Butin Education Dissertation Fellowships

In no more than 10 double-spaced pages with one-inch margins, and at least 11-point Times New Roman font, describe the dissertation. This narrative document should have page numbers and the applicant’s full name and registered email address as a running header.

Include the goals of the project, its contribution to the field, and the significance of the work, especially as it relates to education. Place the project in context, and outline the theoretical grounding and the relevant literature. Describe the research questions and research design, the methods of gathering and analyzing data, and interpretation techniques. If preliminary findings or pilot data are available, these should be described briefly – especially if they illustrate how the applicant will be conducting thematic analyses or applying coding systems to the data. Lack of clarity in treatment of data with respect to the research question(s) is often a problem area in applications.

Please keep in mind that each proposal will be reviewed by some senior scholars familiar with the field and by others less familiar; thus, language specific to a field should be situated within an argument persuasive to a generalist audience.

The narrative discussion cannot exceed 10 double-spaced typed pages. An additional single-spaced bibliography (no more than two pages) of the sources most important to the project should be appended (works cited in the narrative discussion should be included).

The narrative discussion and bibliography should be uploaded as one document (12 pages total) within the online system. Appendices (charts, graphs, tables, questionnaires, etc.) may be included as technical and supplemental and do not count towards the limit; however, please be judicious in the quantity included, as reviewers are not required to review material in the appendices. Information essential to understanding the project should be included in the 10 page narrative (including any coding systems). Applicants should make the case for their research in the narrative.

Teachers College consistently recognizes the accomplishments of our students by awarding fellowships and grants to assist with their academic pursuits. Fellowship awards are based on the students’ scholastic ability and promise of academic and professional achievement. Grants may be merit- and/or need-based according to each program’s specific requirements.   

Federal TEACH Grant

A TEACH Grant provides funding for students pursuing a teaching career in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students.  The TEACH Grant Program provides full-time students up to $3,724 per year (up to $7,448 total for graduate studies) in grants to master's students who plan to teach full-time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students taking fewer than 11 credits may receive lesser amounts correlated to their enrollment. (See the Important Notes section below.)

Grant recipients must agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program. Recipients must also teach in a high-need subject area in a designated school that serves low-income students. If recipients do not complete the four-year teaching obligation, the grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which must be repaid with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed.

For students in special cohort programs that may not require continuous enrollment, such as INSTEP, please note: If the recipients are not enrolled for the standard terms of Fall & Spring within the academic year, they are reported as "withdrawn" through Registrar's Office, in which case, the certification and obligation process starts that can result in the conversion of the grant to a loan. Therefore, it is important to maintain constant communication with the teach grant servicer who may send out info about your certification because any retroactive status changes will not be grounds for reinstatement of a grant.



Agreement to Serve (ATS)

Each year that you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS), which is available electronically on the U.S. Department of Education's website. When you sign the ATS, you are agreeing to repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching service requirement. If the grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant. In order to satisfy the teaching service requirement, the field in which you teach must be a high-need field in the state where you wish to complete the service. You are not required to remain in New York to complete the teaching requirement.


To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.

  • Be eligible for federal aid.

  • Be enrolled in or plan to complete coursework in a TEACH Grant-eligible master's degree (only) program, toward a career in teaching and/or in a high-need subject area (see list below). Doctoral candidates, including those with pending master's degree, are NOT eligible.

  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet all other institutional requirements for maintaining enrollment.

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25.

  • Complete the FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible.

  • Be enrolled in one of the eligible programs at Teachers College: Applied Behavior Analysis (MA-ABAS-DU), Art & Art Education, Initial Certification (MA-ARTE-IN), Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education (MA-BILC-DU), Bilingual/Bicultural Education (MA-BILG-IN), Biology, Grades 7 - 12 (MA-SCIB-IN), Chemistry, Grades 7 - 12 (MA-SCIC-IN), Deaf Education & Reading Specialist (ME-DHRI-DU), Deaf & Hard of Hearing Adolsecent Education (ME-DHAE-DU), Deaf & Hard of Hearing Early Childhood Education (ME-DHEI-DU), Deaf & Hard of Hearing Childhood Education (ME-DHCI-DU), Deaf & Hard of Hearing (ME-DHEA-IN), Early Childhood Special Education (MA-ECSE-IN), Early Childhood/Special Education Dual (MA-ECSE-DU), Earth Science, Grades 7 - 12 (MA-SCIE-IN), Elementary Inclusive Education, Dual (MA-ELEM-DU), Intellectual Disability/Autism Childhood (ME-ITDC-DU), Intellectual Disability/Autism Early Childhood (ME-ITDE-DU), Intellectual Disability/Autism, Dual (MA-ITDS-DU), Intellectual Disability/Autism, Adolescence (MA-ITDA-IN), Mathematics Education (MA-MATH-IN), Music & Music Education (MA-MUSC-IN; ME-MUSC-IN), Physics, Grades 7 - 12 (MA-SCIP-IN), Reading Specialist (MA-READ-IN), Secondary Inclusive Education (MA-CUSE-IN), Teaching of English (MA-ENGL-IN), TESOL (MA-TESL-IN), Secondary Elementary Inclusive Education (MA-SIEE-IN).


Within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in your teacher preparation program, you must confirm that you are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of your service agreement. You must document your teaching service with the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach.

Important Notes

  • If you are not already committed to teaching a high-need subject in a low-income school, use caution when considering this possible source of funds. According to some estimates, only 20 percent of students who participate in the TEACH Grant Program will be able to use the funds as grants, while many students will see their funds converted to loans with accumulated interest.

  • Because total financial aid must not exceed the cost of attendance, receiving a TEACH Grant may reduce your eligibility for other sources of financial aid.

For additional information regarding the TEACH Grant Program, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 212-678-3714 or financialaid@tc.edu.

Students in TEACH Grant-eligible programs will automatically see the TEACH Grant offered on their financial aid packages. An institutional TEACH Grant application will not be required.  Awards will be split into two disbursements; typically, half of the total award is disbursed in the fall, and the other half is disbursed in the spring.


If you request cancellation before the first day of the payment period or within 14 days of being notified of your grant, your school will return the funds. If after seeing the TEACH Grant on your aid package you do not want to receive it, contact our office to acquire the appropriate form needed to decline it. Declining the TEACH Grant will not affect other aid for which you may be eligible.

How to Accept Your TEACH Grant 

Students who qualify for the TEACH Grant will see the award posted in "Offered" status. Please note that you cannot accept the TEACH Grant via the TC Portal.

  • If you choose to decline the TEACH Grant, please complete a Federal Aid Change Form that corresponds to the year in which you wish to decline it.

  • For those wishing to accept the TEACH Grant, you must wait until after the add/drop period for the given term ends. The amount you receive in TEACH funding is contingent upon the credit hours in which you enroll, therefore we must wait until add/drop is over before we can review your record. We also review your GPA to determine TEACH eligibility. If you are a new student, your GPA from your previous institution(s) will be considered; continuing students will have their TC GPAs reviewed. If you are fully eligible to receive the grant, we will notify you via e-mail with next steps. There is nothing that you must do with the TEACH Grant until you receive confirmation from us.


Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) Program

Application Due Date: June 1, 2018 (priority); September 10, 2018 (final)

The Teacher Opportunity Corps (TOC) program is a New York State Education Department grant funded program designed to increase the number of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged individuals in the teaching profession. Individuals in the following underrepresented groups will be given first priority (Priority Group 1): Asian; Black/African American; Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Alaskan Native; Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander. Second priority (Priority Group 2) will be given to individuals who are economically disadvantaged, and third priority (Priority Group 3) will be given to individuals who are neither historically underrepresented nor economically disadvantaged.


Dean's Grant for Student Research

For matriculated Teachers College students (M.A., M.S., Ed.M., or Doctoral)

Deadline: November 15, 2017

Teachers College continues its tradition of supporting student research through the Dean’s Grant for Student Research program. Awards of up to $2,000 will be made to students who submit the strongest proposals for research that has educational implications for the field and for the academic program at TC. The number of grants given depends upon annual funding. In past years, between five and eight grants have been awarded. Matriculated TC students are eligible to apply for the grant. For additional questions, contact the Office of Student Affairs by e-mailing studentaffairs@tc.columbia.edu.

Apply for this grant by logging into the TC Portal and clicking on the “Research” tab at the top of the page. The Dean’s Grant for Student Research application is listed under the “Student Grant Applications” section. The information entered into this application will not be saved until you click the “Save and Next” button on each page. Once a page is saved, you will be able to return to it and edit as desired. There are no options on this form for bold, italic, and underline formatting. The application will open in mid-November.

More info can be found on the Student Affairs website.

Research Dissertation Fellowship

For matriculated Teachers College doctoral students

Deadline: February 23, 2018

Fellowship recipients are awarded $6,000 to supplement academically related tuition, living, research, or travel expenses. Fellowships are available only to matriculated TC doctoral students who are on track to receive dissertation proposal approval at the end of the academic year. Research Dissertation Fellowship applicants pursue basic and applied research spanning diverse disciplines. This research should concentrate on advancing knowledge and should show a strong likelihood of being accepted in the most well-respected research journals in the field of inquiry. The award of $6,000 will be disbursed to the student’s account in two $3,000 installments: one in the fall, and one in the spring. Disbursement takes place after TC’s drop/add end date. Awards are paid only to students who are registered in the semester for which the award is to be made. For additional questions, contact the Office of Student Affairs by e-mailing studentaffairs@tc.columbia.edu

Apply for this grant by logging into the TC Portal and clicking on the “Research” tab at the top of the page. The Research Dissertation Fellowship application is listed under the “Student Grant Applications” section. The information entered into this application will not be saved until you click the “Save and Next” button on each page.  Once a page is saved you will be able to return to it and edit as desired. There are no options on this form for bold, italic, and underline formatting. The application will open in early November.

More info can be found on the Student Affairs website.

Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG)

Spring 2018 Application Deadline: February 5th, 2018

The DDG award will provide a $6,250 grant to currently enrolled doctoral students who have or will defend their dissertation. PhD students will receive an additional $1,500 to help defray the differential tuition charged for the semester in which they defend their dissertation. Recipients are selected based on a combination of merit and financial need.

Doctoral students who meet the following eligibility requirements may apply for the DDG award:

  • Are current students (registered for semester applied and in good academic standing)

  • Have completed a TC scholarship application

  • Are fully certified and have an approved dissertation proposal with IRB approval on file with the Office of Doctoral Studies

  • Have defended or are on track to defend their dissertation during the semester applied

  • Can demonstrate financial need*

In order to apply for the DDG, you must submit the Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) Interest Form in addition to the following:

  • A written statement describing:

    • The focus of your dissertation inquiry

    • The status of your dissertation project to date

    • A timeline for completion of your dissertation (including the oral defense)

    • A brief explanation of your financial need (completion of the FAFSA is not required)

    • The importance of this award to your ability to complete your dissertation (if not already completed) within the proposed timeline

  • A letter of recommendation from your TC faculty dissertation sponsor addressing the following:

    • The importance of the question being asked in your dissertation

    • The promise of your dissertation to make a contribution to the field

    • An overall assessment of your professional promise

    • An affirmation that your proposed dissertation timeline is feasible and realistic

  • A copy of your Curriculum Vitae (CV)

DDG funds will be applied first to any outstanding tuition charges on the recipient's TC bill. Any excess funds will be issued to the recipient in the form of a stipend.

*Completion of the FAFSA is not mandatory. While students may submit it/refer to it, we would like students to document financial need in a more personalized way (i.e., specific or unusual costs related to the dissertation project, a largely self-financed degree program [even with minimal loans], family demands, etc.).

Morton T. Embree Award

The application to this award is managed by the Office of Student Affairs. All information can be found under the "Research" tab of your TC Portal. For additional questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs by e-mailing studentaffairs@tc.columbia.edu.

Provost's Grant for Professional Development

The application to this award is managed by the Office of Student Affairs. All information can be found under the "Research" tab of your TC Portal. For additional questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs by e-mailing studentaffairs@tc.columbia.edu.

Education Policy Dissertation Research Fellowship

Deadline: February 15, 2018

The Education Policy Dissertation Research Fellowship is open to matriculated TC doctoral students, in all TC departments and programs, whose dissertation research has the potential to inform societal efforts to improve educational opportunity, achievement, or equity. This research should be focused on an important policy issue at any level of government, reflect potential for policy utility, and show a strong likelihood of being accepted in the most well-respected journals. Our view of policy relevance is a broad one, encompassing research that affects policy indirectly by shifting public understanding of societal challenges and opportunities for effective intervention. Fellowship recipients are awarded $6,000 ($3,000 per semester, fall and spring) to supplement academically-related living, tuition, research, or travel expenses. Six winners are selected each year. Applicants must have an approved dissertation proposal by May 31, 2018. Recipients of the fellowships may be asked to present their research work at an EPSA-sponsored event such as a colloquium, seminar or Policy Student Network activity, where appropriate. Students in all departments and programs at the College are eligible to apply as long as their proposal meets the criteria specified. Questions regarding this fund should be directed to Sherene Alexander.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship

Deadline: February 2018, TBD

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship competition is open to undergraduate (including Barnard College) and graduate students who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a full-time program (either domestic or overseas) that combines modern foreign language training with international or area studies. FLAS awards are contingent upon funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Graduate students may receive a tuition grant worth $18,000 along with a $15,000 stipend. FLAS fellows are responsible for the on-time payment of the remaining tuition balance and fees. All Academic Year FLAS awards are for the 2017-2018 academic year.


For matriculated Teachers College doctoral students

Taking both merit and need into consideration, grants-in-aid are awarded to doctoral students during the last two semesters of graduate work. Grants-in-aid are designed to assist doctoral students with tuition, dissertation advisement, and/or the defense fee during the last two semesters of work. Students must demonstrate considerable loan indebtedness incurred while at TC and little or no previous scholarship assistance from TC, including tuition exemption. Faculty recommendations in support of Grant-in-Aid applications are required. International students are required to seek approval from their International Student Advisor and complete the supplemental application form. The Grant-in-Aid application is available online and in the Office of Financial Aid.‌


Aid for Dissertation Advisement

For matriculated Teachers College doctoral students

All students enrolled in Dissertation Advisement courses (8900 level courses) must communicate their enrollment to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible using a Repackaging Form. This form ensures that students in Dissertation Advisement are charged for only three credits' worth of tuition per semester. When your enrollment changes, your financial aid budget must be changed accordingly. Any alteration to your enrollment (including being enrolled in Dissertation Advisement) could affect the amount of aid you are able to receive. This is why we must be notified of your enrollment status; a correct status will prevent you from borrowing more aid than is permitted and will reduce the likelihood that you will have to return loan funds to which you are not entitled.

Note for students who have a scholarship: If you are enrolled in Dissertation Advisement and have a combination of billable credit hours and Certificates of Equivalency (COEs), you are still able to use your scholarship. However, you can use only the scholarship points for the billable credit hours that come from being enrolled in Dissertation Advisement. Your scholarship will not pay for the COEs because they are not billable credit hours; you do not pay for them.


TC institutional funding is not guaranteed; applications submitted for review will be considered and selected candidates will be notified.  Students are expected to only consider funds as part of their resources towards the balance if they have been awarded.  The timeline for the review process of an application cannot be expedited; therefore, students should not hold off on making their payments to Bursar according to their payment deadlines.

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