Professional Certification In Secondary Education (CUSD, M.A.) | Programs in Curriculum and Teaching | Curriculum & Teaching

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Teachers College, Columbia University
Printer-friendly Version
Teachers College, Columbia University Logo
Programs in c&t

Programs in Curriculum & Teaching

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

MA: Secondary Professional Certification Program

The MA program in secondary education (CUSD) is a 32-point program, which can lead to professional certification as a grades 7-12 teacher in New York State in the areas of English, Social Studies, Science, Technology, or Mathematics.  The program supports three shared philosophical stances underlying our long-standing tradition of preparing teachers as education leaders.  These stances include teaching as inquiry, teaching as curriculum making, and teaching for social justice.  The overarching intention of the program is to assist educators who expect to exert leadership in their school settings and with their colleagues.  With careful planning and advisement, the program can be completed in 12 months starting in the fall semester or the summer, or in 17 months if starting in January.  The program may also be taken part-time.

Prerequisite: Initial Certification in Secondary Education in one of these areas: Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Technology, or English.

Core Courses (10 points) Students are required to take the following courses:

  • C&T 4002 Curriculum theory and history (3)
  • C&T 4005 Principles of teaching and learning (4) (includes practicum in a classroom setting)
  • C&T 4052 Designing curriculum and instruction (2-3)

Secondary Content/Pedagogy Courses (12 points)

Students are required to take 12 points of coursework in content/pedagogy in the department and program appropriate to their area of initial certification. Students will follow the content/pedagogy courses set by the particular program in one of the following areas:

  1. Social Studies
  2. Mathematics
  3. Science and Technology
  4. English

Social Context Required Courses (4 points— Only offered in the fall semester and must be taken concurrently):

  • C&T 4145 Critical perspectives in secondary education (3)
  • C&T 4502 Master’s project (1)

Social Context Selective Courses—Diversity (2-3 points)

Students choose one Selective course from the following:

  • C&T 4000 Disability in contexts (3)
  • C&T 4001 Differentiated instruction in inclusive classrooms (3)
  • C&T 4010 Immigration and curriculum (2-3)
  • C&T 4078 Curriculum and teaching in urban areas (2-3)
  • C&T 5037 Literacy, culture, and the teaching of reading (2-3)

Special Education Course Requirement (3 points required depending on previous experience)

New York State now requires that CUSD students, first enrolled at TC after February 1, 2011, must have a 3-credit stand-alone special education course which develops “the skills necessary to provide instruction that will promote the participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum.” If you have had such a stand-alone 3-credit course in your undergraduate or other graduate studies, you have met this requirement. If you don’t, you should take C&T 4001 for 3 credits. Also, if you need to take C&T 4001, you will have to take C&T 4052: Designing Curriculum and Instruction for 2 points.

Social Context Selective Courses–General (2-3 points) Students choose one Selective course from the following:

  • C&T 4004 School change (2-3)
  • C&T 4023 Differentiated curriculum for gifted students (2-3)
  • C&T 4032 Gender, difference, and curriculum (2-3)
  • C&T 4161 The teacher: Socio-historical cultural contexts of teaching (2-3)

Elective Courses (0-3 points)           

Students have already met the College requirement of three courses outside their department, so electives may be taken inside or outside the Department of Curriculum and Teaching.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.


  • Apply
  • Request Info