Social Studies Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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M.A. with Initial Teacher Certification (38 Points)

M.A. in Social Studies with Initial Teacher Certification (38 points)

This program requires a minimum of 38 points and an integrative project. It is designed for those with little or no experience teaching secondary social studies. Successful completion of this program of study leads to the M.A. degree and recommendation for New York State Initial Certification (grades 7-12). Student teaching is undertaken in cooperating middle and high schools, in the New York Metropolitan area. A committee of social studies faculty and cooperating professionals from the schools to which students are assigned supervise and evaluate the student teacher’s work.

In order to complete all degree requirements successfully, this program typically demands two terms of the academic year and two summer sessions, which can be taken in the same summer.

Degree Requirements

Download Degree Handbook

Download Cooperating Teacher Handbook

 The 38 points should be distributed as follows:

Degree Checklist

Social Studies Core Courses (9 points):

Required courses:

  • A&HW 4036 The teaching of social studies
  • A&HW 5037 Advanced methods of social studies curriculum

 Students should also take one of the following:

  • A&HW 5030 Diversity and the social studies curriculum
  • A&HW 5035 History of the social studies since 1880
  • A&HW 5530 History of American social thought

 Social Studies Content Courses (10-12 points):

In consultation with an advisor, students should select courses to round out their knowledge of the subject matters taught in secondary schools. Content courses taken at Teachers College include attention to both content and pedagogy. Courses can also be taken at Columbia University. 

 Professional Development Courses (6-9 points):

To satisfy the college’s breadth requirement students must take three Teachers College courses (for this purpose a course is defined as one in which 2 or 3 points are earned) outside the major program. Selected with advisor approval.

 Student Teaching (10 points):

  • A&HW 4530 Seminar for student teachers in social studies*
  • A&HW 4729 Observation in the social studies
  • A&HW 4730 Supervised student teaching in social studies**

*Students enroll for 2 points in both the fall and spring.

** Students enroll for 3 points in both the fall and spring.

 Further Requirements:

Students must complete an integrative master’s project. They must also satisfy the New York State certification requirement for study of a language other than English. (For additional requirements, please refer to the Teacher Education area of the Academic Resources section of this bulletin.)


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