Department of Teaching and Learning

Social Studies Education

MA in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12

We offer the following master's degree options in Social Studies Education:


MA in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12, Initial Certification

Dedicated to revitalizing the teaching of history and social sciences in middle and secondary schools, this one-year MA program encourages students to explore the curricular innovations needed to teach social studies in multicultural and multiethnic urban schools.

We welcome not only history majors, but also students who majored in any of the social sciences. We encourage our students to become well-versed in the social sciences, as we believe the best history/social social studies teachers are intellectually equipped to incorporate areas such as geography, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and anthropology into their history teaching, and to teach the social science elective courses offered in many secondary schools.

What you'll learn

Like New York State’s social studies curriculum, our program is history-centered (three of the four high school years of state-mandated social studies are devoted to world and United States history). Toward this end, the program begins with coursework designed to ensure that NYU-trained social studies teachers have a strong mastery of history - an understanding that history is more than a compilation of names and dates but is also a field that fosters critical thought, debate, and dialogue between the present and the past.

To succeed in classroom instruction, social studies teachers must understand not only their content area, but also their students and the realities of life and work in schools. Since most of our graduates will be teaching teenagers in middle and secondary schools, we work to acquaint them with the ways the students in grades 7-12 learn (and sometimes resist learning). Our social studies methods courses are taught by experienced secondary and middle school teachers who explore pedagogical theory as well as practical strategies for dealing with the social and behavioral issues relevant to the middle and high school classroom.

Graduates of this program complete the appropriate coursework and field experience necessary for New York State certification in social studies, and are qualified to teach social studies, history, and the humanities for students in grades 7-12 in New York as well as in other states with similar certification requirements.

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master’s degree. 

How you'll learn

Interdisciplinary Approach
We promote an interdisciplinary approach to social studies. Students strive to transcend textbook-centered schooling and learn how social studies teaching can be enhanced by integrating historical narrative with novels, film, music, photography, and visual arts, as well as the tools of social scientists. Many courses involve observation, study, and participation in New York City's middle and high school social studies classes.

Renowned Faculty
Members of our faculty have played a leading role in the curriculum debates that have shaped this field during the past decade, on issues such as national standards and multiculturalism. Program faculty are involved in social studies curriculum reform efforts in New York public schools and are engaged in ongoing research efforts about past and present problems in social studies teaching.

Teaching with Technology
Program faculty regularly attend and lead workshops at settings such as the National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference and the Organization of American Historians Convention, among other forums, and publish on issues related to classroom usages of technology. In your teacher education classes, you will learn how to integrate technologies into your own instruction and how to use innovative technologies to enhance student learning capacities.

Prepare for a career in

Our MA programs prepare teachers, teacher trainers, and curriculum specialists in social studies for positions in middle and secondary high schools. Many alumni work as social studies teachers and department chairs in middle and high schools in New York City and across the United States. Some of our graduates work in educational agencies and community colleges. Read more about what alumni are doing with their degrees.


MA in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12, Professional Certification

Applicants to this 30-point program must have met all the requirements for New York State initial certification in teaching social studies, grades 7-12. In addition, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in social studies content course work. Upon completion of the program, you must also complete three years of teaching to be eligible for New York State professional teaching certification.

What you'll learn

The program of study involves four classes (12 points) that link social studies content to social studies pedagogy, and an additional 15 points of classes based on your previous social studies coursework and professional needs and interests. A culminating seminar (3 points) is also required.

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master’s degree. 


Dual Certification MA in Educational Theatre, All Grades, and Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12 

Social studies and theatre have a powerful alliance when learners are provided with the chance to explore a period of history, historical concepts, and historical debates through the use of drama-based frameworks.  In response to a growth in interest in a program combining social studies certification with theatre certification, we offer this innovative dual certification program. Administratively located in Educational Theatre, this program of study is built on NYU Steinhardt's graduate programs in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12 and Educational Theatre, All Grades. 

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master's degree. 

Dual Certification MA in Teaching Art, All Grades, and Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12 

Contemporary visual artists, working in a range of media and with a diversity of intellectual commitments, are representing the past and suggesting new ways to make sense of and teach history. In this innovative dual certification program, graduate students are involved in integrated learning opportunities that re-imagine both art and social studies education. Administratively located in Art Education, this program of study is built on NYU Steinhardt's graduate programs in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7-12 and Teaching Art, All Grades. 

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this master's degree. 


Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowships for Aspiring Teachers of Color

This nationally competitive fellowship program offers a $30,000 stipend to support students of color in completing a master's degree program in education. Fellows agree to teach in a high-need school for three years. NYU is both a nominating institution for graduating seniors who wish to apply for this fellowship program and a recipient institution for successful applicants who are awarded the fellowship for their graduate education. NYU Steinhardt is the only New York City university or college designated as a recipient institution for WW-RBF Fellows. Learn more about the fellowship program.


For more information about our master's programs, please contact:

Diana Turk
East Building, Room 624
239 Greene Street
New York, NY 10003-6647