An institutional recommendation means that the institution where you completed your "Approved Teacher Preparation Program" is verifying to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) that you have completed a Teacher Education Program or an Administration and Pupil Personnel Program which satisfies the New York State’s requirements for certification in that particular area, as agreed upon in the program registration.
Applicants for New York State teacher certification are required to take the NYSTCE:
Registration booklets for exams are available on-line. In addition, test preparation guides are available at our office, Zankel Hall 411 (for Teachers College students ONLY).
Please note that exams are not given on a monthly basis.
For sample test questions and further information, go to www.nystce.nesinc.com.
Public School Building Leadership & Public School District Leadership
CLEP is the most widely accepted credit-by-examination program in the country.
More than 2,900 accredited institutions of higher education award credit for satisfactory scores on CLEP examinations.
The tests are a "series of examinations, each 90 minutes long, that allow you to demonstrate your knowledge in a wide range of subjects."
If you are planning on taking a CLEP test, the math and foreign language exams, please see reverse side for specific requirements.
Certification means that the state has reviewed your credentials and certified you as eligible to teach. Teachers in Charter schools also require certification.
Private or Independent schools, however, do not always require a teaching certificate.
Certification makes you eligible to teach, but it does not supersede your visa status. You also need an appropriate work authorization to teach in the schools. One option for F-1 students is Optional Practical Training, which provides an employment authorization for a maximum of 12 months. See "F-1 Employment and Practical Training" information at www.tc.columbia.edu/~international.
For information on work authorization sponsored by the NYC Department of Education International Recruitment Office - Phone: (718) 935-5854
Provisional/Permanent (older titles that are in the process of being phased out), and
US Permanent Residence ("Green Card") IS required for Permanent/Professional Certification.
Requirements for initial certification can be found at http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert
Certification through a Teachers College degree program leading to an Approved Teacher Preperation program requires:
Completion/submission of an Institutional Recommendation Form (IRDF)
- Completion of a degree program that includes student teaching
- New York State Teacher Certification Examination (NYSTCE)
- Fingerprint clearance. We have also created a quick reference sheet for International Students looking to be fingerprinted - CLICK HERE
- Detection of Child Abuse and School Violence Prevention Workshops.
For Secondary teacher certification, you need to have an undergraduate degree in the field/subject area you plan to teach (at least 30 credits in the academic subject), plus 21 credits of pedagogy, and student teaching.
Claimed experience may be in any grade or subject.
Experience that is not full time may be credited on a prorated basis.
Teaching assistant experience is not applicable to this requirement.
If you plan on seeking certification outside of
More information can be found by contacting the State Department of Education or visiting the website of the state in which you are interested.
Please note, individual state requirements and contact information are subject to change.
Candidates MUST enter in the NYSED - TEACH system, their electronic certification application(s) and pay $50 for each certificate.
Payment is to be made DIRECTLY to the NYSED to cover your certificate fee.
Hard copies of the IRDF can be picked up in the Office of Teacher Education (OTE) located in Zankel Hall 411.
The IRDF must be completed by the candidate and submitted back to the OTE with all supporting documents (official undergraduate & other NON-TC transcripts, and proof of Child Abuse and School Violence Prevention workshops).