Initial preparation programs

The initial teacher preparation programs include Childhood and Early Childhood (CEC) - Literacy, Childhood and Early Childhood (CEC) - Special Education, and Master of Arts in Teaching - Adolescence Education programs.

What to know before applying

Applicants to initial preparation programs must have completed a general education distribution of coursework in the liberal arts and sciences. Applicants who are employed full-time should contact Andrea Decker prior to applying as it may affect field experiences.

Please note: Applications for the initial preparation programs are for fall admission only. Applicants can submit applications as soon as the application opens until the start of classes. These programs are offered in-person only.


Adolescence Education (MAT)

  • at least 30 credits in identified content area of specialization (English, mathematics, social studies, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics)
  • undergraduate coursework must be acceptable to the respective department in Harpur College as well as to the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership
  • undergraduate courses should demonstrate a variety of arts and sciences courses.
  • For the MAT Social Studies program, undergraduate courses should demonstrate a breadth in social sciences, including introductory economics and political science.
  • Note: If the applicant does not meet these requirements, they will need to take additional credit-hours in the discipline to be eligible to apply.
Undergraduate GPA
  • cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better in the discipline and overall
  • There are no certification pre-requisites for the initial preparation programs.

Childhood and Early Childhood - Literacy or Childhood and Early Childhood - Special Education (MSEd)

  • at least 30 credits with a C+ or better in an identified area of liberal arts and sciences concentration (e.g., Mathematics, English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies)
  • at least six credit hours in each of the following with grades of C+ or better:
    • Mathematics
    • English/Language Arts
    • Science
    • Social Studies
  • meet foreign language requirement (must provide evidence of meeting at least one criteria)
    • Three years high school foreign language,
    • 85 or better grade in the third year, or
    • One college semester of a foreign language with a grade of C+ or better
  • TESOL track only: At least 12 credits in a language other than English with a C+ or better. 
Undergraduate GPA
  • cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • There are no certification pre-requisites for the initial preparation programs.

Applicants to the initial preparation programs must submit all of the following materials:

  1. Graduate School online application and fee
  2. Official transcripts for all college study. Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale).
  3. It is required that applicants submit a minimum of two letters of recommendation and no more than three.
    • At least one letter must come from a professor or an individual who describes the applicant's academic performance and writing ability.
    • At least one letter must come from an individual who can speak to the applicant's experiences in a teacher/leader/mentor role in the community or educational setting. 
    • Other letters of recommendation may come from past or current supervisors or employers, who can attest to the applicant's character with respect to their potential to become an effective educator.
  4. Résumé, to include current employment, previous professional education experience (including student teaching), volunteer work and other experiences with children and youth.
  5. Personal Statement, as described below. Please note: This statement requires foci differ from the generic Graduate School personal statement instructions. This is an important part of the application. Be as specific as possible, including examples where appropriate.
Personal Statement

Dispositions are the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence an individual's behavior towards students, families, colleagues, and communities. An individual's dispositions affect their opinion of student learning, motivation, and development, as well as an individual's professional growth.

Collectively, faculty members from the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership identified the Professional Dispositions they see as essential to the development of an effective educator or educational leader. These Professional Dispositions include a readiness to:

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to learning and diversity;
  2. Build rapport and serve as a strong role model to peers, colleagues, and learners;
  3. Display effective communication skills (oral and written) in all settings; and
  4. Demonstrate professional competence and conduct.

For the personal statement, the applicant should describe how one or more of these professional dispositions has (a) influenced his/her decision to become a teacher and/or (b) will contribute to his/her effectiveness as a teacher. The applicant should approach this by telling a story about an incident or event in his/her life that illustrates that particular characteristic.

The personal statement provided will be evaluated by faculty and staff members on the basis of how well the prompt was addressed and based on organization, development, and ability to convey, in standard written English, an event or story that illustrates how the applicant has demonstrated (or perhaps observed) the characteristic in his/her life.

The response must directly address the prompt. Personal statements should be 500-750 words (approximately 2-3 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, 1" margins). Personal statements must be uploaded directly into the Binghamton University application system and are not mailed or emailed to a faculty or staff member.


For more information regarding the application process and transcript review, contact Tami Mann, admissions and certification advisor, at or 607-777-5322.

Students are encouraged to contact graduate program faculty prior to applying to the MAT programs.

Prospective and currently-enrolled MAT students interested in adding on Adolescence Special Education certification can simultaneously enroll in the advanced certificate program. Students should first consult with their advisor and Tami Mann and then can apply by emailing this Add-On Certificate Application to