Social Studies Education

MA in Teaching Social Studies and Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12, Initial Certification

Teaching techniques for a wide range of students

This dual-certification master of arts program prepares you to teach Social Studies and Special Education for grades 7-12, with an option to pursue a certificate extension to also teach grades 5-6. Learn pedagogical strategies that address the needs of students with disabilities and other learning challenges; advance your knowledge of social studies, history, and special education; and gain classroom experience through student teaching placements in New York City schools. You’ll help meet the rising demand for dual-certified secondary school educators, and develop the skills to work with a wide range of diverse students. 

This program leads to eligibility for initial teaching certification in New York and most other states. 

What you'll learn
  • US and world history
  • Teaching methods for social studies
  • Teaching methods and approaches to individualizing instruction for students identified with disabilities or other learning challenges
  • Educational technologies
  • Language and literacy acquisition and development
  • Understanding the psychological and education assessments of students with disabilities
  • How to design an effective curriculum in history for all types of learners
  • How to advocate for students' needs and educational rights
  • Effective classroom management for all students
  • How to work collaboratively with parents

See the curriculum and degree requirements for this program.

How you'll learn

This MA program combines content courses and general and specialized core pedagogy classes with fieldwork and supervised student teaching. You’ll complete two semesters of student teaching at New York City schools, in special and inclusive settings for students with disabilities, as well as in middle and high school social studies classrooms. Cooperating teachers and NYU faculty will offer feedback as you refine your teaching techniques.

You'll be prepared to teach students in grades 7-12 and grades 5-6 without special needs, as well as those with a variety of other learning challenges, including:

  • Autism
  • Attention difficulties
  • Learning disabilities
  • Emotional and behavioral disabilities
Job outlook

There is a consistent shortage of special education teachers – particularly those with content-area expertise needed from high school teachers – throughout the east coast and across the US. In 2013-14, 49 states reported a shortage of special education teachers. Every week, we field requests from principals looking for highly-qualified secondary special education teachers with content area expertise, and our graduates are among the most competitive.

If you have any questions about prerequisites and requirements, please email
For more information about this MA program, please contact 

Audrey A. Trainor

Diana Turk