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International Students

Teacher Certification

Fingerprinting by the NYCDOE (NYC Public Schools) for Student Teaching

International Students without a valid Social Security Number (SSN) must follow the procedure outlined below. The use of a temporary ID or student ID number as a substitute for a valid SSN is strictly prohibited and will result in being purged from all NYCDOE systems and a loss of security clearance to work, volunteer, or student teach.

1. International student teachers without a valid SSN must make an appointment with the Office of Personnel Investigations (OPI) by sending an email to the attention of the International Student Fingerprint Team at

You should indicate in the email that you are an international student teacher seeking security clearance and that you attend NYU. Walk-ins are not permitted.

An OPI representative will schedule a fingerprint appointment. Persons without an appointment will not be fingerprinted.

2. Email your student teaching coordinator once you have made your appointment. They will provide you with the letter that you need to bring with you. 

3. Bring in the following items – currently valid, not expired – to your fingerprint appointment:

  • Passport
  • Student Visa
  • Proof of enrollment in our education program (which your student teaching coordinator will provide you)
  • NYU ID card 
  • Payment of $115 for the fingerprints (Money Orders, Personal Checks or Credit Card: Visa or MasterCard)

4. Post fingerprinting bring your receipt of payment to: The Office of Clinical Studies, 239 Green Street (East Building), 3rd Floor

Registering for the NYS Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE)

If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) enter all 9s when prompted to enter your SSN. Once you have an SSN you will need to fax the NYSTCE a copy of your SSN card and passport with a cover letter including your assigned NYSTCE ID number requesting that they change your temporary SSN replacement with your actual SSN. NYSTCE fax number is 413-256-7088. You should follow up a few days after to ensure they have received your fax by calling 413-256-2882.

Registering for the edTPA

When registering for the edTPA, International Students without a valid SSN should not enter any number (including a temporary number assigned by the NYCDOE) and leave the SSN section blank. You will then receive a message that states "The SSN that you entered is not valid. If you do not have a valid SSN please click here." In the next window you must acknowledge that you have no valid SSN. The system will then let you proceed with the registration process.

Applying for OPT and NYS Certification

If you do not have a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) you must wait until you have one before creating an account on the NYSED TEACH system. If you apply for OPT - Optional Practical Training - the process will generate an SSN which you will use to create your TEACH account and apply for certification. You should apply for OPT as soon as you can but the earliest you can apply is 90 days prior to your completion date. Steinhardt will recommend you for certification using your SSN. Please also see Extended Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the US

Fingerprinting Once You Have a Social Security Number

Once you have a Social Security Number, generated by either an on campus job or OPT (see above), you may complete the fingerprinting process through the NYCDOE as you would have for student teaching (see steps from Office of Clinical Studies) if you have not yet been fingerprinted. If you have already been fingerprinted but without a SSN you must now inform the NYCDOE so that they may connect your new SSN to your previously taken fingerprints. Once NYCDOE has processed your fingerprints, you may request that they share your fingerprint clearance with the NYSED via completion of the OSPRA 104, please see FAQ 7.a.

NYCDOE (NYC Public Schools) Employment with OPT Once Your NYS Certificate Has Issued

According to the most recent information available from the NYCDOE, International Students cannot apply for employment with NYC Public Schools until they have a Social Security Number. International Students may qualify for employment in New York City public schools once they hold NYS certification (the NYCDOE often stipulates in designated shortage-area subjects that vary from year to year) and hold an OPT visa. You will be ineligible to apply to work for the NYCDOE unless you hold OPT, have a SSN and have applied on NYSED TEACH and your NYS certificate(s) has issued. Candidates fitting the above criteria may apply online to the NYC Department of Education. Once application is received and reviewed, further instructions will follow. The NYCDOE welcomes all applications but please be advised that candidates who do not fit the above criteria are not eligible for consideration. This policy is subject to change at any time.


For all questions and concerns related to NYU Steinhardt certification programs not addressed in these pages, please contact:

Mark J. Perez 
Certification Officer
NYU Steinhardt
82 Washington Square East, Room 229 
New York, New York 10003 
(212) 998-5033 
(212) 995-4353 fax