Master of Science in Education FAQ


Master of Science in Education FAQ


Do I have to have teaching experience to begin the Masters program?
No.  You are not required to have any teaching experience in order to begin the program.  Our initial certification programs in either Childhood Education or Childhood Special Education prepare career-changers to work towards both their initial and professional certifications for New York State.  However, we do need to verify that you have completed the necessary undergraduate prerequisite courses in Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Email or call (845) 675-4466 for more information.

What are the requirements for admission to the program?
We would like to see prospective students with a strong background in Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework.  Additionally, we ask that students achieve a passing score on the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), which is a 220 out of 300. 

For specific information about the admissions process, see

What programs are offered?
Our programs fall into 2 general categories: initial certification pathways and additional certification pathways.

Those students who do not already have certification for New York State can choose between 2 initial certification programs: Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education.  Both programs are for grades 1 through 6.

Those students who are already certified with New York state (possessing either initial or professional certification) can choose between 2 programs: Childhood Education or Childhood Special Education.  Again, both Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education are for grades 1 through 6. 

How long are the programs?
All program coursework is designed to be completed in 2 years.

For initial certification in Childhood Education, students will complete 45 credit hours.  For an additional/professional certification in Childhood Education students must complete 36 credit hours.

For initial certification in Childhood Special Education, students must complete 42 credit hours.  Students who are already certified in an area other than Childhood Special Education and are pursuing the Special Ed degree for professional certification credentials can complete the degree with 36 credit hours.  However, students who are certified in Childhood Education can complete the Special Education degree with 32 credit hours.

In addition to coursework, students are required to complete fieldwork hours.  For initial certificate-seekers, over 100 hours are required, with about half that amount required for students seeking professional certification.

What do I have to do to apply?
It is helpful to think of the application process as 2 phases: the paper phase and the interview phase.

In the paper phase, you will need to submit the following materials:
- Completed application
- Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- 3 recommendations (2 academic, 1 professional)
- Autobiography statement (2 page paper describing your background and future goals)
- Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST) scores OR
- Proof of Teaching Credentials
- Immunization forms
- FAFSA / Financial Aid
When we receive these materials, your application moves to the interview phase, which requires the following:
- Interview with the Dean of the Graduate School of Education
- Writing Sample

Are any admissions tests required?
Though we do not require the GRE for admission, we ask that all prospective students take the Liberal Arts and Science Test (LAST).  This test is required as part of the certification requirements for New York State.  Since the material on the test is broad, we ask that prospective students take the test for admission.  We require a passing score of at least 220 out of 300.  For more information about registering for the test, visit