Card Services

Card Services

The Office of TC Card Services is committed to providing the utmost service concerning the Teachers College ID Card. We perform this goal by issuing new and replacement TC ID Cards with the appropriate access and by assisting with any issues on the CU and TC Campuses.


Card Services

Whittier Hall, Suite 1b

The University ID Card is your passport to Teachers College and Columbia University. It grants you access to the libraries and other buildings as appropriate, and borrowing privileges at the libraries, allows you to purchase services at various locations through Columbia University Flex Program, accepted flex locations and enables students to take advantage of various cultural discount programs in New York City. TC students can use their University Card to participate in TC DOLLAR$, which enables you to tax free dining at TC.  

While each institution has its own card, you will only need one card throughout the Columbia community as one card can have multiple affiliations listed on the back of the card.  The card face type is dependent on a predetermined hierarchy.  The front of the card will also have an expiration date.  Prior to the expiration date, cardholders are encouraged to visit the appropriate ID Card Office for a replacement.

On the back of the card, cardholders will see the various affiliations he/she has as well as a Unique Card Number (UCN).  The UCN is only used to link the “active” card to an individual.

Dining Plans: A detailed overview of dining plans is available at the Dining Services site.

  • TC Dollar$: A dollar-for-dollar, tax-free declining balance account accessed through Teachers College University ID card.

Building & Door Access:  ID cards must be swiped at each entrance to gain access to the Teachers College campus. Some buildings on the Columbia University campus also require a University ID card for entry.

Some areas at TC such as Residence Halls and offices also require an ID card to be swiped for entry. At these locations, card readers display either a red or green light. Solid green means the door is unlocked and no action is required. Solid red means the door is locked. Place your card over the reader to gain access. One of two actions will take place. Flashing green and red means access is granted, and the door will unlock. A green flash followed by solid red means a valid card is read, but access is denied.

Library Privileges:  University ID cards provide students, faculty, and staff of Teachers College and affiliated institutions with access, access and borrowing privileges at  Teachers College Gottesman Libraries and Columbia University Libraries.

Passport to Museums: The Passport to Museums program grants current students free admission to over 30 museums throughout New York City. A current validation sticker is required for museum entry. Stickers are available from the  Graduate Student Life & Development. More information on the program is available from the Arts Initiative at Columbia University.

ID Card Designations: The back of each ID card lists the cardholder's role (Student, Employee, Officer, Visitor, Library Member, Retiree, Service Tech, Alumni, Member) and the associated institution (TC, CU, BC, UTS). Cardholders can have multiple institutions and roles on a single card.

All first-time issuances of a University ID Card require the recipient to show a valid U.S. ID or passport. Initial ID Cards are issued at no charge. University ID Cards may be obtained by visiting the TC Office of Card Services located in Whittier Hall, 1st floor, Suite 1B. When entering the building, inform the Public Safety Officer on duty that you are here to pick up your ID. 

Upload Your Photo: Incoming students who have activated their UNI should upload their photo directly to the University ID processing site by clicking on the submit photo icon below. Failure to do so may cause extended wait times when picking up ID cards.  The photo must be passport-style and meet the below specifications:

  • The photo should be a color, JPEG file
  • The background should be uniform and light-colored
  • Face forward, with your head and shoulders clearly visible
  • No photos with sunglasses or hats will be accepted.
  • The file cannot exceed 100k in size.

If you are a new student and have activated your UNI, click here upload your photo. 

To prevent possible identity fraud, whether first-time issuance or replacement card, all cardholders are required to pick up their TC ID Card in person and show a valid government issued Photo ID.

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