Summer M.A. Intensive (32 Points) | Teachers College Columbia University

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INSTEP - Summer M.A. Intensive Overview

The Low-Res/INSTEP (Intensive Summer Teacher Education Program) is a three-year, summer Master of Arts degree for experienced Social Studies teachers who are looking to become leaders in the field. This program can be used for New York State Professional Certification for those individuals who hold Initial Certification in New York and have the necessary credentials. The INSTEP program is designed for teachers from both public and private schools.

To meet the needs of in-service teachers, classes are held for two weeks over three consecutive summers with continuing online work during the year, and focus on content and pedagogy in social studies education. During the interim semesters, students take courses online and conduct research that emerges from their pedagogical interests. In addition, students take courses in social studies content and in other programs at Teachers College to fill the gaps in students’ previous content coverage, as well as general pedagogical knowledge. The summer session is a two-week session during the summer B term. Lastly, during the interim semesters, students are expected to check their emails regularly.

Summer Masters in Social Studies Education

Visit with students and faculty of the Summer Masters in Social Studies Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.



The following presents a sample course of study and is subject to change due to course offerings:


  • A&HW 5931: Seminar: Guided Investigations in the Teaching of Social Studies (repeated each summer)

Social Studies Core, such as:

  • A&HW 6530: Curriculum Development, Research and Supervision
  • A&HW: 5030: Diversity in the Social Studies Curriculum
  • A&HW 5037: Advanced Methods of Teaching Social Studies

Social Studies Content Courses, Such As: 

  • A&HW 4005: Sustainability and the Social Studies
  • A&HW 4032: The Study of World History and Geography
  • A&HW 4033: History and Geo of Europe Since 1914
  • A&HW 4035: New York City as a Learning Lab
  • A&HW 4038: The Study of American History and Geography
  • A&HW 4039: US Constitution – Civ Dec Making
  • A&HW 4041: Econ Decision Making in Cit Education
  • A&HW 4043: Controversial Iss and the Secondary Classroom

Innovative Special Topics Content. 
Examples of courses that have run in the past:

  • Dangerous Minds, Dead Poets, and Democratic(?) Education on the Silver Screen
  • All Power to the People: Comparative Freedom Movements of the Sixties
  • Youth Civic Engagement
  • Gaming, Learning, and Social Studies Education

Click here for an example of a typical summer schedule.


How to Apply

Admission requires that students must hold initial state teaching certification in social studies. To apply for admission, please visit TC Admissions. We accept applications on a rolling, space-available basis. While there is no formal deadline for INSTEP, we highly recommend submitting your application before April 15 in order to be reviewed in time for classes.


Financial Aid

Our goal is to help remove financial barriers to assist students in meeting the cost of attendance at the institution. Tuition scholarships are available on the basis of academic merit and financial need. Scholarships are awarded on a funds-available basis. In order to be eligible for Teachers College scholarships, you must fill out the scholarship application through the Admissions website. 

If you are interested in applying for Federal Student Aid, you will need to file for FAFSA online at Be sure to include the Teachers College school coded G03979. After we receive your FAFSA information from the Department of Education, within14 days you will receive a financial aid award letter. We strongly recommend completing as early as possibly if you are planning to attend Teachers College this summer. 

The Financial Aid Office provides counseling and assistance in completing the financial aid application, evaluation and determination of need. For more information on the financial aid process please visit The Office of Financial Aid.

For current enrollment costs, see the Office of Admissions.



If you are interested in applying for housing, we recommend contacting the Office of Residential Services for more information.

Limited housing for INSTEP students is available. Housing for INSTEP students is known as Summer Conference Housing and has a separate application process than school-year housing. If you are interested in applying for housing, please complete the Summer Conference Housing Application, and indicate that you are planning to enroll in an INSTEP program. Do not use the regular Housing Application for school-year programs.

The Office of Residential Services offers a limited number of spaces within the residence halls to accommodate persons attending summer conferences, classes, workshops, or interning. Conference guests and workshop attendees will be housed in our 517 West 121st residence hall. Visit the Summer Conference Page for more information.


Contact Us

For more information please contact Dr. Bill Gaudelli