What does this application process look like?
Teachers College is Columbia University’s graduate school of education, but it utilizes its own application separate from Columbia’s other graduate programs.
Teachers College has some of the most diverse MA, M.Ed., ED, and PhD options available in a variety of education areas of study. The admissions process is dependent upon whatever program you plan to pursue. For example, some people choose to pursue a Masters that simultaneously allows them to earn their teaching credentials in NY state (or any other U.S. state, really). Those students typically attend their program full time in order to accommodate a pre-professional, student teaching semester, as well as all of the necessary coursework. Other students may pursue a graduate degree in a subject that they are already teachers of in their profession - Teachers College truly is filled with many part-time students who work full-time as educators. Those teachers come to campus in the evening for classes or on weekends, as TC offers many courses that accommodate teachers’ work schedules. One other way to earn a degree at TC is to just attend class in the summer, which some students do, particularly students who are preparing to earn their leadership credentials to become principals, headmasters, or superintendents. Again, this allows for working educators to stay in their field while they pursue their advanced degree.
If you are interested in attending a program at TC, doublecheck the specific webpage for the programs that interest you most. They will tell you if you need to take the GRE or if it is not required, and what sort of professional and educational recommendations you will need to submit in addition to the rest of your application. You can also find out there if your program allows for spring or summer semester starts, or if you are required to kick off your courseload in the fall.
As a graduate of the program in History and Education, I can assure you that it is truly one of the most inspiring communities of individuals I have ever encountered. Every single person in your classes really cares about making the world a better place, and improving the opportunities for students by way of work in schools, education policy, and many other angles. If you have any interest in pursuing any sort of career in education, do consider it as an option (and also Harvard GSE, UPenn GSE, and Vanderbilt University’s program - all some of my favorites).