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Master of Arts in Teaching

Social Studies




Become a Social Studies Teacher

The Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies, with a concentration in history, is a course of study leading to New York State certification for teaching social studies in the secondary schools (grades 7-12), with an extension option for grades 5-6.

The program is designed for those who have little or no previous coursework in education or formal classroom teaching experience.

In Stony Brook University's distributed teacher education model, each MAT program is a collaboration between the academic departments (for content courses) and the School of Professional Development (for professional education courses).

MAT in Social Studies students take their history content courses through the University's Department of History, learning from its prestigious faculty and gaining deep subject-level expertise. 

Distributed Teacher and Leader Education oversees all certification programs at Stony Brook University.

  • Degree Program

    Degree Program

    The degree program consists of 44 credits, distributed among the areas listed below. Unless otherwise noted, each course is three credits. All degree requirements must be completed within five (5) years from the semester date of admission as a matriculated student.

    HISTORY - 15 credits

    CEG 523/HIS 500 Historiography

    Plus 12 credits selected from the following courses:
    CEG 516 Early Modern Europe Seminar
    CEG 517 Modern Latin America
    CEG 522 US History since the Civil War
    CEG 524 Late Modern Europe Seminar
    CEG 532 US History and Civil War Seminar (formerly US History to Civil War)
    CEG 534 Modern African/Asian History Seminar (formerly Topics Seminar: Africa or Topics Seminar: Asia)
    CEJ 501 Traditional China: Culture & Society
    CEJ 502 Modern China: Culture & Society
    CEG 538 - United States History since 1945
    CEG 555 - Gender in Modern Global History

    CEE 505 Education: Theory and Practice
    CEE 565 Human Development (formerly PSY 595)
    CEE 594 Language Acquisition and Literacy Development (formerly LIN 544)
    CEE 577 Teaching Social Studies (corequisite CEF 548)
    CEE 578 Social Studies Strategies (prerequisite CEE 577; corequisite CEF 549)
    CEE 580 Student Teaching Seminar (prerequisites CEE 577, CEE 578, CEF 548 & CEF 549; corequisites CEQ 581 & 582)
    CEF 547 Principles and Practices of Special Education
    CEF 548 Field Experience I — Grades 7-9 (one-credit; corequisite CEE 577)
    CEF 549 Field Experience II — Grades 10-12 (one-credit; corequisite CEE 578)

    CEQ 581 Supervised Student Teaching High School Grades 10-12: Social Studies (prerequisites CEE 577, CEE 578, CEF 548 & CEF 549; corequisites CEE 580 & CEQ 582)
    CEQ 582 Supervised Student Teaching Middle School Grades 7-9: Social Studies (prerequisites CEE 577, CEE 578, CEF 548 & CEF 549; corequisites CEE 580 & CEQ 581 )

    Students will be required to complete a four-week social studies teaching module specifically designed for the Supervised Student Teaching project.

    Students in the MAT program must also satisfy the following required areas of study. These requirements may be met by either the graduate courses taken towards the MAT degree or by undergraduate coursework taken prior to or after commencement of graduate study. Equivalent undergraduate courses will normally be accepted. In addition, a cluster of undergraduate courses may be accepted as evidence of satisfaction of individual standards. Undergraduate transcripts will be evaluated on an individual basis. However, the student will bear the burden of proof of showing that such coursework does provide a broad introductory knowledge of each of the individual areas of study below.

    1. US History to Civil War
    2. US History since Civil War
    3. Western Civilization or European history survey
    4. Latin America – survey of the history or politics of the region or one of the major countries of the region
    5. Asia - survey of the history or politics of the region or one of the major countries of the region
    6. Africa - survey of the history or politics of the region or one of the major countries of the region
    7. Principles of Economics
    8. Human Geography
    9. The Culture Concept in Theory or History. May be satisfied by courses in cultural anthropology or by courses dealing with cultural differences and cultural conflicts in the contemporary world.
    10. American Government and Politics
    11. Science, Technology and Society (required of undergraduate BA/MAT students only)

    Important Note: The History Department does not offer graduate courses that satisfy requirements in areas 7-11. These requirements will have to be satisfied through undergraduate courses.

    In addition, all students must achieve a minimum grade of B in all pedagogy courses.

  • Teacher Certification

    Teacher Certification

    Stony Brook University requires that students must have completed an undergraduate degree and have at least 36 credits in the content field for admission to the MAT program. This course of study should be substantially the equivalent to that of a Stony Brook undergraduate degree program.

    The Master of Arts in Teaching is a New York State registered and approved program that qualifies students for license upon successful degree completion. Students must complete all courses required for the MAT and must receive a grade of B or better in all pedagogy and foundation courses as well as an overall GPA of 3.0 or better in all course work attempted while matriculated in a graduate teacher preparation program.

    Teacher preparation candidates must be fingerprinted and must also complete certification workshops in:

    • Child Abuse
    • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) 
    • School Violence (Project Save)
    • Identification and Referral of Substance Abuse 

    See  Certification and Licensing Workshops  for details and schedules.

    All students will have to complete the  Educating All Students Test and the  revised CST (Content Specialty Test) in the area of the Certificate. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor the TEACH website at  to ensure that they are taking the appropriate examinations. All students are required to complete and submit the  edTPA (Education-Teacher Performance Assessment - Portfolio) in their content field.  Please check with your program director for specific requirements.

  • Tuition and Financial Information

    Tuition and Financial Information

    Cost of Attendance
    Tuition and fee information can be found on the  Bursar's website .

    Payment Plan
    Stony Brook recognizes the need for helping students manage the expenses of higher education. To this end, the University offers a Time Option Payment Plan (TOPP), a program that allows students to make equal and consecutive payments throughout the year.

    Financial Aid
    For information on financial aid options, contact the Stony Brook Office of Financial Aid at (631) 632-6840, or visit the Financial Aid website

  • Application Information

    Application Instructions


    Minimum Requirements to Apply*

    • An undergraduate degree in history or one of the social sciences (excluding psychology, linguistics, criminal justice and communications) with an 18-credit history minor. 
    • A minimum GPA of 3.00 in your overall bachelor's degree program and in the content field.
    • One year of college-level study of a foreign language with a grade of “C” or better (this may include American Sign Language).

    * As of Spring 2022, Graduate Record Exam scores are no longer required for admission.

    Electronic transcripts should be sent to Paper transcripts and supporting materials should be sent to:

    Charles G. Backfish, Director  
    S-653 Social and Behavioral Sciences    
    Stony Brook University    
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-4348    

    Application deadline dates:

    Domestic Students: 

    • Fall: July 15
    • Spring: December  1
    • Summer I: April 15
    • Summer II: May 15


    International Students:

    • Fall: April 1
    • Spring: November 1



      Detailed Application Information 

  • Contact Information

    Contact Information

    For program questions, please contact:

    Charles G. Backfish, Director
    S-653 Social and Behavioral Sciences
    Stony Brook University
    Stony Brook, NY 11794-4348
    Tel.: 631-632-1093

    For application procedure questions, please contact:

    MAT Admissions
    School of Professional Development
    2321 Computer Science Building
    Stony Brook University
    Stony Brook, NY 11794 - 4434
    Telephone: 631-632-7050
    Fax:  631-982-7311