MST in Social Studies Education

Grades 7-12 with 5-6 extension

Contact Person:
Robert Vadas, Program Coordinator
211 Satterlee, (315) 267-2534 (

The Adolescence Education Program for teaching social studies is designed  to meet the New York State Education Department’s regulations on Teacher Education, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards, and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), along with Advisory Board recommendations and alumni feedback. The MST Social Studies program is nationally recognized by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). The program leads to Initial Adolescence Education, Social Studies (grades 7–12) with an extension for Middle Childhood Social Studies Education (grades 5–6) certification.

Requirements for Admission

  1. This program is intended for candidates who do not hold a teaching certificate and seek to earn certification for teaching Social Studies in Adolescence Education (grades 7–12) with an extension for grades 5–6. Candidates will undergo a transcript review in order to determine the completion of prerequisites.
  2. An undergraduate major comparable to a SUNY Potsdam undergraduate major in anthropology, economics, geo­graphy, history, politics or sociology, as well as six hours of a foreign language, is required for admission. Candidates planning to teach in Ontario are advised that a major in history is required for certification in Ontario.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (A=4.0) in the most recent 60 semester hours of undergraduate study.
  4. A minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 in the social science major.
  5. Submission of three letters of recommendation from persons who can provide information about the academic and teaching potential of the applicant (e.g., former or current professors, school administrators, etc.).
  6. Adolescence Education, Social Studies program prerequisites:
    • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    • A course in geographic literacy
    • An introductory-level history or historical research course
    • Psychology of Middle Childhood/Adolescence
    • Introduction to Sociology
    • An upper division Economics course
    • An introductory Politics course
    • A course in world cultures or world history with emphasis on global cultures
    • U.S. Politics and/or American Government
    • A U.S. history course (in addition to the introductory history course stated above)
    • An upper level U.S. or World geography/history course
    • History of New York State
  7. Candidates may begin enrollment during the summer term only.

Additional Degree Information
Candidates are strongly encouraged to review the Policies and Procedures in the Graduate Catalog, focusing on the specific information related to education programs.

All degree candidates are required to successfully complete a Culminating Experience in the School of Education and Professional Studies designed to synthesize their academic experiences. The Culminating Experience (GRED 670) is equivalent to 0 or 3 credits of work. It may be taken for three credits to allow the candidate to satisfy both the Culminating Experience requirement and one elective requirement simultaneously. A content portfolio is also required in the MST Social Studies Program.

While not required for degree completion, candidates are required to complete all New York State teaching requirements to earn certification. This will include passing HLTH 230 School Health (CA, SAVE) and all applicable New York State Teacher Certification Exams: Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), Assessment of Teacher Skills–Written (ATS–W), and the Content Specialty Test (Social Studies)  (CST).

Student progress is carefully monitored throughout the MST Social Studies, Adolescence program based on demonstration of appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions. Students are provided with information on program expectations in their first semester. Students not making satisfactory progress will be counseled by their adviser and may be dropped from the program.

Course Requirements
A minimum of 51 credit hours with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher is required for the granting of the Master of Science in Teaching, Adolescence Education, Social Studies degree. Additionally, candidates will complete HLTH 230 (2 credits) to satisfy certification requirements for a total of 53 credit hours. The 53 credit hours are divided as follows:

Required Courses31
GRED 556 Reading in the Middle/Secondary School
GRED 557 Writing in the Middle and  Secondary School
GRED 600 Philosophical Foundations of Education
GRED 606 Advanced Secondary Social Studies Education
GRED 681 Social Studies Curriculum in Middle/ Secondary School
GRED 682 Research in Social Studies Education
GRED 684 Social Studies Content Portfolio1
GRED 688 Social Studies Instruction in Middle/ Secondary School
GRED 689 Practicum in Middle/Secondary School Social Studies Instruction
GRED 690 Special Social Studies Education Content Topic
SPED 505 Introduction to Special Education
Technology Elective
IT XXX Course selected with prior advisor approval
Certification Requirement
HLTH 230 School Health (CA, SAVE)

Culminating Experience
GRED 670x Social Studies Culminating Experience   
Student Teaching
GRED 676 Student Teaching Seminar: Policies and Practice in American Education
GRED 694 Student Teaching in the Middle/Jr. High School (7–9)6
GRED 697 Student Teaching in the Senior High School (10–12)
Total credit hours

Full-time Sample Schedule for MST Adolescence, Social Studies
Summer I
GRED 556
GRED 600
GRED 681 
SPED 505

Fall I
GRED 557
GRED 682
GRED 684
SPED 688
GRED 689 Practicum
IT Elective

Spring I  Student Teaching
GRED 676
GRED 694
GRED 697
Summer II
GRED 606
GRED 670
GRED 690
Candidates considering part-time study should contact the program coordinator.