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.
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:
- A completed application form to the master’s program.
- A minimum grade point average of 2.75 in each of two categories:
- Overall undergraduate course work,
- Course work in the content area in which certification is being sought.
- Completion of General Education Core requirements for teacher education programs (see below).
- A written personal statement of professional intent and rationale.
- 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.
- Minimum 6 s.h. European history (Western civilization)
- minimum 6 s.h. United States history;
- minimum 3 s.h. political science (American government);
- minimum 3 s.h. economics;
- 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
Introductory Courses - Semester Hours: 9
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:
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:
Student Teaching Prerequisites
Students will qualify for admission to Student Teaching, SED 217, when they have satisfied the following requirements:
- Completion of SED 205, 213, 264, 292; LYST 215/217/225, SPED 201/264.
- 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.
- Completion of all General Education Core requirements.
- Completion of all Social Studies content requirements with no grades lower than C- and a minimum Social Studies GPA of 2.75.
- 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.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in overall graduate course work and no grades lower than B in required professional education courses.
- An electronic portfolio, illustrating the student’s education course work, program objectives and professional accomplishments.
- All course work offered in satisfaction of the master of science in education degree requirements must be completed within a five-year period.
*Course requires participation/observation in designated schools.
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 Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals 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), childhood (Grades 1-6), adolescent (Grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., For state certification requirements, students should consult with the Office of Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study.
We anticipate that teacher and school building leader candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014, will be required to take certain new exams. Candidates who graduate and apply for certification on or before April 30, 2014, but do not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, will also be required to pass the new exams. Candidates will not be permitted to mix and match examinations from the old and new tests. Please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at Hofstra University at 516-463-5747 or consult the state website.
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:
- Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- Fire and Arson Prevention
- School Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
- Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
- Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.
Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.
Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.
Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and perspective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprinting can be completed through Hofstra University using LIVESCAN technology, arranged by the Office of Educational Support Services each semester. You may contact us at 516-463-5747 or visit Hagedorn Hall, Room 129. You may also register online. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification.