Selected Academic Rules | Teachers College Columbia University

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Student Handbook | Teachers College, Columbia University

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Selected Academic Rules

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

The Statutes of the College provide: “The admission of a student, their continuance upon the rolls of the College, the receipt by them of academic credit for work completed, graduation, and the conferring of any degree or diploma upon them shall be subject strictly to the control of the College, which shall be free to refuse or cancel registration at any time on any grounds, except those cited [in the Non-Discrimination Policy], which it deems desirable.” (Statutes, VII-C)

For the complete and most current version of the policy on Admission & Continuation of Enrollment, visit the Incomplete Grades Policy, refer to the TC Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

The Faculty of the College requires that all students maintain acceptable grades as well as satisfactory progress in the completion of degree requirements. Some departments specify an overall minimum grade average (see specific department statements). Any department judging a student to be performing below expectations is authorized by the Faculty to require additional course work as a means to evaluate the student’s continuance within the degree program or at the College. If satisfactory progress as defined by the department is not maintained, a student may be dismissed from the program. In addition, a student whose academic performance in course work or in other requirements is seriously below the level required for successful completion of a degree may be denied permission for continued enrollment at the College on the initiative of the Faculty of the academic department in which the student is enrolled. There is no formal appeal from such a decision, but the services of the Ombudsman may be requested by the student.

Any student receiving eight or more points with grades of C- or lower is not permitted to continue registration at the College in any capacity and may not receive a degree or diploma. Petitions for exception to this policy are to be submitted, in writing, to the Registrar with a written recommendation from the department in which the student was last enrolled. Such petitions will be submitted to a faculty committee for review and decision. For the complete and most current version of this policy, refer to policy as listed in the Teachers College Policy Library here.

Statement on Academic Conduct: A Teachers College student is expected to refrain from any conduct, including cheating, plagiarizing, or purchasing documents submitted for academic evaluation, that calls into question his or her academic and/or professional probity.

Decisions regarding academic evaluation in all aspects of students’ work at the College, including course work, certification examinations, clinical or field experiences, and preparation of dissertations, are within the sole jurisdiction of the faculty concerned, including, as appropriate, the department or program staff members. Disciplinary actions (e.g., reprimand, suspension, or dismissal) in cases of misconduct are addressed in the Student Conduct Code.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Grading Policy:  Refer to the policy as listed in the TC Policy Library here.

Grade Correction Policy:  The normal procedure for effecting a correction would be through direct discussion between the student and the instructor. If redress cannot be attained through such discussions, the student may next appeal to the department chairperson of the department offering the course. If resolution cannot be attained through appeal, the student may next appeal to the Vice Provost. In situations where the student feels that such an appeal process might not be in the student’s interest, counsel and assistance can be sought from the Ombudsman or the Vice Provost. For the complete and most current version of the Grading Correction Policy, refer to the TC Policy Library here.

Incomplete Grades Policy:  The grade of Incomplete is to be assigned only when the course attendance requirement has been met but, for reasons satisfactory to the instructor, the granting of a final grade has been postponed because certain course assignments are outstanding. If the outstanding assignments are completed within one calendar year from the date of the close of term in which the grade of Incomplete was received and a final grade submitted, the final grade will be recorded on the permanent transcript, replacing the grade of Incomplete, with a transcript notation indicating the date that the grade of Incomplete was replaced by a final grade.  If the outstanding work is not completed within one calendar year from the date of the close of term in which the grade of Incomplete was received, the grade will remain as a permanent Incomplete on the transcript. In such instances, if the course is a required course or part of an approved program of study, students will be required to re-enroll in the course including payment of all tuition and fee charges for the new registration and satisfactorily complete all course requirements. If the required course is not offered in subsequent terms, the student should speak with the faculty advisor or program coordinator about their options for fulfilling the degree requirement. Doctoral students with six or more credits with grades of Incomplete included on their program of study (currently the Program Plan) will not be allowed to sit for the certification exam. For the complete and most current version of the Incomplete Grades Policy, refer to the TC Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Teachers College, Columbia University offers courses of study leading to the following degrees: Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Education (Ed.M.), Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Education in the College Teaching of an Academic Subject (Ed.D.C.T.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). This Degree Requirements policy presents an overview of degree requirements, as well as how the College determines that students have met requirements.

The College has the responsibility for establishing the requirements for various degrees subject to certain policies set by Columbia University, the New York State Education Department, and professional accrediting agencies. Students should be provided with full information regarding these requirements.

Department & Program-Specific Degree Requirements: In addition to College-wide requirements, TC academic departments and programs have specific requirements for students at each degree level. These requirements can include certain courses, examinations, essays, or projects that apply only to students in particular major fields. These requirements may exceed but may not fall short of the minimum College-wide requirements described in this policy.  Students must meet all relevant department and program requirements.

The student’s advisor has the full and final responsibility for approval of the academic program of the individual student within the framework of the established policies of the department and the College, including the student’s program of coursework for each academic term.

For the complete and most current version of this policy, refer to policy as listed in the Teachers College Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

The Subcommittee on Student Petitions for Exemptions from Degree Requirements, a committee of the Faculty, has the responsibility of ruling on student petitions for exemption from master’s degree breadth and recency requirements and for readmission to the College after denial on the basis of poor scholarship. Any special requirements established by departments are subject to the jurisdiction of the department concerned. The general residence requirements for degrees or for acceptance of transfer credit for the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees cannot be waived.

Procedure: The petitioner first submits a formal request for waiver to his/her academic department. The department, after determining whether to support or oppose the petition, forwards it to the Subcommittee via the Registrar, with a recommendation of the department which may be in support of or opposed to the petition. The Subcommittee takes into account the information and interpretation from both the petitioner and from the department and makes a ruling. There is no appeal from this ruling. The Registrar serves as the staff member for this Subcommittee and can provide any information needed concerning procedures and policies.

For the complete and most current version of this policy, refer to policy as listed in the Teachers College Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

The various doctoral committees at Teachers College have the responsibility for implementing Faculty policies concerning the requirements for the several degrees. The policies and established procedures are outlined annually in bulletins available from the Office of Doctoral Studies.

A student who wishes to appeal a decision regarding a petition for exemption from the Doctoral Dissertation Advisement Fee, a leave of absence, an extension of period of certification, or similar aspects of the doctoral process may submit a petition to the appropriate doctoral committee. For Ph.D. students the petition would be sent to ODS and to the attention of the Faculty Committee on the Ph.D. in Education; for Ed.D. students, the petition would be sent to ODS and to the attention of the Faculty Committee on the Ed.D. The petition must carry the advisor’s recommendation. After proper review, the response to the petition is final in that it cannot be appealed for reversal to a higher office. The student may choose to consult with the Ombudsman. Students are urged to consult with the Office of Doctoral Studies if they have questions about the form of the petition or any other aspects of the process.

For the complete and most current version of this policy, refer to policy as listed in the Teachers College Policy Library here.

Responsible Office: Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Both doctoral programs of study at Teachers College have a formal evaluation procedure that looks to a recommendation for doctoral certification. This evaluation procedure is the responsibility of two or more professors representing the students’ academic program, and the recommendation for certification by the department is based on this evaluation and other relevant criteria. Each academic department has the authority to establish its own policy concerning the options available to students who have not been successful in this evaluation process.Appeal Procedure: Appeals growing out of this process should be first addressed to the student’s advisor or to the department chair. However, a student may at any time seek the assistance of the Ombudsman or the Vice Provost as a mediator.

For the complete and most current version of this policy, refer to policy as listed in the Teachers College Policy Library here.