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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers about the 5-Year Teacher Preparation Program

B.A. in History/M.S. in Adolescence Education: Social Studies (Pedagogy-only)

Question: What exactly is a five-year program?

Answer: A five-year or accelerated program is the quickest and most cost-effective route for a student to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. Typically, completing undergraduate and graduate degrees would take six years to complete. In a five-year program, by completing graduate courses while still an undergraduate, students can shorten their completion time for the two degrees by one year. Students begin taking graduate courses during their junior year.

Question: Will I receive my undergraduate degree after the fourth year?

Answer: No. Since the two degrees are tied together in the accelerated format, students will receive both degrees at the end of the five years. Students can “opt out” of the fifth year of graduate work and receive the respective Bachelor’s degree only at the end of the fourth year. However, by opting out of the fifth year, students forfeit the ability to use any completed graduate courses toward a master’s degree.

Question: How do these the five-year program work? How many credits will I be taking?

Answer: Our four-year degrees require 129 credits to complete. The two-year master’s degrees involved in these five-year programs require between 33 and 37 credits to complete. In a five-year program, qualified undergraduates are allowed to take four to five graduate courses replacing four to five undergraduate courses. Here’s how the credits add up:


B.A. in History 129 credits
M.S. in Adolescence Education: Social Studies (Pedagogy-only) 33-36 credits
Total credits taken separately 162-165 credits
Total credits taken in five-year program 147-150 credits
Credits saved 15 credits

Question: Will my undergraduate scholarship apply to the fifth year in these programs?

Answer: No. At this time, undergraduate scholarships can only apply to the first four years of these programs. However, qualified students can receive graduate scholarships for the fifth year. Interested students must apply through Graduate Admissions 516-299-2900, by July 1 of the summer between their senior year and the fifth year of the program for graduate scholarships.

Question: What are the advantages of completing the five-year program?

Answer: On top of the reduction in completion time and cost, graduates of these programs will have a broader and deeper background in their respective content areas (Social Studies). This should result in better preparation for the required content specialty exams in order to become certified to teach in New York State. In addition, by having this additional background in the content area, graduates will be better prepared to teach Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in high schools. Graduates of the five-year program will have completed all the necessary coursework to become initially and professionally (or permanently certified) after three years of teaching in New York State.

Question: How do these programs work in terms of teacher certification?

Answer: Graduates of these five-year programs will have completed all the necessary coursework to become initially certified to teach in the content area of Social Studies. Furthermore, since a master’s degree is also awarded at the completion of these programs, graduates also will have completed all the necessary coursework to become professionally (or permanently certified) after three years of teaching in New York State. Graduates must also complete the necessary exams (Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W), Content Specialty Exam (CST) and receive fingerprint clearance in order to become a certified teacher in New York.

Question: When will I student teach in the five-year program?

Answer: Students in the five-year program in Social Studies will student teach during the fifth year in the program.

Question: What happens if I “opt out” of the fifth year of the program? Will I still be able to teach?

Answer: For the Social Studies program, students who opt out of the fifth year will receive a Bachelor’s degree in History. These students will not have the necessary course work to become initially certified to teach.

Question: How do I get admitted into the five-year program?

Answer: Interested applicants should contact the LIU Post Undergraduate Admissions Office at 516-299-2900 or to apply. Transfer students cannot be admitted into these programs until the spring of their junior year. Continuing students must have 3.0 cumulative and content area GPAs and meet with the respective graduate advisor in order to take graduate courses in these programs. Any interested student should contact the respective graduate advisor for more information.

Social Studies (History)
Dr. Adam Schor
Phone: 516-299-2407

Students in the Social Studies five-year program will also need to meet with the graduate advisor in the School of Education:

Ms. Isha Morgenstern
Phone: 516-299-3554