Visiting Scholars | Policies

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Visiting Scholars

Policy regarding Visiting Scholars

Owner: Provost

Tags: AP

Visiting Scholar Policy

Teachers College (TC) welcomes visitors who do not hold academic appointments at the College to come to TC, for a specific period of time, to facilitate their research and to participate in the activities of the College. To accommodate the needs of these individuals and to recognize their contribution to the intellectual life of the College, TC confers Visiting Scholar status with limited benefits and privileges according to the policies and procedures described below.


Eligibility for TC Visiting Scholar Status

Visiting Scholars generally hold a doctorate from a regionally accredited higher education institution in the United States or its equivalent in another country, and are on leave from a full-time faculty appointment at the institution where they are employed. In exceptional cases, a recognized expert in the field may also be nominated for Visiting Scholar status.

In addition, with special approval by the College, Visiting Scholar status may be granted to known practicing professionals, creative artists, former government officials, international officials (from entities such as the UN), leaders of NGOs and TC doctoral alumni and staff who are engaged in research and teaching of special interest to a Teachers College faculty member.

An individual who is not eligible for visiting scholar sponsorship but is currently a doctoral student at a regionally accredited institution within the United States, or its equivalent from a country other than the United States may apply to the College’s Visiting Doctoral Student Program. For details, please see the Visiting Doctoral Students Policy at (


Faculty Host

Visiting Scholar status is conferred by the Executive Director of International Affairs on behalf of the Provost and Dean of the College.

An individual who wishes to be a Visiting Scholar must be recommended by a faculty member in whose academic discipline the scholar has an interest. The faculty host must be in residence during the visiting scholar’s approved period of stay and is responsible for facilitating mutually beneficial interactions between the Visiting Scholar, faculty colleagues and students. Visiting Scholars are encouraged to participate in scholarly presentations at the College and to present a summary report on their experience at Teachers College. Directors of TC Institutes and members of Senior Staff may also recommend individuals for Visiting Scholar status.



A prospective Visiting Scholar must complete an application, available on the Office of International Affairs website ( In addition to the application, prospective scholars must submit the following as PDF attachments to the attention of the program manager, Blessing Nuga (


  1. Plan of research and/or activities at Teachers College (TC) including goals and objectives.
  2. Curriculum vitae (CV).
  3. SIGNED recommendation letter from your TC faculty host(s) stating the period of visit, the goals and objectives for the visit and detailing any funding, if applicable.
  4. Copy of the passport identity and expiration page.


Administrative Fee

Please note that applications received after February 1, 2017 will be assessed a nonrefundable administrative fee of USD$400 for first time applicants and a nonrefundable renewal fee of USD$100 for extension applicants. Scholars whose application is approved will receive a link via email to access the online payment site, Cashnet. The Cashnet payment site only accepts credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Masterpass). Scholars unable to pay by credit card may submit payment via wire transfer. Please contact the program manager, Blessing Nuga (, for the TC wire transfer form. If paying by wire transfer, please allow 1-2 weeks for processing. Also note that some banks may charge an additional fee for international wire transfers; please check with your banking institution to verify this. Please make sure that the email address on your application is correct, as the Cashnet access link will be sent directly to this address.

Visiting Scholar Privileges at TC

Visiting Scholars receive the following privileges at Teachers College:

  • University ID (or UNI) for access to electronic resources and a TC Gmail account.
  • Access to Teachers College and Columbia University libraries with some restrictions during periods of examination or special events.
  • Auditing of classes with the instructor’s permission.
  • Attending open lectures.

Upon arrival at Teachers College, all Visiting Scholars must check in with the program manager in the Office of International Affairs. Scholar privileges will be activated following the check in appointment.

Individuals may be granted Visiting Scholar status for up to one year. The designation may be renewed for no more than one additional year with approval of the faculty host and payment of the $100 renewal fee. "Visiting Scholar" is a courtesy designation and does not signify a formal association with the College. No official records are maintained and no statement of activities is issued.

Visiting Scholars are not compensated and are not eligible for College or University health insurance. Scholars are responsible for arranging their own financial support and insurance. They may receive honoraria for participating in a conference or for giving an occasional lecture if they are citizens or permanent residents or, in the case of non-resident aliens, if they have an appropriate visa and the prior authorization of the Director of the Office of International Services.

Visiting Scholars may not be compensated from a Teachers College account; given a TC fellowship or reimbursed for expenses without prior approval of the Executive Director of the Office of International Affairs.

Prospective visitors wishing to enroll in classes for credit at TC should request an application for non-degree student status from the Office of Admissions ( Individuals in F-1 or J-1 student status are not granted Visiting Scholar privileges and must be full-time students. Contact the Office of International Services ( for more information.


J-1 Visa Sponsorship for Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals ordinarily need a J-1 (research scholar category) visa to visit Teachers College. Upon receipt of all documentation required by the U.S. government, the Office of International Services will issue a Form DS-2019 to support the J-1 visa application. Federal regulations require that applicants for J-1 status have sufficient funds for the period of stay at Teachers College and meet the medical insurance requirements of the U.S. Department of State. The Visiting Scholars Form DS-2019 Application is available from the Office of International Services; this office can provide additional details on complying with these requirements.

Please note that as of May 15, 2015, prospective Visiting Scholars applying for J-1 visa sponsorship from Teachers College are required to demonstrate English Language proficiency.

In addition to checking in with the OIA program manager, all Visiting Scholars on a J-1 visa sponsored by TC must also check-in with the Office of International Services upon arrival to receive a welcome orientation.

An individual interested in Visiting Scholar status should contact:
Ms. Blessing Nuga
Office of International Affairs
Teachers College, Columbia University
Telephone/fax: 212-678-4010

Please note that individuals who do not qualify as a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Doctoral Student are not eligible for visa sponsorship from the College.

Responsible Office: Provost

Last updated: April 2017

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