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Student Handbook

Student Handbook

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Morningside Heights & Harlem

Teachers College is a vibrant and integrated part of the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City. The campus consists of five residence halls and eight interconnected buildings. Take time to explore the campus and neighborhood, and admire the Gothic architecture dating back to the early 19th century. Whether you are a part-time or full-time student, we encourage you to become familiar with not only the campus, but also the entire neighborhood.

Morningside Heights is situated about 60 blocks north of Midtown, on Broadway, between 110th St. and 125th St. This is also home to a number of other leading educational and cultural institutions, including Barnard College, Union Theological Seminary and the main campus of Columbia University (see listing below). For this reason, many turn-of-the-century newspaper reports hailed Morningside Heights as “America’s Acropolis.” The Heights is a dynamic, exciting neighborhood. Once characterized by bodegas and mom-and-pop stores of all varieties, the Heights (to the consternation of some; the joy of others) has taken on a new character. Designer clothing stores, gourmet food shops and moderate to expensive restaurants featuring an international range of cuisines are replacing the old-time shops and stores.

Harlem encompasses the area north of Morningside Heights up to 151st St. and west of Fifth Ave. It is a neighborhood rich in culture and history and has undergone revitalization in the last 15 years. Harlem is home to entertainment centers like the famous Apollo Theater and historical sites such as Grant’s Tomb. Visit the St. Nicholas Historical District and New York’s oldest black church, Abyssinian Baptist. Harlem is also home to the business offices of former President Bill Clinton.

This multicultural, urban environment impacts almost everything TC does and will provide unique educational and social opportunities found nowhere else. Teacher education students complete their practicum in the New York City public schools, while social and organizational psychology students work as interns in businesses from Wall Street to Midtown. Arts education students are interns at museums, galleries and arts organizations. And when you need to unwind, use your student ID for free admission to cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or get discounted tickets to performances at world-renowned venues like Lincoln Center. We encourage you to explore all that the campus, the neighborhood and the city have to offer.


Barnard College, an undergraduate women’s college, was founded in 1889 and has been affiliated with Columbia University since 1898. Barnard’s library is open to TC students. The campus is located across Broadway, parallel to the main campus of Columbia.

Union Theological Seminary was founded in 1836 by the “New Light” Presbyterians. The Seminary broke its ties with the Presbyterian Church in 1892 and has remained independent since. Union’s Burke Library (to which TC students have full access) is one of the world’s finest theological libraries with over 600,000 holdings. Its campus is located on Broadway across from Horace Mann Hall and occupies two blocks between West 120th St. and West 122nd St.

Jewish Theological Seminary was founded in 1887 and is a focus of the Conservative Jewish movement in the United States, a center for Jewish scholarship, and a training institute for rabbis and cantors. The library, like that at Union, is world famous for the size and completeness of its collection. The campus of Jewish Theological Seminary is located one block north of TC, on West 122nd St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. Venture to its cafeteria for a delicious kosher meal.

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) was founded in 1917 and moved to its current location (previously occupied by Juilliard School of Music) in 1969. MSM has long had a reputation as being one of the finest music conservatories in the nation. The members of the American String Quartet are permanent artists-in-residence; other world-renowned artists offer master classes. MSM regularly schedules concerts and operatic productions of outstanding quality. These performances - many of them free - contribute greatly to life in the Heights.

Bank Street College of Education is located on West 112th St., off Broadway. For more than 80 years, Bank Street has been one of the leaders in child-centered education. Its mission is to discover the environments in which children grow and learn to their full potential, and to educate teachers and others to create these environments. Composed of a Graduate School of Education, a model School for Children, an onsite Family Center, a Division of Continuing Education, and a Publications and Media Group, Bank Street influences thousands of children, youths, parents and educators throughout the United States and abroad.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, at West 112th St. and Amsterdam Ave., is the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Manhattan. St. John’s is the largest Neo-Gothic cathedral in the world. The Cathedral is the site for many outstanding concerts, performances and art exhibits. There is a small gift shop/bookstore that is worth investigating.

The Interchurch Center is located at West 120th St. between Claremont and Riverside Drive. Constructed in 1958, the American headquarters of many Protestant denominations as well as the National Council of Churches are located here. A small art gallery is located off the main entrance. An ATM is located on the main floor of the Claremont entrance. Visit the cafeteria for delicious meal options that are both inexpensive and abundant in variety.

Riverside Church is located at West 120th St. and Riverside Dr. It was erected with the financial support of the Rockefellers. A trip to the top of Riverside’s tower is only $1.00 and offers one of the best views of the city.

Grant’s Tomb is just across the street from Riverside Church. President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife are entombed there above ground. There is also a small museum dealing with his life and career. On his birthday, April 27, cadets from West Point provide a small ceremony complete with rifle volleys.