Social Studies Education

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

Become a social studies educator in one year

Join a growing movement of innovative social sciences teachers in middle and secondary schools. In this one-year MA program, you will build on your knowledge of history and social sciences, learn pedagogical strategies, and apply them in supervised student teaching placements in New York City schools. You’ll be prepared for a rewarding career and qualified to teach social studies, history, and the humanities for grades 7-12 in New York and in other states with similar certification requirements, with an option to pursue a certificate extension to also teach grades 5-6.

This program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification. A professional certification option is also available.

What you'll learn

Our faculty members are heading social studies curriculum reform and ongoing research in social studies teaching. You will work closely with them to learn:

  • A strong mastery of US and world histories
  • Teaching approaches, pedagogical theories, and practical strategies for teaching middle and high school students
  • How to develop and implement innovative curricula for teaching social studies in multicultural, multiethnic schools

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

How you'll learn

A History-Centered Curriculum
Like New York State’s social studies curriculum, our program is history-centered. Your graduate studies will begin with coursework designed to ensure that you have a strong mastery of history, as well as 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. 

An Interdisciplinary Approach
You’ll learn how to integrate historical narrative with novels, film, music, photography, and visual arts, and incorporate geography, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and anthropology into your social studies teaching, preparing you to teach the social science elective courses offered in many secondary schools. Many courses involve observation, study, and participation in New York City's middle and high school social studies classes.

Student Teaching Experience
You will complete two semesters of student teaching at two different New York City schools – one semester at teaching at the middle school level, and one semester at the secondary school level. Cooperating teachers and NYU faculty will offer feedback and guidance so you can develop and refine your teaching techniques. 

Prepare for a career as a
  • Social studies teacher, teacher trainer, or curriculum specialist in middle and high schools, educational agencies, and community colleges
Dual degree option: BA in History/MA in Teaching Social Studies, Grades 7–12, Initial Certification

We also offer a dual degree so you can earn a History BA from NYU’s College of Arts and Science and an MA in Teaching Social Studies from NYU Steinhardt in only five years. Learn more about the dual degree option.

For more information about this MA program, please contact

Diana Turk
Program Director