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Master's for Social Studies Teachers

We welcome applications on a rolling basis. Next priority deadline is March 15, 2024.

Guaranteed 65% scholarship

Online learning options

Teach the school year following enrollment

Program overview

Few careers give people the opportunity to impact individuals and their communities like teaching.  Can you think of a specific teacher who made a difference in your life? Would you like to become that kind of teacher? Social studies teachers are especially important today to help youth make sense of their world and become active and responsible citizens.

Our teacher preparation programs offer the shortest path to NYS initial and professional teaching certifications and a guaranteed 65% tuition scholarship.

All of the master's degree programs described below prepare candidates for NYS initial and professional teaching certification in Adolescence Education (Grades 7-12) as a Specialist in Social Studies and are offered at the graduate level only. If you want to complete the master’s program leading to initial teaching certification full-time in 15 months, you must start the program in the summer. 

Key program features

  • Meets All Coursework and Internship Requirements for BOTH Initial and Professional NYS Teaching Certification: In addition, you will need to pass the required state exams and complete the teaching requirements for professional certification.
  • Shortest Program: Preservice teachers can complete the program in 15 months of full-time study (if starting in summer); certified teachers seeking additional certification in social studies may require less time.
  • Focus on Social Studies Education: Includes three courses as well as internships (taken concurrently with methods courses) that are specific to social studies teaching and learning.  
  • Focus on Teaching ALL Students: Includes courses on diversity, students with disabilities, and English language learners (ELLs); these required courses may be transferred in for certified teachers.
  • Preparing for Technology-Rich Schools: Includes hybrid-online coursework in technology-rich teaching; options exist to take some courses online to experience this learning modality.
  • Option to Add Specializations: With only a few additional credits required, you can pursue additional NYS certifications or advanced certificates that can make strengthen your effectiveness with diverse learners and make you more marketable.

Prerequisites (as required by NYS)

  • A minimum of 30 credits of coursework in social studies subjects, including at least 21 credits in history and geography of the United States and the world, and coursework that provides a background in economics and government.
  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal art (BA) or science (BS).

Scholarships, Tuition, & Financial Aid

Guaranteed 65% tuition savings

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships


Certification options

Choose a certification to earn in addition to your degree.
What certification do you need? Learn more

Initial & Professional Certification

39 credits, including field experiences and two student teaching experiences. Coursework for the master's degree in adolescence education: social studies (grades 7-12)

Professional Certification Only

Our most flexible option, including 12 credits of electives; allows for the possible addition of Advanced Certificates in Digitally-Rich Teaching or Urban Teaching & Leadership, or taking some leadership courses that provide a jump start toward school leadership certification. Coursework for the master's degree in professional study: adolescence education (social studies 7-12)

For current teachers

32 credits, including 50 contact hours of field experiences; also leads to NYS professional teaching certification in your original area of certification. Coursework for the master's degree in adolescence education: social studies (grades 7-12).


A more flexible 30-credit master’s program not leading to NYS certification, for those interested in teaching social studies in learning environments other than NYS public K-12 schools. These could include: independent, private or charter schools; community colleges; professional or technical schools; colleges and universities outside of the United States; or a variety of other, more informal settings. Coursework for the master's degree in social studies education (non-certification). 

Advanced Certificate in Adolescence Education: Social Studies

For current teachers w/ Master’s degree

Fastest path; as few as 11 credits, including specialization courses plus 50 contact hours of field experiences. Coursework for the advanced certificate in adolescence education: social studies (grades 7-12)

Opportunities for additional specializations

In addition to taking the core program, students may want to consider supplementing their program to achieve other goals and pursue additional certification. Each option enhancement has specific prerequisites and/or course requirements.

  • Additional Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching
  • Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation
  • Advanced Certificate in Teacher Leadership

Customize your degree

Our degrees are designed to meet your interests and career aspirations. Whether you want to add an advanced certificate or specialize in a distinct area of emphasis, we can help craft the best option for you.

We welcome applications on a rolling basis. Next priority deadline is March 15, 2024.

University of Rochester Teacher Residency Programs

ROC Urban Teaching Fellows Program and Monroe Regional Teacher Residency Consortium are a paid teacher residency programs designed to collaboratively prepare and sustain skilled teachers to effectively serve the varied needs of students, families, and school communities.

  • 1 year paid teacher residency while studying
  • $15,000 toward tuition
  • Earn your Master's in Teaching with Initial Certification
Teacher and young student smiling in classroom

Program Director

Kevin Meuwissen

Associate Professor (Clinical) & Chair

Contact admissions

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Receive a $70 application fee waiver when you complete the form below.


Take a course before you apply

Take a course before you apply to one of our programs for a discounted price. Inquire with admissions to learn about credits that also apply toward degree requirements.

Related certificates and degrees

Related Advanced Certificates

Opportunities for additional specializations with minimum additional credits required.

  • NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching
  • NYS Certification in TESOL
  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities (10 credits)

Related degrees

  • Doctoral Programs Focusing on Inclusion/Special Education
  • GRADE Program for Undergraduate Applicants

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