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Unlike traditional models, Stony Brook does not have a free-standing education school. Instead, we have developed a "distributed model" in which the individual teacher education programs are housed in the relevant academic departments. This allows students to take advantage of the strengths of these academic departments, while overall responsibility for coordinating curriculum and instruction lies with the Professional Education Program.

We have several different certification tracks:

Undergraduate four-year program: Undergraduates earn a major in the content area (most often history, but also Africana Studies, anthropology, economics, political science, or sociology) while completing a course of study in pedagogy that leads to state certification.

BA/MAT programs in History and Africana Studies: Although students can earn their certification at the undergraduate level, New York State requires all teachers to earn a relevant master’s degree in order to retain their certification. These combined, five-year programs allow students to earn both an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree, and to qualify for teacher certification, in less time—and at less cost—than if they were to pursue these degrees sequentially. They also provide a more coherent learning experience.

BA/MA program in history and social studies: Students admitted to this five-year program follow the same course of studies as students admitted to our M.A. and Ph.D. programs, and—along with teacher certification—they earn a master’s degree in history, rather than teaching. This program prepares students for secondary school teaching, doctoral study in history, and/or other careers that build on the research, analytical, and writing skills acquired in the graduate program in history.

Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT): This program is designed for individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree and who wish to teach social studies, but who do not have an undergraduate degree in education.

Those persons who already have social studies certification, but who are seeking a master’s program for professional certification, should apply to the history master's program (professional track).

Most of our student teachers are placed in cooperating school districts in Suffolk and Nassau counties, while the SUNY Urban Teacher Education Center provides interested students with the opportunity to complete their clinical internship in the New York City schools.

For further information or to set up an appointment, please email Prof. Charles Backfish.


The Social Studies Teacher Education Program is accredited by the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Stony Brook Professional Education Program is accredited by NCATE, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.