International Teaching Assistant Program

The International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP) supports international graduate students on the path to success in their work as teaching assistants at Cornell.

Getting started

Language assessments

The Office of the Provost requires all first-time teaching assistants from countries where English is not the first language to demonstrate English-language oral proficiency through a language assessment. Students with a TOEFL iBT speaking score of 28 or higher or IELTS speaking score of 8.5 or higher are exempt from further requirements.

Next steps

  1. Review University Policy 1.3 on Graduate Assistantships for detailed information on who must participate in a language assessment
  2. Review our information on language assessments
  3. Participate in a language assessment if required

    • Students who achieve a score of Advanced Low or above (some departments require Advanced Mid) may move on directly to their TA appointments without enrolling in ALS 5780. Most students achieve this level.

    • Students who achieve a score of Intermediate High may teach as a TA while enrolled in ALS 5780 at the same time.
    • Students who achieve a score of Intermediate Mid (or below) must take ALS 5780 until they score Intermediate High, at which point they will be able to TA while taking ALS 5780 (see above).
  4. New international students from countries where English is not the first language who will hold a TA appointment in their first semester must participate in the ITAP summer program

Supporting your teaching career

The ITAP program consists of the language assessments, ITAP courses, and the ITAP summer program. Explore the information below to find out how CTI can support your success as a teaching assistant at Cornell.

McGraw Tower in fall

Language assessments

The language assessment process ensures that every international graduate student meets the expectations for oral English proficiency defined by the Office of the Provost so that you experience the greatest possible success in your teaching, studies, and research at Cornell.
Four students standing behind a teaching assistant who is writing on a chalk board

ITAP courses

ALS 5780 and 5790 (the ITAP courses) support international students who have been appointed to be teaching assistants build and refine their oral English proficiency.

Ag Quad in Summer

Summer program

The online summer program offers a high level of individual guidance, small group sessions, and activities designed to help students become familiar with Cornell’s campus and culture while refining their oral communication and teaching skills, and critically examining the influence of culture on teaching and learning.

Additional support is always available; please contact the ITAP team for more information.