Curriculum and Teaching Elem Education MA Professional

Master of Arts in Curriculum and Teaching, Elementary Education

With Professional Certification as a Grade 1-6 teacher in New York State

A teacher kneels beside an elementary student's desk and smiles

The Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Teaching with Professional Certification at the Elementary level (MA-CUED) provides students with courses in the study of pedagogy and curriculum. This involves the critical analysis of the foundations for schooling, the theory and history of curriculum, assumptions about subject matter, content-specific instructional practices, and beliefs about children as learners. 

This 32-point program is ideal for early teachers who bring imagination, respect for the capacities of all children and young people, and love of teaching and learning to their work. Students in this program have already earned Initial Certification and wish to remain in the classroom to develop as teacher leaders in their school settings, with their colleagues, and in the field more broadly.

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Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 32
  • Entry Terms: Summer, Fall


View Public Disclosure Notification

  • NY State Professional: 1-6

Application Deadlines

Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
SummerJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024N/A
FallJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024N/A

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

 Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
 Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
 Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
 $75 Application Fee
 Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
 Applicants must hold or be eligible for Initial NY Certification

For professional certification admission, please submit a resume and: (a) proof of elementary or secondary school teacher initial NYS certification (formerly provisional) or certification from another state, or (b) proof that you have completed an accredited Elementary or Secondary teacher preparation/student teaching program. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is a minimum requirement. Teaching experience is desirable, but not required.

Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

View Full Catalog Listing


The M.A. degree program in Curriculum and Teaching leading to Professional Teacher Certification from NYSED at the Elementary level (MA-CUED), provides students with a core of common courses and experiences in critical study of pedagogy and curriculum in combination with systematic study of disciplinary foundations of school subject matters (“content”) and subject-specific pedagogies (“pedagogy”) in the area of licensure.

This 32 point degree program is designed for early career educators currently practicing in, or intending to practice in, New York State. A basic criterion for admission is possession of a valid initial license to teach in New York, or eligibility to acquire such a license (e.g., by virtue of holding a comparable license from another jurisdiction). Some prior experience (beyond student teaching or equivalent) is desirable, but not required. A commitment to public education is welcome (but not required). In conjunction with satisfaction of all other requirements determined by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED), successful completers of the program are eligible for Professional Teacher Certification in New York State in Childhood Education (grades 1 – 6). Detailed and current information about licensure requirements and procedures may be found at TC’s Office of Teacher Education, OTE,

Prospective students whose professional interests center around teaching in school settings, regardless of licensure status or future plans are urged to consult with the Office of Admissions and/or the Program Director early in their matriculation. We have several different degree program pathways students may want to consider (including some that do not lead to teacher certification), and we may have suggestions with respect to subjects/licensure areas in addition to those listed above. Also, licensure requirements are complex, and they differ from state to state. We can give preliminary advice on these, and can refer students to the licensure/certification experts at Teachers College as needed though we have not made an official determination if the program leads to certification in other states.

The M.A. degree leading to Professional Teacher Certification, Elementary (MA-CUED for short) helps educators who bring imagination, critical spirit, respect for the capacities of all children and young people, and love of teaching and learning to their work. We seek to prepare educators who will increasingly exert leadership (informally and/or formally) with their colleagues, in their school settings, and in the field more broadly. The degree program revolves around three core tenets:

  • teaching as inquiry,

  • teaching as curriculum making, and

  • teaching for social justice.

Structurally, the degree program is organized around a core of common coursework, and associated field experience, dealing with principles, history, and skills of curriculum design and of pedagogy, in context of an alert and critical attention to social, ethical, professional and other challenges facing educators and children in schools today. Simultaneously, CUED students, working closely with an advisor, select from an array of “content pedagogy” courses, from within the Department of Curriculum and Teaching and across the College, appropriate to their teaching level, individual interests, and licensure requirements. As a connecting and culminating activity, all students complete an “Integrative Project,” focused on an issue, problem, and/or question identified by the student.

With careful planning and advising, this 32 point degree program may be completed in twelve months for full-time students starting in the fall or summer semesters. However, program faculty believe that students get more out of the experiences if the program is done at a slower pace. Students have five years to complete their degree program.

Students in the MA-CUED take some courses, and engage in some joint activities, with students in other Curriculum and Teaching programs, in particular, the M.A. in C&T leading to Professional Teacher Certification at the Secondary level (MA-CUSD), the Master of Education (Ed.M) in C&T (60 points) and the M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching (MA-CURR). Faculty, as well as students, work together across all of these programs—all of which are devoted equally to the critical study and improvement of pedagogy, curriculum, and society.

Please see “M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching Leading to Professional Teacher Certification (MA-CUED, MA-CUSD) Program Guide” for further information about program purposes, structure and expectations; and for answers to Frequently Asked Questions. 



All students are assigned an advisor upon admission. It is essential that students begin working with their advisor well before commencing their studies at Teachers College. Advisors can help students decide what program timeline makes best sense for them; students and advisors work together to develop the Program Plan; students are required to consult with their advisor prior to initial course selection and registration.

Please see “M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching Leading to Professional Teacher Certification (MA-CUED, MA-CUSD) Program Guide” for further information about advising. 



Requirements and schedule notes are correct as of publication. Please check the online schedule for most current scheduling information: In case of confusion, consult with the assigned advisor. Students are responsible for meeting all program requirements. Please plan accordingly.

Core (SHARED) Courses. All students in the M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching leading to Professional Teacher Certification (CUED, CUSD) are required to take the following (14 points):

C&T 4002    Curriculum Theory and History (3) Fall, Spring, Summer

C&T 4005    Principles of Teaching and Learning (4) Fall only (includes a required 50 hour field experience component: see below) To be taken prior to or concurrently with C&T 4502 semester 1

C&T 4052     Designing Curriculum and Instruction (3) Fall, Spring, & Summer; Consult with advisor to assure proper section. Note: One section per year focuses on design for social studies at the elementary level, and may be preferred by CUED students.

One of the following age/grade level specific courses:

C&T 4130    Critical Perspectives in Elementary Education (K — 6) (3) Fall only. CUED; OR

C&T 4145    Critical Perspectives in Secondary Education (3) Fall only. CUSD

C&T 4502.001    Integrative Project seminar (0 - 1) Fall only

Pre- or co-requisite: C&T 4005

Register for section designated for MA-CUED and CUSD students

Consult with advisor regarding credit allotment

C&T 4502.001    Integrative Project (0 - 1) Spring only

To be taken immediately following first semester of C&T 4502



Students who are teaching while in the degree program generally do their field experience in their own school, although for the most part not in their own classroom. In other cases, Program staff work with students to find placements in New York City schools for 50 hours of independent observation and reflection on instructional practices, interactions between and among students and teachers, critical issues, curricular enactments, and design activities. The field placement typically spans ten weeks and averages five hours per week.

Social Context selective courses: Diversity. (One course/2 - 3 points)

Note re: Special Education. NYSED requires that Professional Teacher Certification candidates have in their record a 3 credit stand-alone special education course aimed at developing “the skills necessary to provide instruction that will promote the participation and progress of students with disabilities in the general education curriculum.”

  • If you do not have such a course in your record (e.g., undergraduate transcript), you should take CT 4001, Differentiating Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms. This will satisfy the “Social Context: Diversity” requirement.

  • If you do have such a course in your record, you may take any approved elective in fulfillment of the “Social Context: Diversity” requirement. To determine if you have already taken an acceptable Special Education course, consult with your advisor or with the Office of Teacher Education (OTE).

Following are examples of courses that will satisfy the “Diversity” requirement. (Information is correct as of publication.) There are numerous other possibilities (within and beyond C&T) that would satisfy this requirement. Ask around, keep an eye on your email, ask your advisor… Just remember to get advisor approval—in advance, please—to use a course not on this list in fulfillment of this requirement.

C&T 4000    Disability, Exclusion, and Schooling (3 cr) Fall, Spring, & Summer

C&T 4001    Differentiating Instruction in Inclusive Classrooms (2-3 cr) Fall, Spring, & Summer

C&T 4078    Curriculum and Teaching in Urban Areas (2-3) Check course schedule

C&T 4010    Immigration and Curriculum (2-3) Check course schedule

C&T 4114    Multicultural Approaches to Teaching Young Children (2-3) Fall, Spring, & Summer

C&T 5037    Literacy,  Culture and the Teaching of Reading (2-3) Spring

EDP 4023   Reimagining Education (2-3) Spring (or/and, Summer Institute)

Social Context selective courses: General . (One course/2 - 3 points)

Following are examples of courses that will satisfy the “General” requirement. (Information is correct as of publication.) There are numerous other possibilities (within and beyond C&T) that would satisfy this requirement. Ask around, keep an eye on your email, ask your advisor… Just remember to get advisor approval—in advance, please—to use a course not on this list in fulfillment of this requirement.

C&T 4021    Nature and Needs of Gifted Students (2 – 3) Fall

C&T 4023    Differentiated Curriculum for Gifted Students (2-3) Check course schedule      

C&T 4032    Gender, Difference, and Curriculum (2-3) Fall, Spring?, Summer?

C&T 4161    The Teacher: Socio-Historical, Cultural Contexts of Teaching (2-3) Spring

C&T 4615   Young Children and Social Policy (2-3) Spring, Summer, Fall

C&T 5004    School Change (3) Fall

C&T 5033    Globalization, Democracy & Curriculum (2-3) Spring

Content Pedagogy courses (12 points).

Students in the MA-CUED degree program take 3 points (typically, a single class) in each of the four “core” elementary subject areas. Selection is made from a wide array of courses, some within Curriculum and Teaching, most from other departments. Following are examples  of suitable courses in each area. Students are encouraged to search out and propose other courses to their advisor. The basic criterion for such courses is that they will extend the student’s understanding of both the content and of pedagogies appropriate to that content.

1. Mathematics

MSTM 5010           Mathematics in the Elementary School (3) Fall

MSTM 5019           Mathematics in Popular Culture and Media  (3) Spring

MSTM 5020   Mathematics and Multicultural Education (3) Fall

2. Science or Technology:

  • Science

MSTC 4007 Urban and Multicultural Science Education (1 -3) Fall

MSTC 4040 Science in Childhood Education (3) Fall

MSTC 4852  Informal Science Education (3) Spring

MSTC 5040 Curriculum Improvement in Science Education (3) Spring

  • Technology

MSTU 4052 Computers, Problem Solving, and Cooperative Learning Fall

MSTU 4088     Introduction to Educational Technology and Learning Science Spring

MSTU 4133   Cognition and Computers

3. Social Studies 

C&T 4052    Designing Curriculum and Instruction (3) Elementary Social Studies section, Check course schedule

C&T 4143    Multicultural Social Studies in the Elementary and Middle School (3) Fall

A&HW 4032   World History and Geography (2-3) Fall

A&HW 4038   American History and Geography (2-3) Fall

A&HW 5050   Global Citizenship Education (2-3) Fall

4. Literacy

C&T 4136    Methods & Materials for Reading Instruction Fall, Check course catalog

C&T 4138    Teaching Literacy in the Early Years Fall

C&T 4139    Constructing Critical Readers Spring

C&T 4140    Literature for Younger Children Fall, Spring, Summer

C&T 4141     Literature for Older Children Check course catalog

C&T 4151     Teaching of Writing Fall

C&T 4858    Institute: Teaching of Reading Summer

C&T 5800    Institute: Teaching of Writing Summer

C&T 5850    Advanced Institute: Reading and Writing Connections Summer


New Student Advising and Online Registration

Please see note above and in the “M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching leading to Professional Teacher Certification (MA-CUED, MA-CUSD) Program Guide”. Newly admitted students need promptly to seek advising with the assigned advisor or Associate Professor of Practice Roosevelt and begin to draft their Program Plan. A PIN (Personal Identification Number) will be assigned after consultation and agreement about first semester courses. The student will then be able to register for courses online. The Office of Admission may provide further information to assist you in the registration process (; 212-678-3710; If you have not been notified of your advisor, please seek guidance from the Program Director.

Graduation Deadlines

Teachers College students must apply (i.e., declare their intent) to graduate by a specified date well in advance of each of the College’s three annual graduation dates:

Please note there is only one commencement ceremony each academic year, at the end of the Spring Term. Participation in this ceremony presumes successful completion of all degree requirements as of the end of the spring term. Under certain limited circumstances specified by the College, students in good standing who have not yet completed all degree requirements may also participate (“walk”) in the May ceremony. Please consult the Registrar’s Office and/or your advisor about criteria and procedures for “walking” (taking part in the ceremony without yet being awarded the diploma).

Graduation application due

Degree awarded

August 1


November 1


February 1 


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