May 24, 2024  
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2011-2012 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Social Studies Education, M.S.Ed.

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Professor Singer, Graduate Program Director, (516) 463-5853.

The master of science in education program in social studies education is a 37-s.h. program that requires an undergraduate major or equivalent (with a minimum of 30 s.h.) in either history or one of the social sciences (economics, geography, political science, sociology, or anthropology). The course of study leads to New York state initial teacher certification, social studies grades 7-12. This program is designed to blend on-campus preparation with field experiences in a variety of school settings, culminating in full-time student teaching. Literacy, multicultural education, and information technology are integrated throughout all aspects of the program. The program conforms with the New York State Learning Standards in Social Studies and with the recommendations for teacher preparation of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to a master of science in education program in the Department of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership are made to the Graduate Admissions Office. Students who do not meet the full admission requirements must complete prerequisite courses prior to the conferring of the master’s degree. Admission is based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria, including the following:

  1. A completed application form to the master’s program.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in each of two categories:
    1. Overall undergraduate course work,
    2. Course work in the content area in which certification is being sought.
  3. Completion of General Education Core requirements for teacher education programs (see below).
  4. A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.
  5. Two letters of reference that address the applicant’s potential to succeed in the teaching profession and in graduate course work.

The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a candidate’s potential for success in a graduate program. Candidates may wish to apply if they do not meet one of the criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience may compensate.

Social Studies Content Requirements

Students admitted to the M.S. in Education in Social Studies Education program must have a minimum of 36 s.h. in history and social studies courses, including a minimum of 21 s.h. in history and geography. In addition, the Hofstra University program requires a distribution of history and social studies courses in different subject areas.

  1. Minimum 6 s.h. European history (Western civilization)
  2. minimum 6 s.h. United States history;
  3. minimum 3 s.h. political science (American government);
  4. minimum 3 s.h. economics;
  5. minimum 3 s.h. geography; additional course work (with advisement) that demonstrates competency in non-Western (African, Asian, Latin American or Russian) history, anthropology and sociology.

If one or more of the above content areas are missing from any student’s transcript, those content areas must be completed prior to completion of the master of science in education degree. Of these 36 s.h., six may be taken at the graduate level and counted toward the master of science in education degree under the electives category.

Candidates who do not possess a bachelor’s degree in their certification area, but who have succeeded in completing a majority of the required content courses with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher, are eligible to apply for the master of science in education program.

Upon matriculation in the program, candidates may continue to complete the required courses while they are completing the requirements for the master’s program. Where academic subject deficiencies in social studies are so great as to prevent completion of requisite work within the 37 s.h. master’s program, additional course work may be required. Matriculated students must complete a minimum of 28 s.h. in residence at Hofstra University. No more than 9 s.h. may be transferred into the program. Student teaching may be used to meet the 28 s.h. requirement.

A maximum of 12 s.h. of graduate course work leading toward the master of science in education degree may be completed prior to matriculation in the program. To register for courses in the program other than SED 205, 213, or 264, students must 1) be matriculated in the program, or 2) have written permission from their adviser or the chairperson of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership prior to the beginning of the course. Students accepted to the program must meet with their adviser to determine any undergraduate content area deficiencies and to complete a plan of study (Graduate Student Advisement Record).

Program Requirements - Semester Hours: 37

Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 while in the program. Grades of D or lower will not be counted toward the graduate degree but will be included in determining the grade point average. Students may repeat courses to meet grade point average requirements.

The M.S. in Education in Social Studies consists of 37 s.h. of course work, as follows:

Introductory Courses - Semester Hours: 10

Choose One From - Semester Hours: 3

General Methods Classes - Semester Hours: 6

Choose One From - Semester Hours: 3

Special Methods and Curriculum Courses - Semester Hours: 6

Elective Courses, with advisement, Supporting the Content Area of Certification - Semester Hours: 6

FDED courses, cross-cultural courses, and courses in urban and/or gender issues are especially recommended. In addition, students may choose from the following content area electives:

  • ISI 201 Cultural Diversity and Global Perspectives (New College for Interdisciplinary Studies), Semester Hours: 3

Student Teaching and Corequisite Seminars - Semester Hours: 9

Field Experiences Prior to Student Teaching

At least one field placement must be in a district identified as high-needs by the New York State Education Department. All field experiences are incorporated into course curricula. Students enrolled in SPED 201/264 are placed in educational settings to work with students who have special-needs or disabilities. A minimum of 100 clock hours of participation/observation is required prior to student teaching. Placements are arranged by the Office of Field Placement. Departmental policy is to place prospective teachers in districts other than those in which they currently reside or in schools that they attended.

Participation/observation field experiences in designated secondary schools are required in each of the following courses:

  • LYST 209 - 10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
  • LYST 215A - 10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-12
  • LYST 217A - 10-hour field placement in varied settings, grades 7-9
  • SED 213 - 20-hour field placement in a high-needs district, grades 7-12
  • SED 264 - 20-hour field placement in a high-needs district, grades 7-12
  • SED 294 - 30- hour field placement in varied settings. grades 10-12
  • SPED 201 - 20-hour field placement in settings with special-needs students, grades 7-12
  • SPED 264 - 20-hour field placement in settings with special-needs students, grades 7-12


Student Teaching Prerequisites

Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SED 217, when they have satisfied the following requirements:

  1. Completion of SED 200, 205, 213, 264, 292; LYST 215/217/225, SPED 201/264.
  2. Maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in overall graduate course work.

Application forms are available from the Office of Field Placement. Applications are due on May 1 for the succeeding spring semester and February 15 for the succeeding fall semester.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of all General Education Core requirements.
  2. Completion of all Social Studies content requirements with no grades lower than C- and a minimum Social Studies GPA of 2.75.
  3. Completion of the 37 s.h. course requirement in the master of science in education program with no fewer than 28 s.h. in residence.
  4. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and no grades lower than B in required professional education courses.
  5. An electronic portfolio, illustrating the student’s education course work, program objectives and professional accomplishments.
  6. All course work offered in satisfaction of the master of science in education degree requirements must be completed within a five-year period.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Certification and Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. Students who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.

All prospective early childhood (Birth-Grade 2), elementary (Grades 1-6) and secondary (Grades 7-12), special subject teachers and educational leaders are required to pass the New York State Teachers Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by Pearson Education, for state certification requirements. Students should consult with the Office of Certification and Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study. Beginning in May 2013 graduating students will be required to pass new Performance Assessments and revised Content Specialty Tests.

It is strongly recommended that students complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) prior to student teaching, and the Assessment of Teaching Skills Written (ATS-W) and the Content Specialty Test (CST) during student teaching. Students not receiving passing scores on these examinations will not be eligible for certification.

In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:
    1.     Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment.
    2.     Fire and Arson Prevention.
    3.     School Violence Prevention and Intervention.
    4.     Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse.
    5.     Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction.

New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification as special education teachers or school administrators working in special education to have training in the area of children with autism. All of these requirements must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.


*Course requires participation/observation in designated schools.

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