Getting Teacher Certification

In New York State

See New York State Certification for detailed information about obtaining certification. The following is an overview.

To teach in a public school in New York State, prospective teachers first get a provisional certification, then permanent certification. However, you can teach in many private schools with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics.

In order to get provisional certification in New York State you need: 36 hours of mathematics, 18 hours of education, student teaching practicum, and two workshops (Child Abuse Workshop and Violence Workshop). You can send a transcript and evidence of taking certain required workshops to the state and get provisional approval. You can later use work experience in lieu of practice teaching. You do not need to go through an accredited program to get certified.

Permanent certification requires a masters degree within five years of starting teaching. One good route is to get a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), a professional degree usually requiring 1.5-2 years after a Bachelor of Arts.

While Cornell does not currently offer an MAT degree in secondary mathematics education, several nearby institutions offer such programs, including:

  • Ithaca College — The Mathematics Department at Ithaca College offers a cohesive, one-year graduate program leading to a master's degree and full eligibility for initial teaching certification in mathematics.  The 33-credit MAT curriculum includes coursework in educational theory and practice, continued study in mathematics, and opportunities for field-based learning in varied school and community settings. Ithaca College and Cornell have a Transfer Articulation agreement that streamlines admission to the IC MAT.
  • Syracuse University — Syracuse University offers an MS degree in mathematics education, with special emphases on these areas:  working with students who have difficulties in learning mathematics, serving diverse student populations, using technology to promote active learning, developing skills in assessing student learning, and developing a knowledge of mathematics for teaching.  The program has five field placements, allowing candidates to learn from urban and suburban school settings, from a variety of teaching professionals, and by working with students of diverse backgrounds and abilities.  A variety of program options are available, including a full-time 16-month program (beginning in summer), a full-time 2-year program (beginning in September), and the opportunity to begin part-time.
  • SUNY Cortland — SUNY Cortland has the largest comprehensive teacher education program in New York and the 10th largest among public institutions in the United States.  Now in its 134th year, Cortland educates more teachers than any other New York college or university.  Their program leads to a Master of Arts in Teaching as well as initial or provisional certification for teaching mathematics.

In Other States

About 38 of 50 states accept NYS certification automatically for teaching. Students can get public school jobs in states other than New York with a BA and student teaching experience, maybe with just a BA and some education courses, then use their experience for the certification process.

Certification Requirements for 50 States

Where can I teach if I'm not certified?


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