

TC Admissions Office has information regarding these deadlines on their website:

Be sure to also check your online application page to get up-to-date information about the status of your application.

For which terms may I apply for admission?

Applicants who apply to the Higher and Postsecondary Education Program may only apply for Fall Admissions.  We do not accept Spring or rolling Admissions.

For applicants planning to enroll in the 2015-2016 school year, the priority deadline for M.A. and Ed.M. applicants is January 15, 2015 and the final deadline is April 15, 2015.  The deadline for Ed.D. applicants is January 2, 2015.  Applicants who wish to be considered fro financial aid should apply by the priority deadline.

Please refer to the Teachers College Areas of Study for application deadlines.

Are you able to tell me whether all of my application materials have arrived in Admissions?

Unfortunately, the College does not have a centralized application system that allows each individual office to monitor the status of incoming applications. Should you have a question on where your application is in the process or whether any materials are missing, please contact the Admissions Office directly at

Can I defer my admission to the college?

Yes, students enrolled in the M.A. and Ed.M. program may defer their admission for up to one year.  Students admitted into the doctoral program 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 Admission Response Form.  Students wishing to defer are required to submit a non-refundable tuition deposit at the time of the deferral request.

If you have any questions regarding deferment of admissions, please email: or call: 212-678-3000.

How many students begin the program each year?

The number of students we admit varies from year to year.  In recent years, we have had about 40-50 M.A. students, 5-10 Ed.M. students, and 0-4 Ed.D. students enter the program in September.  The numbers vary year to year, however.

The application requires a writing sample. What are the criteria for the writing sample?

The writing sample should be a maximum of 10 pages and should demonstrate an applicant's academic writing skills and abilities, particularly with writing in the field/area of education.  Examples of a writing sample are: a research paper, submitted for a journal or conference, in which the applicant is the sole author; a paper for a prior course; or a newly written essay. 

Will it help my chances of acceptance if I talk with a faculty member in the HPSE program before submitting my application?

Speaking or meeting with a faculty member in the program prior to applying will not promote an increased chance of acceptance for any applicant.  However, we do recommend that you acquaint yourself with the work of the faculty member with whom you wish to work with, especially if you are a Ed.M. or Ed.D. applicant.  Please review the Faculty Page of this website to learn more about the work of the HPSE faculty members.

Can someone from the program review my resume, CV, and/or statement of purpose?

HPSE faculty members, staff, and the Inquiries Coordinator cannot review your CV, resume, and/or statement of purpose.  We encourage you to ask individuals who are familiar with your academic work, research, and work experience to review these documents for you.

Financial Aid

How much does it cost to study at Teachers College?

The 2015 – 2016 tuition rate is $1,454 per credit/point. In addition, the college fee per term is $428. These amounts do not include any additional services students may need such as health insurance.

Up-to-date information on tuition and fees is available here.

Who do I contact about financial aid?

Office of Financial Aid email:

Office of Financial Aid phone number: (212) 678 - 3714

Who do I contact about scholarships?

Please contact the Office of Financial Aid:

Who do I contact regarding assistantships, work-study programs, or various employment opportunities at Teachers College?

Contact one of the following offices/individuals:

For inquiries regarding graduate assistantships offered by the HPSE program, please contact the HPSE Internship Coordinator, Mr. Leslie Williams.

To find out more about Financial Aid opportunities, please visit the Financial Aid website:

To find out more about on-campus jobs, please visit the Teachers College Human Resources website:

To find out more about Columbia University jobs and careers, please visit the Teachers College Career Services website:

Student Life

What kinds of activities are available outside the classroom?

The program in Higher Education program hosts a number of events for students to promote learning outside the classroom and foster a sense of community within the program. Every semester, we offer professional development and social opportunities. Programming and professional development events are announced via our program website and through our program listserv. All admitted students are added to our program listserv.

What kinds of student activities/organizations are there at Teachers College?

There are about 25 student organizations at Teachers College, representing various aspects of the school's diverse student body. In addition, the Office of Student Activities and Programs organizes a range of activities on a regular basis, including workshops, social events, and networking opportunities.

For more information, please visit the Student Activities website:

What facilities and services are available to help support students' academic success and personal experience?

Graduate Writing Center

Computing Services

International Student Services

Informational workshops on library structure, library renovations, research skills, and technology is available via the library's website:

Teacher College students also have full access to the Columbia University and Barnard College library system.

Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Information is available via the website:

Office of the President for Diversity and Community
Information is available at:

Office of the Registrar
Information is available at:

Student Handbook
Information for new and current students about TC and its policies is available at: