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TFA corps members talking with one another.

It’s important to us that you have what you need to present your best self during the application and interview process. See what to expect from our application process and where to find useful preparation tips.

Our Admissions Process

Teach For America corps members work with students in under-served communities, and the stakes of our work are high. This means we maintain a selective admissions process, where we want to learn about your unique talents, achievements, and experiences. We do this to ensure that we’re choosing leaders who are likely to succeed in the classroom and persevere through the inevitable challenges. 

Our application process includes both an online application and an interview, in addition to a few other logistical steps.

Online Application

As an organization, we’re obsessed with learning and innovating, and we’re continually improving our application process to ensure it’s as intuitive and efficient as possible.

The online application form takes less than an hour to complete. Filling out this form is your first chance to share your accomplishments, experiences, and interest in TFA. During the application process, you will: 

  • Upload a resume
  • Provide your school history and transcript details
  • Discuss your interest in joining TFA and your leadership experience 
  • Select your interview location preference

Our Admissions Process

Note: Starting in December 2018, we have removed the “pre-interview activity” as a requirement. Instead, as soon as you complete your additional academic information, you will be able to sign up for an interview.

Before Your Interview

You will need to provide references.

Once invited to an interview, you’ll be asked to submit the contact information for two recommenders. Read more about how to choose your recommenders.

You will need to upload an official transcript. 

You’ll be required to upload your official transcripts. Since everyone’s educational history is different, we have an online transcript wizard that walks you through the process of choosing what transcript to upload. Read more about required forms and docs.

You will need to prepare for the interview.

Each applicant is asked to prepare a five-minute sample teaching lesson to deliver during the interview. Read more about how to prepare your sample lesson. You’ll also respond to two scenarios in writing and read more about our work prior to your interview.


The interview is a distinctive part of the TFA application process and consists of three major components: sample lessons, group activity, and personal one-on-one interviews.

In-person interviews are held at hundreds of locations across the country. Virtual interviews are also available for those who require or prefer this format. Please note that we only hold interviews on weekdays.

We understand that interviews can be a bit nerve-wracking. Rest assured, our selectors are excited to meet you and learn more about you. They’re ready to answer any questions you may have.

“I did not expect that it would be so enjoyable. I thought that the personal interview would have been more question-answer oriented, but my interview was more like a conversation with a like-minded friend.”

Recent TFA Applicant

Day of Your Interview

  • When you arrive, you’ll meet your interviewers, who are members of TFA’s staff, and other applicants (typically five to ten others).  

  • Each candidate will deliver a prepared five-minute sample lesson while the rest of the group participates as “students.” Lesson plans can be on any subject, for any grade level you choose. 

  • You’ll then take part in a group activity and discussion.

  • After a short break, the interviewers will present a brief overview of TFA.

  • At the end of the group portion of the interview, you’ll sign up for your interview time slot.  

  • The second half of the day, you’ll meet for your one-on-one interview. Once your interview is complete, your interview day is done.

  • Although your interview will only take about a total of 3 hours, we ask that you reserve 8 hours since we cannot schedule personal interviews in advance.

After Your Interview

  • You’ll have the opportunity to research and rank your preferred regional placements. Note that your location preferences have no impact on your chance of acceptance. 

  • You’ll be notified of your acceptance two weeks after your interview.
  • After the interview, a TFA staff member may contact you for a short follow-up phone interview. Being asked to complete a follow-up interview is not an indication of your admissions status. We do this as part of ongoing training for our interviewers and to gather additional information if necessary.

  • If not admitted into the corps, you’re welcome to re-apply in a subsequent year. Should you reapply, you will need to complete a new online application as well as any additional required activities and interviews.

  • Read our application and interview tips for more advice on how to prepare. 

Redefine Opportunities

Make a lifelong impact on students while growing your own leadership skills.

Register for the 2021 application