Teaching & Learning


M.S. in Adolescence Education - English (Grades 7-12)

Graduate students majoring in Adolescence Education (Grades 7 to 12) must select an academic specialty from the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum. Such study complements the Adolescence Childhood courses and provides you with specialized knowledge in one particular discipline. This adds depth and breadth to your level of teaching expertise. It is expected that you, as a teacher, will transmit your enthusiasm for the focused subject to young learners, helping them to grow intellectually and socially. You may select English from among the Liberal Arts and Sciences curriculum (18 credits). Students in the Adolescence Education program also will take 27 credits in teacher education courses.

English Concentration

The 45 to 48 credit graduate degree program will prepare you to teach English to young learners (ages 9 to 14) while deepening your knowledge and appreciation of the English language and its great literature. In addition to studying the psychology of the adolescent student and mastering a variety of teaching techniques, you will have an opportunity take 18 credits in English, including “Research Method and Critical Writing.” Additional English courses must be taken in five of six broad areas of study (Early Literature and Language, Literature of the English Renaissance, Literature of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth-century British Literature, American Literature of any period, and Modern Literature of any country). The Department of English, Philosophy, and Foreign Languages offers more than 40 elective courses in a rich array of subjects that range from “Rhetoric,” “Style and Syntax” and “Psycholinguistics” to “Metaphysical Poetry,” “The Irish Literary Renaissance,” and “Contemporary American Drama.”

Culminating Experience

The number of credits required for the program ranges 45 to 48 credits, depending on your culminating experience. You can choose one of three culminating experiences at the end of your coursework:

  • Option 1: Student Teaching Portfolio (45 credits), which consists of artifacts from your student-teaching experiences (i.e., lesson plans, journal of experiences, research, reports and projects)
  • Option 2: Comprehensive Exam (45 credits), which is a written essay exam that assesses your knowledge of teaching and the teaching process that was acquired throughout the program’s coursework. There is no thesis/research paper required for this option. This option is for students whose student-teaching requirements are waived.
  • Option 3: Education Thesis (48 credits), which consists of an original research paper. This option requires three additional credits. Students can pursue the thesis in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam or Student Teaching Portfolio. This is an option sought by students who plan deeper research at the post-master’s level.

After you complete all degree requirements and successfully pass New York State certification tests (LAST, ATS-W and CSTs) you will be awarded Initial Teaching Certification by the New York State Department of Education to teach English to grades 7 to 12. Please see the Teaching Certification Requirements home page for details.


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