Program Overview

An overview of TDP requirements, and the skills and certification you attain by meeting them.

TDP Overview

A path to credit

CTL’s Teaching Development Program offers current Columbia doctoral students (and masters students in the School of the Arts) a path for receiving credit for sustained teaching development in graduate school.

Satisfying track requirements (as outlined below on this page) earns you:

  • A letter from CTL certifying your attainment of objectives intrinsic to effective teaching
  • Notation of completion on your Columbia University transcript (for doctoral students in Arts and Sciences, SEAS, Mailman, Nursing, Social Work, Business, Journalism, and GSAPP – and for MFA students in the and School of the Arts)

The activities and reflections you complete along the way in the TDP also help inform compelling teaching statements, portfolios, and other representations of pedagogical preparation on the job market. Read more about TDP benefits and read participant testimonials.

Structure and pace

The TDP is a two-track program. When you join, you start on the Foundational Track. After completing the majority of its requirements, you can decide whether to exit out of the program with Foundational Track certification, or shift onto the Advanced Track.

The pace of moving through the TDP is up to you; the Foundational Track can be completed in as little as one well-organized semester; completion of the Advanced Track can be completed in as little as an additional year. A track can be completed for credit anytime before graduation.

Foundational Track

The Teaching Development Program’s Foundational Track introduces you to fundamental concepts and practices in student-centered teaching. It helps to deepen the experience of TAships, connecting early instructional experience to proven and sustainable pedagogical practices.

Foundational Track objectives

Graduate students who complete the Foundational Track are able to:

  • Describe and implement pedagogical practices that draw on evidence-based educational research
  • Develop learning goals and aligned assessment strategies that are clear and measurable
  • Receive and apply peer-to-peer feedback on teaching practice
  • Articulate and reflect on a student-centered approach to teaching

Foundational Track requirements

To fulfill requirements, attend a CTL program or service – you can find offerings that satisfy requirements on the TDP Event Finder – and then post a reflection on it in the TDP course site. We provide guidance for these reflections, and you will receive feedback on early submissions to make sure you’re on track. For more information about TDP requirements, see TDP FAQs or contact

If you’re enrolled in the TDP, links in this outline connect you to the TDP CourseWorks site, where you will find detailed guidance for documenting each requirement.

Teaching Preparation
Pedagogical Training
Application and Practice
Foundational Track Capstone
(required only if exiting from the TDP on the Foundational Track)
  • Reflective narrative about progress toward Foundational Track objectives, accompanied by artifact representative of developed teaching practice

Advanced Track

If you wish to develop advanced teaching practices and engage more deeply with a community of peers, we invite you to shift onto the TDP’s Advanced Track once you have completed a majority of Foundational Track requirements. The Advanced Track puts special emphasis on transferable professional skills that are cultivated through teaching practices and culminates in the development of a digital teaching portfolio.

Advanced Track objectives

In addition to the Foundational Track objectives above, graduate students who complete the Advanced Track are able to:

  • Define and pursue inquiry-based development as a teacher
  • Create a portfolio of teaching artifacts, strategies, and outcomes
  • Demonstrate organized, engaging, and distinctive communication practices that can extend into future professional settings

Advanced Track requirements

The Advanced Track requirements below are in addition to Foundational Track requirements listed above (with the exception of the Foundational Track Capstone, which is not necessary for completing the Advanced Track). If you are enrolled in the TDP, links in this outline connect to the TDP course site, where you will find detailed guidance for documenting each requirement.

Additional Pedagogical Training
Additional Application and Practice
Advanced Track Capstones

Please also note that CTL also provides resources and programs to help you create effective teaching statements, diversity statements, and teaching portfolios. While these offerings do not satisfy the TDP’s pedagogy workshop requirements, we recommend that you take advantage of these offerings, in order to translate your work in the TDP to the job market.

Program map

A map of the TDP program to help you scan Foundational and Advanced Track requirements.

Planning Sheet

This handout offers a checklist of TDP requirements and can help you plan your way through them.

Sample timelines

Guidance for completing the Foundational Track in as little as one year, or completing the Advanced Track over three years.

Contact Us

The CTL is here to help as you work through the TDP. Email us anytime.

Get Advice

Request an individual consultation to discuss your TDP progress.

Find Answers

Get detailed answers to many of our frequently asked questions.

Attend Sessions

Find and register for offerings that count for the TDP

Visit Us

Drop in for a visit as we’re available both online and in-person.