Teaching of Social Studies MA INSTEP Professional

Master of Arts in the Teaching of Social Studies (INSTEP)

Become a leader in your field through this three-year, summer M.A. degree for experienced social studies teachers. 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.

A graduate student studies in the TC library using a book and her laptop.

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 32
  • Entry Terms: Summer Only


  • NY State Professional: Social Studies 7-12

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): April 15

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test
  • Interview required
  • Applicants seeking Professional Certification must hold Initial Certification

Course Requirements

InStep Master of Arts in Social Studies for In-Service Teachers (32 points)

This program is designed for teachers from both public and private schools seeking further education. Most of the 32 points are taken during a three-week intensive summer program over three years. During the intensive residency each summer, students are embedded in integrated courses in teaching and social studies that take advantage of NYC and the diverse experiences of students. During the academic years, most students take 2-3 additional courses and work on their thesis to complete their degree.

Please note that all students must take a minimum of 12 points in content/pedagogy and three out-of-program courses in professional development for a minimum of 2 credits each.

 Typical curriculum for INSTEP includes: Summer #1:

  • Advanced methods of social studies curriculum (A&HW 5037)
  • Social Studies Content w/Pedagogy Course
  • Guided Investigations (A&HW 5931)
  • Out-of-Program Course

  Summer #2:

  • Curriculum development, research, and supervision (A&HW 6530) or Teacher education in the social studies (A&HW 5031)
  • Out-of-Program Course
  • Social Studies Content w/Pedagogy Course
  • Guided Investigations (A&HW 5931)

 January Weekend Between Summers #2 and #3:

  • Action Research Mid-Year Seminar (A&HW 5232)

 Summer #3:

  • Out-of-Program Course
  • Guided Investigations (A&HW 5931)
  • Social Studies Content w/Pedagogy Course

Graduation Requirement:

Master’s Project in Action Research

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