Terms and Dates:

  • Academic Year 2023-24


Derina Samuel

Cornell Affiliations:

Center for Teaching Innovation


Graduate students who are from a country where English is not the first language and will be appointed as first-time teaching assistants at Cornell are welcome to apply.

Opportunity Description

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

ITAP includes two basic components:

  • language assessments to determine whether students are prepared to serve as teaching assistants
  • Three courses, ALS 5780ALS 5790, and ALS 5800 offer opportunities to improve language proficiency in an experiential class environment

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 27 or higher or IELTS speaking score of 8.0 or higher are exempt from further requirements.

The ITAP language assessments are based on the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI), the same tool used by many of our Ivy League peer institutions. It is conducted by a professional team that works hard to ensure fair, accurate assessment. A strong majority of students who participate in the language assessment process achieve the expected level of oral proficiency required by the Office of the Provost and move on directly to their TA appointments. For students who need additional support, the ITAP team offers several free services.

Please see the language assessments page for scheduling details.