Programs Preparing English Teachers

Live to Inspire.
Love to Teach.

Do you have a passion for language and literature and want to make a difference to students? Then consider becoming an English teacher.
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? Warner will prepare you to become an innovative English language arts (ELA) teacher, empowered and able to help all students succeed.

Our teacher preparation programs offer the shortest path to NYS initial and professional teaching certification and a guaranteed 50% tuition scholarship.
Guaranteed 50% Tuition Scholarship!Learn More About Our Scholarships

Program Quickview

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 English Language Arts (ELA) and are offered at the graduate level only.

If you are interested in other English education programs, check our Related Programs.
Prerequisites (as required by NYS):
  • A minimum of 30 credits of coursework in English language arts.
  • Undergraduate degree in a liberal art (BA) or science (BS).
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 ELA may require less time.
  • Focus on ELA Education: Includes four courses as well as internships (taken concurrently with English methods courses) that are specific to teaching English language arts.
  • 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 strengthen your effectiveness with diverse learners and make you more marketable; see Opportunities for Additional Specializations.

Warner Programs that Prepare ELA Teachers

For Preservice Teachers with No Prior Teaching Certification
  • MS Program (TE3): 39 credits, including field experiences and two student teaching experiences.
  • MAT Program (TE4): 51 credits; same requirements as above plus 12 additional credits of graduate courses in English.
student in clasrroom hiding behind book
Opportunities for Additional Specializations (with minimum additional credits required)
  • NYS Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities in Adolescence: Prepares you to better serve students with differentiated learning needs while qualifying you to teach in inclusive classes.
  • NYS Extension to Teach English Language Arts in Grades 5-6: Qualifies you to teach your subject with younger children.
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: Prepares you to teach and lead in racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching: Prepares you to make the best use of digital technology in your teaching.
  • NYS Certification in TESOL: Prepares you to better serve English language learners in your classes and qualifies you to teach ESOL courses.

Licensure in other states. Review certification and licensure information for Warner programs. 

For Initially Certified ELA Teachers Seeking NYS Professional Certification
If you already have your NYS initial teaching certification in Adolescence Education as a Specialist in English Language Arts, and are seeking NYS professional teaching certification in the same area, there are several Warner programs to help you achieve this goal. Most of these programs require only 30 credits of coursework and no internships. Check the requirements related to the option(s) that best apply to you from the program choices below:
students writing on computers in lab
For Certified Teachers in Areas Other than ELA Seeking Certification in ELA
If you already have your NYS teaching certification in another area of specialization, and are seeking an additional certification in secondary English, you will still need to meet the same prerequisites, but will have fewer requirements and internships to complete your program. The following Warner programs should meet your needs:
  • Advanced Certificate (NE2): Fastest path; as few as 11 credits, including specialization courses, plus 50 contact hours of field experiences.
  • MS Program (SE2): 32 credits, including 50 contact hours of field experiences; also leads to NYS professional teaching certification in your original area of certification.
teacher looking at computer with student

Our Approach

Creating Effective ELA Teachers Who Can Inspire and Lead Change.

Warner’s approach to English language arts reflects what we know about literacy learning and the multiple literacies needed to succeed in today’s diverse and increasingly globalized world. Our program will prepare you to be an innovative teacher who can inspire and lead change.
students reading Romeo and Juliet in classroom with teacher
Learn More About Warner's Approach to ELA Education
Language, literacy, and the ways of communicating are timeless so there will always be a demand for quality English educators. At Warner, we are committed to preparing knowledgeable, open-minded, and creative English language arts teachers who are aware of the shifting landscape, who are committed to high standards of teaching and learning, and who can become agents of change in schools. Our graduates become teachers who value their students, and who view students' differences, experiences, and ideas as resources for learning in the classroom. Through coursework and field experiences, our teacher candidates learn how to engage adolescents and enable them to study the English language, literature, and multiple literacies while also making rich connections to their world around them.

Today’s English language arts classrooms are about so much more than conventional reading and writing. English is not just a set of skills taught in the classroom; it is a set of social practices used to “read the world” in school, at home, and in our communities. We prepare candidates to approach teaching the English language, literature, and literacy with a critical social analysis of the diverse communities in which their students live. Our candidates recognize their students as individuals who bring rich histories, interests, and passions to the classroom and learn to provide opportunities for students to read and write about issues that intrigue or concern them.

As we live in a diverse and increasingly globalized world, the ways of communicating have become more and more complex. Our graduates develop strategies for designing instruction to prepare their students for success in this complex world—an important task facing United States education. Our faculty and candidates integrate technological and media literacy as both tools and social practices. Graduates learn to effectively draw upon a variety of media to enhance English language arts instruction while also encouraging students to express their own ideas and identities. And, their students become problem solvers and effective communicators who are proficient in English and master the appropriate learning and thinking skills, communications skills, and technology skills needed to excel in our 21st century landscape.

In an era of standardized testing and accountability, it is important to understand these realities, how they impact instruction, and how teachers can react to the demands while meeting the needs of every student. Our program prepares teachers to exceed Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. Additionally, our graduates create a sense of community and foster strong language and literacy skills for all students, including those learning the English language or with other learning needs.

Our program is committed to issues of diversity and equity. Throughout the program, our candidates learn to construct classroom environments that promote social justice. They develop the courage and conviction to lead struggles for social justice, in-depth knowledge of English language arts, and the skills and understanding needed to help students from every background develop to their fullest potential. They develop sensitivity for what is appropriate for the age/grade level they teach, for the children and families they serve, and the communities in which they teach. And, they lead efforts to advocate for full inclusion for students with disabilities in general education classrooms as part of their efforts to reform schools.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Our teacher preparation programs in English language arts will help you stand out from others and prepare you to excel in your career.
  • Become an ELA teacher who can create learning opportunities that are inviting and accessible for all students – engaging with cutting-edge research and educational innovations.
  • Be challenged to be an agent of change, who can effectively introduce new ideas and practices that will enhance students’ learning and address current inequities.
  • Leverage the reputation of a leading research university to strengthen recognition of your degree.
  • Network with the best and the brightest future colleagues.
  • Make yourself stand out when applying for teaching positions by pursuing additional specializations for a few additional credits.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of researchers and accomplished practitioners who will prepare you to become adaptive experts in today’s K-12 schools.
  • Shorten your path to a doctoral degree by earning transferable credits.
While rigorous, Warner’s teacher preparation programs are both flexible and affordable.
  • Benefit from a guaranteed 50% scholarship.
  • Take advantage of online learning options that help reduce trips to campus.
  • Be ready to teach the school year following enrollment, as the program can be completed in as little as 15 months, even by teachers new to the profession.

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

East High School Partnership

East High School Partnership

Our students have the opportunity to observe and learn from the reforming of an urban high school. As the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for East High School, we are overseeing a radical transformation affecting all aspects of the school – including how to support students’ literacy learning.

National Writing Project

National Writing Project

Warner students can take advantage of the Genesee Valley Writing Project, led by Warner faculty member Joanne Larson. This collaborative school- university partnership seeks to improve the teaching and learning of writing in PK-16 education, using a teachers-teaching-teachers model. The summer institute can also be taken for credits by interested Warner students.

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Center for Learning in the Digital Age

Faculty member and program director Jayne Lammers – also an associate director of the Warner Center for Learning in the Digital Age – is helping to lead Warner initiatives related to the use of digital technology in informal learning spaces. The Center offers numerous opportunities to learn about and leverage digital technologies for education.

Career Opportunities

Advancing Education and Your Career to the Next Level.

Graduates of a Warner teacher preparation program in English language arts (ELA) will have the credentials needed to teach ELA in grades 7-12 in New York State (NYS) public schools and other states that recognize NYS teaching certification.

Unlike graduates of an undergraduate teacher preparation program, our graduates will have already met all the coursework requirements for NYS professional teaching certification. This means they will only be required to complete three years of teaching and some state exams in order to obtain this additional level of certification – a NYS requirement within five years of beginning a teaching job.

At the same time, some of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers other than teaching in K-12 public schools. These include teaching in private schools and other educational settings, including informal and after-school environments, community-based organizations, and private industry.
recent ELA and social studies teachers stuying at Warner


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Valerie Marsh thumbnail imageValerie Marsh, PhD
Associate Professor (Clinical), Assistant Director Center for Urban Education Success, Director GRADE Program
LeChase Hall 392
(585) 210-9754


Making Warner Affordable.

The Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester is pleased to offer a number of scholarships to eligible students who enroll in teacher preparation programs. These scholarships are made possible by federal grants as well as the generous support of donors, who are committed to the success of future teachers.

Byron Williams Teaching Scholarships – Guaranteed 50% Tuition Savings
All new students starting their master’s programs in teacher education leading to New York State teaching certification are guaranteed a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship, provided they commit to teach in a United States school for a minimum of two years after graduation.

Vasquez in class at table with studnets

Try Us Out

Get a Taste of What Warner Has to Offer.

We invite you to visit one of our innovative instructional programs, including:
  • Horizons Summer Enrichment Program: A six-week, full-day summer program for K-8 students in the city of Rochester that takes place on the University of Rochester campus and provides its students with meaningful literacy learning opportunities in an informal context.
  • East High: This Rochester City School District secondary school is undergoing major transformation under the oversight of the University of Rochester as an educational partnership organization and has instituted several initiatives to support literacy learning.  
  • East Irondequoit Digital Conversion: A K-12 partner school that has incorporated iPads into student learning and implemented a district-wide Learning Management System (LMS) to transform teaching practices.
Take A Course! You can also experience Warner as a non-matriculated student for a highly discounted price.

Contact admissions to arrange for a visit or learn more about opportunities for non-matriculated students.
three students with thumbs up


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

    “I had a very unique situation. I wasn’t going down the typical path of a Warner student, and the school was just so flexible and supportive.”

    Shannon Walton, Sports Performance Counselor, Rochester, NY

  • Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

    “As educators, it’s our job to make sure we’re giving students the knowledge to be successful when they move on in their life….Warner was the best grad school experience I’ve ever had because it prepared me extremely well to jump into my career, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

    Jody Goodman, Program Director, UMass Amherst

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

    "The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently."

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo, Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

    “It was more than I expected. Not only what I learned in the program, which I’ve been able to put into practice every day since, but also the connections I was able to make and the relationships I was able to form."

    Beatriz M. Folch-Torres, MD, Rochester, NY

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children

    “When it came time to interview for jobs, it was very easy for me to talk about anything in the field, and that set me apart,” he says. “You name it, and I had at least one experience in it—largely due to Warner.”

    Jeremy Friedman, Research Associate, Harlem Children's Zone, New York, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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