Visit the Admissions Policies page to learn about background checks, deferrals, reapplying, and all other legal terms.
How to Apply
Determining Your Eligibility
- Bachelor's Degree
- Minimum Cumulative GPA
- Citizen, National/Legal Resident, or DACA Status
You must have your bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university by the first day of your summer training.
You also must have a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate.
The start date for summer training varies by region (in 2016, our latest start date was June 21). Keep in mind that some regions specify an earlier date by which you need to have your bachelor's degree.
In some regions, you may ask for an exception to this policy if you have documents proving that you have fulfilled your graduation requirements but do not yet have your degree.
Contact us if you have questions about this policy.
Minimum Cumulative GPA
Your cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) must be at least 2.50 on a 4.00 scale, as measured by the institution awarding your degree.
This GPA requirement is mandated by the schools and credentialing programs we work with. If you are admitted to Teach For America before graduation and your final GPA is below 2.50, you will lose your position. You must also pass any courses in progress on your transcript at the time of your interview.
The GPA Prerequisite Waiver
Graduate school GPAs cannot be used or averaged in with undergraduate GPAs. However, if you struggled in undergrad, you may be eligible for a GPA Prerequisite Waiver if you earned a graduate degree with a GPA of 3.50 or higher (on a 4.00 scale).
You do not need to apply for the waiver. As you fill out the application with an undergraduate GPA lower than 2.50, you will see a warning message that you are not eligible to apply.
If your graduate school transcripts show a final cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher, simply continue the application. You will receive the same level of review by the Selection Committee as other candidates. If you are invited to a final interview, you will be required to submit an official transcript from every undergraduate/graduate university you have attended.
Please note that receiving the GPA Prerequisite Waiver will limit your potential placement regions. You must be willing to relocate to one of these areas if admitted to the corps. You will only be eligible to teach in the following regions:
- D.C. Region
- Greater Tulsa
- Las Vegas Valley
- Oklahoma City
Citizen, National/Legal Resident, or DACA Status
Due to the hiring restrictions of many of our partner schools, Teach For America may only admit candidates into the corps who are:
- U.S. citizens
- Legal permanent residents
- Deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) recipients
You are not eligible to apply if you are in the United States with:
- A student visa
- A work visa
- A tourist visa
- Refugee status but nothing indicating permanent resident status
If you are invited to a final interview, you must provide legal documentation that proves you are a citizen; national, lawful permanent resident of the United States; or DACA recipient. Visas cannot be accepted.
If you do not meet this requirement, you may be eligible to join one of our partner programs through Teach For All.
It's important that you are able to participate in all steps of the application process. Please select the earliest deadline that will work with your calendar.
|Steps||First Deadline||Second Deadline||Third Deadline||Fourth Deadline||Fifth Deadline||Sixth Deadline|
|Apply online||Aug. 19||Sept. 16||Oct. 19||Dec. 9||Jan. 27||Mar. 3|
|Learn if you're invited to an interview||Sept. 6||Sept. 23||Oct. 26||Dec. 16||Feb. 3||Mar. 10|
|Sign up for an interview||Sept. 29||Sept. 30||Nov. 1||Jan. 9||Feb. 9||Mar. 16|
|Attend an interview||Oct. 10 - 14||Nov. 10 - 16||Jan. 18 - 24||Feb. 21 - 27||Mar. 27 - 31|
|Learn your admissions decision||Oct. 21||Nov. 28||Jan. 31||Mar. 3||Apr. 7|
|Learn your regional and subject assignment, and accept or decline the offer||Nov. 4 - 14||Dec. 9 - 19||Feb. 10 - 22||Mar. 17 - 27||Apr. 21 - May 1|
What to Expect
Preparing Your Best Application
- Application Process
- Application Prerequisites
- Regional and Subject Placement
- Certification & Grad School
- Corps Member Training
- Admissions Policies
I am not a recent graduate. Should I apply?
Yes! We welcome people of all backgrounds, ages, and experiences who meet our applicant prerequisites to apply to the corps.
- Two-thirds of our corps members join immediately after college
- One-third join after graduate school or another career
Both groups bring valuable experiences and perspectives to their students.
You can also apply early to the 2018 corps if you will complete your bachelor's degree between July 2017 and June 2018.
Learn more about our Early Admissions Deadlines for the 2018 corps.
Which application deadline should I choose?
When thinking about when to apply, you should carefully consider the timeline associated with each deadline. You should ensure you’re available to attend the interviews and able to make the decision to commit to the corps by the confirmation deadline.
Is there a difference between applying at the first and the last deadlines in terms of regional placement or other factors?
We try to distribute placements as equally as possible across all our deadlines, so an applicant's placement opportunities at the first deadline are ideally the same as at the sixth deadline. In practice, there are external factors that could affect placement opportunities in specific regions.
For the 2017 corps, given testing and hiring timelines, we will not place any sixth deadline (March 3) applicants in the following regions:
- The Bay Area
- Los Angeles
- Metro Atlanta
- Twin Cities
In addition to these regions, we will not place any applicants after the third deadline (October 19) in San Diego due to certification timelines.
Applying to the first or second deadline does have other advantages, as it allows you more time to prepare for the transition to the corps.
All incoming corps members have to take certification exams and complete their pre-work in advance of summer training. This additional time can also be very helpful as you plan for this transition and a potential move to a new community.
I currently live overseas and can’t make any of the in-person interview windows. Can I still apply?
Yes. We offer virtual and in-person final interviews for all applicants.
You will need a webcam and internet access to participate in a virtual interview. If you have the necessary technology, you can indicate your preference for a virtual interview on the Personal Information page of the application. If you are invited to a final interview, you will be able to sign up for a virtual interview by selecting the date and time that works best for your schedule.
Am I eligible to apply to the corps?
In order to be considered for admission to Teach For America's 2017 corps, you must satisfy three prerequisites:
A Minimum Cumulative GPA
Citizen, National/Legal Resident, or DACA Status
Read more about each prerequisite.
How does Teach For America determine regional/subject placement?
Teach For America uses the following key factors in determining your placement:
- Availability of teaching positions across the nation for the upcoming school year
- Subject and grade-level needs of our district partners
- District hiring requirements, including undergraduate coursework credits required for each position and regional certification requirements
- Your regional and teaching subject preferences
While we work hard to place you in one of your preferred regions, teacher placement is ultimately designed to maximize your impact on student outcomes. Because of the nature of our mission, we must consider where the needs for certain teachers are greatest and also ensure that you’re legally eligible to teach in a region. We encourage you to be open to a variety of placement options.
Learn more about how we place corps members.
What am I qualified to teach?
It’s very difficult to predict in advance what you will be qualified to teach in a given region. Your ability to teach a certain subject or grade level is partly dependent on the specific guidelines of a state, school district, and university partner. Unfortunately, these requirements are quite complex and change often, so we do not have a requirement list available for applicants.
Even if you qualify to teach a particular subject or grade level in a particular region, those factors do not solely determine your assignment. In determining your subject/grade-level assignment, we also consider your preferences and each region’s grade-level and subject needs.
Learn more about how we place corps members.
Are all corps members certified at the end of their two-year commitments?
Teach For America is not specifically a certification or graduate education program. However, depending on your region, you may earn your certification after teaching for two years.
- In most regions, you will be required to work towards certification while teaching by paying for and completing coursework and exams.
- In other regions, you may not be required to become fully certified, but to continue teaching for two years, you will be required to complete and pay for some coursework or to attend professional development programs.
Several of our regions have established partnerships with universities to facilitate your work toward certification and/or Master’s degrees. These programs vary from site to site and year to year. Some may be offered at reduced cost.
Visit the regional sites you are interested in and check each region’s Teaching Here page for more information about certification requirements.
What if I am already certified to teach?
The application and training process for certified teachers is the same as for non-certified applicants.
If you’re admitted to the corps and are already certified to teach the subject in the state where you’re assigned, you won’t need to retake any certification exams that you’ve already passed. However, you’ll most likely need to submit a copy of your score reports.
If you're admitted to the corps in one state but are currently certified in another, you also may be exempt from taking additional coursework during your two-year commitment. depending on certification reciprocity between states. Information about certification reciprocity can usually be found on a state’s department of education website.
If you’re assigned to a state where you’re not certified to teach, you can take the certification tests and participate in the coursework or apply to transfer your license on your own. If you’re already certified in other states, our regional offices will work with you to determine which coursework may still be required and possible exemptions from other coursework. Once admitted, you will want to speak to your regional staff for more information.
Can I get a Master’s degree?
Several of our regions have established partnerships with universities to facilitate your work toward a Master’s degree in education during your two-year commitment. These programs vary from site to site and year to year. Some may be offered at reduced cost.
Visit the regional sites you are interested in and check each region’s Teaching Here page for more information about each region's Master's degree options.
Please keep in mind that because of these programs change frequently, we encourage applicants not to consider sites solely based on these partnerships. We ask that applicants remain flexible as to where they are willing to teach so that we can best meet the needs of students.
Does Teach For America offer loan forgiveness?
Teach For America doesn’t specifically offer loan cancelation or forgiveness to corps members. As a nonprofit organization with limited funds, we simply don’t have the resources to forgive the student loans of all of our corps members.
However, some school districts and programs offer loan cancelation to teachers who serve a number of years in a school district. You can review a brief list of these programs on our teacher discounts and benefits page. Please keep in mind that these programs are completely separate from Teach For America, so you will need to contact them directly for further information.
Teach For America is also a member of AmeriCorps, the national service network. Through this relationship, our corps members are AmeriCorps members and are eligible to receive forbearance and interest payment on qualified student loans during their two years of service. Additionally, those who have not previously received AmeriCorps awards may receive an education award of $5,815 at the end of each year of service, which may be used towards future educational expenses or to repay qualified student loans. However, given the uncertainty around AmeriCorps funding and the nature of the AmeriCorps competitive grant process, we cannot guarantee these benefits to all corps members.
Are corps members paid while attending the summer training?
The cost of housing and all meals is covered during training, but you do not receive paychecks during training.
Review the summer training schedule to find training dates, locations and which regions will attend which training programs.
How will I make it to my first paycheck?
Most corps members receive their first paycheck between late August and late September depending on regional assignment. In an effort to ensure that qualified candidates from all economic situations are able to join the corps, we offer need-based financial aid to help you make it to your first paycheck.
Funding is awarded at the beginning of training and may be used for:
- Reimbursement for travel costs to training including regional orientation
- Personal and moving expenses (e.g., deposits on apartments)
- Necessary coursework, testing, and district-processing fees
We cover most major expenses during training, including housing and food, which is also covered for one to two weeks during regional orientation, if applicable.
Does Teach For America pay for my certification or Master’s degree?
There are different ways to pay for the coursework that you must take in order to teach in your region.
- In many cases, our regional offices have established relationships with local universities that offer reduced tuition for corps members.
- In some regions, you can qualify for tuition exemption based on the fact that you’re a teacher.
- In other regions, you must pay for classes up front.
Visit the regional sites you are interested in and check each region’s Teaching Here page for more information about certification costs.
Teach For America is currently a member of AmeriCorps, the national service network. Through this relationship, our corps members are AmeriCorps members and are eligible to receive forbearance and interest payment on qualified student loans during their two years of service. Additionally, those who have not previously received AmeriCorps awards may receive an education award of $5,645 at the end of each year of service, which may be used towards future educational expenses, such as your certification or Master’s courses or to repay qualified student loans, although this award is not guaranteed. Visit the AmeriCorps website for more details.
What does summer training include?
Training for the corps will begin between late May and mid-June. For most corps members, training includes the following components:
Takes place in your region the week before the national summer training institute. In addition to several required sessions throughout the week, you will have the valuable opportunity to
- become familiar with your region and school districts
- locate housing
- get to know your support network of fellow corps members
- possibly interview for jobs at partner schools
Summer Training Institute
Afterwards, corps members attending a national institute will report to their institute location for a summer training program meant to prepare you for teaching. Summer training would conclude back in your placement region for orientation and prep sessions.
Depending on the region, however, you may attend a regional institute instead of a national one. In this case, the entire training occurs in the placement region, including programming that would normally occur during regional induction and orientation.
In either case, you’ll teach a summer school class for approximately one hour or more each day at a local school. You’ll also participate in training on classroom best practices, literacy, curriculum, lesson planning, diversity, classroom management, and more. After training, you may have some time off depending on your schedule and school start date.
During training, the cost of housing and all meals will be covered.
Review our summer training schedule for training dates and locations for each region.
Where and when are trainings held?
Please review our 2016 schedule for more information about locations from this past summer.
We will release our 2017 summer training schedule in the winter of 2016.
Please note that you must complete your Bachelor’s degree by the start of the summer training.
Can I live at home while attending training?
We require that all corps members live on-site during training. Although you are welcome to leave at your discretion on the weekends, corps members usually find it important to lesson plan, prep, or study for any required tests on the weekends. if you have urgent circumstances that prevent you from living on-site during, you'll need to work with your regional and institute teams to apply for a request to live off-site.
You must attend the training to which your region is assigned to work around school start dates and to build critical relationships with other corps members in your region.
If you have a highly urgent personal circumstance that poses a training conflict, we recommend you still apply and share this information when you complete your Assignment Preference Form. We review these conflicts on a case-by-case basis and, in exceptional cases, may approve a request to attend an institute that does not correspond with your assigned region.
Is family housing available at training?
We can arrange family housing for you if you choose to bring family to the training, although Teach For America does not provide child care. If you require either lodging or food services for a family member, you’ll be able to indicate this on an online form sent after you’re admitted to the corps. Please be aware that any costs incurred for the lodging of family member(s) would be at your expense.
Corps members who bring family to training often find it challenging to balance the very heavy workload of training with spending time with family. We encourage you to think carefully then make a personal decision on bringing family.
If you have additional questions about Teach For America not addressed above, please contact us with inquiries.
Where can I find your admissions policies?
Visit the Admissions Policies page to learn more about our legal terms, including background checks, deferrals and reapplying.