How to Apply

Steps in the Application Process

  1. A red icon showing a computer
    Apply Online

    • Enter your personal info and academic history 
    • Upload your resume
    • Submit a short personal statement

    Application Dos and Don'ts

  2. A blue icon showing a pencil and lines on a paper.
    Sign Up For an Interview

  3. A green icon showing a person writing on a chalkboard.
    Participate in the Interview

    • Prepare a five-minute sample teaching lesson
    • Read pre-work articles
    • Complete required forms:
      • Coursework Information Form
      • Part 1 of the Assignment Preference Form
    • Upload your official transcripts
    • Submit names for two recommenders

    Read more interview tips

  4. An yellow icon showing a person working on a laptop.
    Learn your Admissions Decision

    • View your acceptance status
    • If admitted, research and select your preferred regions on the Applicant Center

  5. A teal icon showing a checkmark.

    • Complete part two of your Assignment Preference Form with your regional and subject/grade-level preferences
    • Receive details about where you’ll teach and what subject and grade level you’re tentatively assigned to teach
    • Accept or decline your offer to join the corps

Determining Your Eligibility

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA
  • Citizen, National/Legal Resident, or DACA Status
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Bachelor's Degree

You must have your bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university by the first day of your summer training. The start date for summer training varies by region, but it typically starts in June. View the 2017 Institute Schedule for specific dates.

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.

Early Decision applicants to the 2018 corps should expect to receive their bachelor’s degree by June 2018. Learn more about Early Decision.

Contact us if you have questions about this policy.

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Minimum Cumulative GPA

GPA Requirements

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:

  • Colorado
  • D.C. Region
  • Greater Tulsa
  • Las Vegas Valley
  • Massachusetts
  • Milwaukee
  • Oklahoma City
  • Phoenix
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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:

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.

Visit the Admissions Policies page to learn about background checks, deferrals, reapplying, and all other legal terms.

2017 Corps Application Timelines

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 FAQs

  • Application Process
  • Application Prerequisites & Eligibility
  • Regional & Subject Placement
  • Certification & Grad School
  • Finances
  • Corps Member Training
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. However, please note that the application for the 2017 corps is now closed. The application for the 2018 corps will open in summer 2017. Sign up to learn more.
Teach For America's application process consists of a brief online application and an interview. Learn more about timelines, eligibility, etc.
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.
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 Sacramento 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.
In order to be considered for admission to Teach For America's 2017 corps, you must satisfy three prerequisites: bachelor’s degree; a minimum cumulative GPA; and citizen, national/legal resident, or DACA status. Read more about each prerequisite.   Early Decision applicants to Teach For America’s 2018 corps must satisfy three prerequisites: bachelor’s degree, expected by June 2018; a minimum cumulative GPA met at the time of application; and citizen, national/legal resident, or DACA status. Read more about Early Decision.
Teach For America’s research shows that teachers who have helped their students achieve the most dramatic growth often possess these characteristics.
Teach For America requires that all applicants possess a bachelor's degree by the start of our summer training program (between early and mid-June), which varies depending on your assigned region. Having a bachelor’s degree by the first day of the summer training is a requirement because corps members teach summer school in a public school system during this time. Corps members are also placed in teaching positions in their assigned region throughout the spring and summer. If you've completed all of your coursework for your undergraduate degree but are still waiting to have your degree conferred, normally we can work with you to get the necessary documentation from your school to verify that you are eligible. If you still have coursework to complete after June though, you will not be eligible for the 2017 corps. Our application for the 2018 corps will open in August 2017. Sign up to learn more.
Unfortunately, district requirements mandate that all of our applicants be U.S. citizens, nationals, permanent residents, or recipients of deferred action. All admitted applicants must present employment authorization documentation that proves this and we are unable to accept visas.
Summer training, which generally includes a week-long regional induction, five-week intensive training institute, and a week-long regional orientation, is mandatory, no way around this one. As a general rule of thumb, once corps members begin induction, they can expect to have weekday commitments from that day forward until the beginning of the school year. If you have a conflict that is earlier in the summer, you may want to preference regions with later training dates. View the 2017 summer training schedule to learn more. If you know now that your conflict would require you to miss more than one day of each region's training schedule, then you will not be able to join the 2017 corps. Please consider applying for the 2018 corps instead.
In the past, this would have made you ineligible, but through the wonder of technology, this is no longer the case! About a third of our interviews are conducted virtually via webcam. In order to participate in a virtual interview you must have secure internet access and a webcam. You can preference the virtual interview option on the final section of your application.
You can certainly apply if you have kids and we’ll do our best to make sure you won’t have to relocate. If you’re invited to an interview you’ll complete the pre-assignment form, where you can indicate any special circumstances that might make it difficult to relocate. Our Assignment Team will do everything in their power to make sure you and your family stay put. Granted, sometimes we’re limited by the needs of your preferred region and what you’re eligible to teach, but we’ll work with you to try and meet you and your family's needs. Please remember that you will still have to attend our six-week summer training which may not be in the same location as your regional placement. We can arrange family housing for corps members who choose to bring family to the summer training and can also provide information about childcare services, although Teach For America does not provide childcare. More details about this will be available if you are accepted to the corps.
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 what and where you'll teach.
Once you’re admitted to the corps, you will have the opportunity to research and select your preferred regions on the Applicant Center. During your research you'll reflect on the factors most important to you in a region, compare regional factors (like cost of living, master's degree options, and more), and eventually build a strong list of regions that are a great fit for you. When determining your placement, we do our best to put you in one of your most preferred regions, as long as your qualifications match the requirements. We do our best to place corps members in regions, subjects, and grade levels where are they are excited to teach—we call these highly preferred regions. Of our 2016 corps members, more than 90% were assigned to teach in one of their highly preferred regions. The likelihood of being assigned any one of your highly preferred regions depends on several factors, such as matching the requirements for eligibility in the region (GPA, coursework, etc.), being available when the region has their summer training, and the number of placements available. The five most popular regions are: New York, D.C. Region, Bay Area, Massachusetts, Los Angeles. In 2016, 55% of applicants highly preferred at least one of those regions. Yet all five of those regions combined made up only 23% of our placements.
Your preferences have no bearing on admissions. We encourage you to keep an open mind when deciding your preferences for grade levels, subjects, and regions. Your flexibility helps us place you where you can have the most impact.
If you are admitted to the corps, you'll be able to research and select your preferred regions on the Applicant Center. Depending on your timeline, you'll receive your regional and subject assignment about two weeks after submitting your preferences. At this time time you'll be able to confirm your offer.
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 requirements 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.
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.
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.
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 site you are interested in and navigate to its “Teaching Here” page for more information. 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.
As a corps member, you are a full-time, salaried employee of your school district, charter school, or pre-K center. Your salary and benefits will be the same as other beginning teachers working for the same employers. Learn more about these benefits.
Visit our Salary, Benefits, & Aid page to learn more about what salaries look like by region.
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. Learn more about salary, benefits and aid available to corps members.
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.
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.
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 site you are interested in and navigate to its “Teaching Here” page for more information. 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. This may be used towards future educational expenses, such as your certification or master’s courses, or to repay qualified student loans. Please note this award is not guaranteed. Learn more about salary, benefits, and aid available to corps members.
Training for the corps will begin between late May and mid-June. For most corps members, training includes the following components: Regional Induction 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 will 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.
Please review our 2017 schedule for more information about dates and locations for each institute. Please note that you must complete your bachelor’s degree by the start of the summer 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.