How and When to Apply for a Salary Differential

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When should I apply for a salary differential?
What documentation must I include with my application?
How do I submit my salary differential application?
Where can I get assistance in completing my application?
After I submit my application, what happens next?

When should I apply for a salary differential?
The answer differs depending upon if you are a new employee or an existing employee.

  • New Employees: If you are a new employee to the DOE and qualify for a differential upon hire, then your application for salary differential must be filed within six months of your first day at work.

    New employees who apply within six months of their date of appointment will receive an effective date retroactive to their appointment date provided all courses were completed prior to the date of appointment. This entitles them to receive retroactive pay (i.e., the difference between the new salary, reflecting the differential, and the salary without the differential).

  • Existing Employees: If you are not new to the DOE, then your application must be filed within six months of completing coursework. The guide below will help you determine when you must submit your application:

Coursework Completed In

Approximate Date of Completion

Last Date for On-Time Filing

Fall Semester

January 31

July 31

Spring Semester

June 30

December 29

Summer Semester

August 31

February 28

If your application is determined to qualify for the differential, then you will receive an effective date corresponding to the semester in which you completed your coursework as follows:

Coursework Completed In

Effective Date

Fall Semester

February 1

Spring Semester

July 1

Summer Semester

September 1

The effective date signifies the date you should have been paid at the higher salary rate, provided you filed your application on time; you will receive retroactive monies payable from the effective date of your application. Applications submitted after six months from the date coursework was completed will result in late effective dates and will not be entitled to retroactive pay. Therefore, if an employee files a complete application after the six-month period, s/he shall receive an effective date of the first day of the month following the date of submission of the complete application.

At times, employees may leave the DOE due to an approved leave of absence, retirement, or resignation and return at a later date. If the employee completed coursework during the separation in service that qualifies him/her for a differential, s/he must file a salary differential application within six months of return. An effective date corresponding to the date of the return will be granted, and the employee will be eligible to receive retroactive pay (retroactive to the effective date).
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What documentation must I include with my application?
Along with your application, you must also submit documentation supporting your eligibility. How you earned the credits needed to qualify for the differential will determine the type of documentation you will need to submit. This documentation may include:

  • College/University Transcripts: You must submit all original transcripts that document your eligibility to receive the salary differential. This is even the case if you submitted some or all of the transcripts previously for a prior differential. Transcripts must include the date your degree was conferred (i.e., your graduation date). Note that grade reports and computer printouts are not accepted.
  • Excess Credits Letter: In some instances, additional credits required by a particular differential may have been earned prior to the conferral of a bachelor’s or master’s degree but were not credits used toward or required for the degree. If this is the case, an original letter signed by the school’s registrar and bearing the school seal must identify the exact number of credits required for the degree and the number of excess credits (see Eligibility Requirements for more information).
  • CLEP Test Results: Original CLEP transcripts must be submitted (computer print-outs of CLEP test results are not accepted).
  • In-service Coursework: Original Certificates of Completion provided by the program where coursework was completed (i.e., either the DOE’s After School Professional Development Program or NYSUT) must be submitted as part of your application. If you have taken courses through NYSUT, you must submit a transcript from one of the colleges that the program partners with.  The NYSUT website is
  • National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certificate: The original certificate must be submitted along with a letter, both issued by NBPTS, indicating that the employee passed the National Board exam.
  • SVA Program Completion Letter: If you participated in the Success Via Apprenticeship (SVA) program, you must submit a letter from the program director verifying your successful completion.

FEMA policy update (1/14/15): The NYCDOE will no longer accept FEMA course credit as of January 9, 2016.  For salary applications received after this date, credit may only be granted for FEMA courses that meet the following criteria and on the following basis: 

  • Documentation must be provided that the course was completed no later than January 8, 2016. Acceptable forms of documentation include a FEMA transcript and/or Certificate of Completion with date. 
  • The course must be credited on a transcript no later than the Spring 2016 term; credits corresponding to a term later than Spring 2016 will not be accepted. 
  • Credit will be granted for courses meeting the above criteria on a one-for-one basis consistent with the credit conversion rate in effect as of January 8, 2016. 

Note to employees submitting foreign transcripts: The New York City Department of Education will accept copies of foreign transcripts only if they are notarized and accompanied by a notarized English language translation service. Click the link for a list of approved foreign education translation services.

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How do I submit my salary differential application?
Salary differential applications are completed and submitted online. You can access our online application here.

Once you electronically submit your application, you will receive an email confirming its receipt. This email must be printed as it will act as a cover sheet for the supporting documents (e.g., school transcripts, CLEP test results) required as part of your application. The email should be placed on top of your supporting documentation and mailed to the Office of Salary Services. Materials can be submitted in one of two ways:

  • By certified mail (this is the preferred method):
    The Division of Human Resources
    Office of Salary Services
    65 Court Street – Room 815
    Brooklyn, New York 11201
  • In person:
    HR Connect Walk-in Center
    65 Court Street – Room 102
    Brooklyn, New York 11201

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Where can I get assistance in completing my application?
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) provides assistance to its members in completing salary differential applications. As a first step, you should speak with your school’s UFT Chapter Chair. If you still have questions after you speak with the Chapter Chair, the UFT has five borough offices, which are open on school days between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. The UFT borough offices are located at:

UFT Bronx Office
2500 Halsey Street
Bronx, New York 10461

UFT Brooklyn Office
335 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201

UFT Manhattan
52 Broadway
New York, New York 10004

UFT Queens
97-77 Queens Boulevard
Rego Park, New York 11374

UFT Staten Island
4456 Amboy Road
Staten Island, New York 10312

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After I submit my application, what happens next?
After you submit your application, you will receive a series of emails informing you of the status of your application throughout the application process. These emails will notify you of particular milestones (e.g., application successfully received, all supporting documentation successfully received) and will ultimately inform you about the outcome of our review (e.g., differential has been assigned).

It will take approximately four to six weeks to process your application. If after your application has been processed you are granted the differential, you will receive a Certificate of Salary Differential via email. On this certificate you will find your new salary differential code and its effective date. Click here to see our guide for understanding your Certificate of Salary Differential. Be sure to keep your certificate for reference purposes.

The salary corresponding to the salary differential you have been assigned will appear in your paycheck within two to four pay periods. However, if you are entitled to retroactive pay (retroactive to your appointment date, if you qualified for the differential upon hire, or retroactive to the date you completed the eligibility requirements), it will take up to three pay cycles after your salary has been updated before this additional money is seen in your paycheck. If you do not receive your retroactive pay after a few paychecks, your payroll secretary should file an inquiry with Office of Pedagogical Payroll at (718) 935-3542 on your behalf.

If you submitted a salary differential application late (either after six months of appointment, if you were eligible for the differential upon hire, or more than six months after you completed coursework), your updated salary will not take effect until the first day of the month after the application was submitted. Late applications are not eligible for retroactivity.