Degree Programs

Degree Program Application Instructions

Teachers College is a graduate institution. In order to be considered for admission to a degree program:

All applicants must have a conferred baccalaureate degree before matriculating at Teachers College.

Applicants may apply to only one program at a time. All applicants are expected to collect and prepare international educational credentials well in advance of the application deadline. Incomplete records will not be reviewed.

Under no circumstances can any application materials submitted to the Office of Admission be returned to the applicant or forwarded to another college, university, or place of business. All records submitted in support of an application for admission become part of a student's permanent record at Teachers College.

STEP 1 - Complete Online Application Form

When completing the application, select the program and term for which you plan to apply. We encourage applicants to review program deadlines and requirements on the Academic Programs page prior to applying. Use a single email address that will not expire before your desired term of entry, as it will be used for all correspondence from the Office of Admission.

In addition to collecting your personal information, the online application form will also serve as the portal to submit the application requirements below. Expand the titles below to learn more about preparing these important required documents.

Your Statement of Purpose should describe your academic and professional background, plans for graduate school, your professional goals, and how and why you are a good fit for the program. It should be tailored to Teachers College and your specific program of interest. Generally speaking, your Statement of Purpose should be 2-3 pages in length, but some programs have specific prompts and page limits which you will see upon starting your online application.

The resume should be a chronological listing of your employment history, educational history, academic endeavors, and other significant activities.

We strongly encourage applicants to have letters of recommendation submitted electronically through our application. Applicants should request letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak from personal knowledge on their academic or professional qualifications for graduate study. Whenever possible, recommendations should be written by academic sources. If you have been out of school for a number of years, professional recommendations may be used in most cases. Recommendations written by family members or friends are not appropriate for the purposes of this application.

Please note, some programs may require three letters of recommendation. Consult your the Academic Programs page for more information. All letters of recommendation should be uploaded using professional letterhead and the recommender's professional email address.

In order for your application to be considered complete and eligible for review, letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline, along with all other required application materials.

Some programs require supplemental materials, such as a third letter of recommendation, an academic writing sample, or additional questions specific to the course of study. Search for your intended program below to see what materials are required.

STEP 2 - Submit Transcripts

As part of the application for admission, applicants are required to submit transcripts reflecting all undergraduate and graduate coursework they have completed. This includes any study-abroad programs or transfer credit not reflected on your undergraduate transcripts with full course titles and final grades. Expand the titles below to read more about how to submit documents that meet our requirements.

If you attended an institution in the United States, you have the option to upload a scanned copy of your transcript—through your online application—to allow for faster application processing. This should be a scanned or electronic copy of a transcript obtained directly from the Office of the Registrar at the issuing institution. Both your name and the name of the institution should be clearly visible.

Uploaded transcripts should include the following information:

  • Courses
  • Credits
  • Grades - including transfer and study abroad coursework
  • Key or Legend of grades - usually the reverse side of a paper transcript

Transcripts uploaded by the applicant are considered unofficial. This feature is offered in order to save you time and ensure that a record of your academic progress is included with your submitted application. It eliminates the need to have transcripts mailed to us during the initial processing and review of your application, and precludes any delays resulting from the non-receipt of a transcript.

Only if you are admitted to Teachers College and choose to enroll will you be required to have official transcripts submitted by all academic institutions listed on your application. Your offer of admission will be contingent upon the receipt and verification of these official transcripts, which must be submitted directly by the Office of the Registrar (or equivalent office) of their issuing institutions. Teachers College reserves the right to rescind an offer of admission if there is a discrepancy between the uploaded version/evaluation and the official original transcript(s).

Applicants who have completed, or are completing, undergraduate and/or graduate degrees at institutions outside of the United States that are not regionally accredited institutions as recognized by the U.S. Department of Education are required to submit a course-by-course translation and evaluation. The evaluations must be prepared and sent by one of the two providers listed below.

Please note this does not pertain to students from the United States spending a semester or year abroad, often referred to as "study abroad."

Teachers College will accept evaluations from the following organizations:

These organizations provide several types of evaluations. Please select the course-by-course evaluation option to ensure your evaluation meets our requirements for admission review.

Applications are not considered complete without a course-by-course evaluation. The determination of degree equivalency to a U.S. degree is at the discretion of the College. Once submitted to Teachers College, the evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of Teachers College upon its receipt.

STEP 3 - Submit Standardized Testing (If Required)

Not all students are required to submit results from standardized testing. Please consult the Academic Programs page to see if your program requires supplemental materials, and please review the English Proficiency section below if your native language is not English.

If required, all test scores must be official scores sent directly from the test administrator to the Office of Admission and must be received by the deadline. For the GRE, TOEFL, or other tests administered by Educational Testing Services (ETS), the assigned institution code for Teachers College is 2905.

Only scores from exams taken within the last 5 years are valid. The assigned institution code for Teachers College is 2905.

If you received your baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree from an institution where English is not the sole official language of instruction, you must submit official scores from one of the below accepted English proficiency exams. Please note that an English proficiency test is required, regardless of where you received a graduate degree (if any).

In order to be considered official, scores must be sent directly from the testing administrator and have been taken within the past 2 years. 

The accepted tests and minimum scores are:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)Minimum score requirement: 100 internet-based test (IBT) or 600 paper-based test (PBT)
    Teachers College institution code: 2905
  • IELTS English Language TestMinimum score requirement: 7.0

Note: Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Applied Linguistics have different English proficiency requirements and policies, refer to the program website for details.

Some programs require or allow applicants to submit results from other standardized tests, like the GMAT or MAT. Be sure to review the expiration date for these exams. Expired scores will not be accepted.

STEP 4 - Submit Application and Application Fee

In order to officially submit the application you must complete the signature section of the online degree application and then select "Submit Application." You will then be prompted to submit the non-refundable $65 application fee. Applicants may only apply to one program at a time. 

Check Your Application Status Page (and Your Email)

Please note, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the Office of Admission receives all required materials by the application deadline. Our deadlines are in-house deadlines. Our Application Status Page allows you to see a live checklist reflecting your required documents so that you can track what has been received. If you submitted something, but it looks like we haven’t received it, please reach out to our office at admission@tc.columbia.edu for guidance. 

In addition, we may reach out to you or your recommenders for additional information, as needed. Be sure to check your email regularly to avoid delays in application processing.

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