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History & Adolescence Education Degree Program | Grades 7-12

Combined Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science
  • 141 Credits
  • School of Education
  • Bronx
  • Manhattan
  • Online
  • Westchester
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Light a spark in future generations. Gain extensive field experience working with students and schools throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Our social studies education and content courses are taught by experienced, widely-published faculty engaged in ongoing research. To foster meaningful connections between our teacher education program and the schools, each course involves candidates observing and participating in New York City’s and Westchester’s middle and high school social studies classes.

Our nationally-recognized 36-credit program (12 courses) in Social Studies Education is conveniently offered at all four Mercy University campuses (Dobbs Ferry, Manhattan and the Bronx), an easy commute from communities throughout the region, as well as online. 

The program’s goals are based upon the belief that grade 7-12 teachers need to have a thorough understanding of social studies and employ teaching methods that excite and engage adolescent learners. Through course work and field experiences, our program equips teachers with the knowledge and skills to support and assess student learning. 

Here, you will study the basics of teaching in four core courses before going on to specialize in secondary education, with a focus on teaching social studies.  In addition to courses in pedagogy, you will be able to choose specialized content courses in U.S. history, global history, American government, and globalization to keep you up to date in preparation for your role as a teacher.  

Mercy’s dedicated professors are here to support you on your journey to “the other side of the desk.” If you want to inspire young people, invest in yourself and become one of the many outstanding graduates of the Social Studies Education Program who have already gone on to light a spark in future generations.

English Majors

Fast Facts

  • High school or middle school teacher (mathematics, biology, history or English)
  • Elementary or preschool school teacher
  • Positions in charter schools, private schools or New York public schools

5 Year Program

Career Outcomes

Earn a B.S. or B.A. and M.S. in just 5 years

$85K Salary

Average Pay

For a secondary teacher in the New York region

141 Credits

Total Credits to Earn Your Degree

Classes in Educational foundations & diverse perspectives
teacher engaged with students

The Mercy Advantage

  • Strong relationships with elementary and secondary schools across New York City and Westchester
  • Undergraduates may take up to 15 graduate education credits during their junior and senior years
  • Semester-long student teaching experience
  • National accreditation by NCATE & CAEP
  • Some courses completely online

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in the following programs: Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Secondary Education, 7-12. 

Successful completion of coursework and other academic requirements.

The following exams are required for initial candidates: the EAS, CST(s) in your certification area(s), and the edTPA during student teaching, which is the last semester. Other state requirements include fingerprinting and workshops (DASA, Child Abuse, Violence Prevention, Health and Safety). The following exams are required for advanced candidates: CST(s) in your certification area(s).

The School of Education offers a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in one of the following areas: Early Childhood Education, Birth-Grade 2; Childhood Education, Grades 1-6; Secondary Education, 7-12; Teaching Literacy, Birth-Grade 12; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL); Teaching Students with Disabilities; Educational Supervision; Educational Administration.

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Program Outcomes


Demonstrate a solid content knowledge base that enables them to deliver effective educational and professional services based on current research, theory and practice


Employ multiple pedagogical and professional strategies and tools to enable them to be effective practitioners in educational settings and deliver services that promote students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development

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Understand the diverse cultural, linguistic, learning, and social strengths and needs of all populations, and incorporate and demonstrate sensitivity to the richness of diverse cultures when providing educational and other school services 


Employ technology to deliver information, instruction, and professional services to all members of the school community 


Reflect on professional practice to make educational decisions and enhance student learning


Demonstrate positive dispositions that enable them to work as effective educators, citizens, and practitioners within the school and broader community

Program Details & Curriculum

General Education Requirements: 60 Credits

History and Secondary Education
Undergraduate Courses: 39 Credits

Secondary Education Graduate Courses
Completed for B.A. degree: 15 Credits

Master of Science in Secondary Education, Grades 7-12
Course work completed during B.A. degree: 15 Credits
Course work completed during M.S. degree: 21 Credits

Total: 141 Credits

New York State requires completion of the following undergraduate prerequisites for students seeking the Secondary Education, Grades 7-12 Social Studies certification, which will fulfill part of the General Education requirements:

  • Communications
  • Humanities
  • Written Analysis and Expression
  • Historical and Social Sciences
  • Scientific Processes*.
  • Mathematical Processes
  • Artistic Expression
  • Information Retrieval
  • Language other than English

A course in Adolescence Development is required. PSYN 254 is acceptable.
* Coursework in Environmental Science, Evolution, Nutrition or Plants and People is not acceptable for teacher certification requirements.

For specific major requirements please refer to the History section of this catalog listed within the School of Liberal Arts. 

The Secondary Graduate Courses that must be completed for the B.A. degree are the following:

  • EDUC 500 Edu Fnd Diverse Perspectives
  • EDUC 502 Fndtns Educ Sdnts w/Dsblts
  • EDUC 505 Tchng English as 2nd Lang
  • EDUC 507 Aprchs Lit: EChldhd-Adolescenc
  • EDUC 517 Educ Psych & Adlscnt Dvlpmnt

The above 15 credits are taken as an undergraduate student as part of the B.A. degree program. The remaining 21 credits are taken as a graduate student after receiving the B.A. degree and meeting the admission requirements for acceptance into the M.S. degree program. Please see Graduate Catalog for course descriptions of the above courses and for specific requirements for the M.S. degree.

The total credits for B.A. and M.S. degrees in History and Secondary Education, Grades 7-12, is 141 credits.

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog

The programs of study in the School of Education are designed to provide professional preparation for candidates planning to teach and serve as educational leaders.

Mission Statement of the School of Education

The Mercy University educational unit is dedicated to preparing effective educators, including teachers and other school professionals, who are reflective practitioners, equipped with the knowledge base, technological skills, research tools, and professional strategies and insights to empower them to help diverse populations of students succeed in their learning and community environments. The values of competency, diversity, and ethical practice support the proficient development of candidates enabling them to become skilled professionals and lifelong learners. The unit is committed to creating innovative, flexible, and accessible programs of study for its candidates, and to developing partnerships and opportunities for collaboration and clinical experiences within Mercy University and with external communities.

Secondary Education Program Goals

The goals of the Secondary Education Program are predicated on the belief that teachers of students in grades 7–12 need to be grounded in a thorough understanding of one or more content fields, as well as methods of teaching that engage adolescent learners who are in their final years of K–12 education and who are preparing to enter the world of civic responsibility, higher education, and/or the job market. Thus, the program goals are:

  1. The candidate will understand, explain, analyze, and apply the major concepts, principles, theories, and underlying philosophies of secondary education programs that address the cognitive and psychological development of adolescent learners.
  2. The candidate will be able to create learning opportunities and approaches to assessment that reflect an understanding of adolescent learners in ways that value and respond to the diversity of the student population and use family and community resources to extend the curriculum, while addressing the learning standards of the candidate’s content field of study.

Goals of the School of Education

The unit goals establish the shared vision, mission, philosophy, and guiding principles agreed to by members of the faculty and other stakeholders in the learning community. The unit’s proficiencies, strategies, and assessments are designed to ensure that candidates acquire the academic, pedagogical, professional, and interpersonal skills required of teachers and other school professionals who prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing global environment. The six goals reflect the integrated knowledge, skills, and dispositions that together ensure that candidates develop as effective educators and reflective practitioners. These goals are as follows:

Content Knowledge: Candidates demonstrate a solid content knowledge base that enables them to deliver effective educational and professional services based on current research, theory and practice.

Pedagogical and Professional Knowledge: Candidates employ multiple pedagogical and professional strategies and tools to enable them to be effective practitioners in educational settings and deliver services that promote students’ intellectual, social, and emotional development.

Diversity: Candidates understand the diverse cultural, linguistic, learning, and social strengths and needs of all populations, and incorporate and demonstrate sensitivity to the richness of diverse cultures when providing educational and other school-services.

Technology: Candidates employ technology to deliver information, instruction, and professional services to all members of the school community.

Reflection: Candidates reflect on professional practice to make educational decisions and enhance student learning.

Dispositions: Candidates demonstrate positive dispositions that enable them to work as effective educators, citizens, and practitioners within the school and broader community.

The six unit goals are supported by the professional literature including theories, research, wisdom of practice, and education policies.

All initial certification programs are nationally recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Candidates who meet all prerequisites and admission requirements will be accepted and classified as matriculants.

Candidates without a sufficient undergraduate background in the liberal arts and sciences will be required to take recommended prerequisite courses in accordance with New York State certification requirements. Sufficient college-level background includes: English, mathematics, science, social studies, information retrieval, artistic expression, a language other than English, and a 30-credit concentration in a liberal arts and science academic subject. Candidates will be able to take the necessary prerequisite courses at Mercy University.

Undergraduate prerequisites for students seeking the initial certificate in Childhood, Early Childhood, Literacy, TESOL*, the Dual Certifications programs or the Tri-Certification program are:

  • Mathematical Processes - 6 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 6 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits*
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Communications/Humanities/Written Analysis and Expression - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits

*TESOL majors require 12 credits of the same language.

A course in Child Development or Developmental Psychology is required.

Candidates should consult with the program chair or designee regarding acceptable
academic concentrations or majors.

Undergraduate prerequisites for candidates seeking the initial certification in Secondary
Education and the Dual Certification program are:

  • Communications - 3 credits
  • Humanities - 3 credits
  • Written Analysis and Expression - 6 credits
  • Historical and Social Sciences - 3 credits
  • Scientific Processes - 3 credits
  • Mathematical Processes - 3 credits
  • Artistic Expression - 3 credits
  • Information Retrieval - 3 credits
  • Language other than English - 3 credits

A 30-credit major or equivalent in a liberal arts and science academic subject taught in secondary schools:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Social Studies (at least 21 credits must be in the history and geography of the U.S. and the world)

Candidates must present at least 18 of the 30 required prerequisite credits in the specific secondary content area or 18 of the required 30 prerequisite credits in the liberal arts and sciences area for matriculation into a program of study. Transcripts are subject to review regarding the appropriateness of courses for specific programs of study.

Since the ability to communicate effectively in English with pupils in the classroom is considered paramount, all candidates seeking teacher certification are expected to demonstrate competencies in oral and written English.

Initial certification candidates must pass the CST in their main certification area prior to their student teaching semester. Additionally, a candidate in a clinical practice course - EDUC 537, EDUC 709 and EDUC 713 - must submit an edTPA examination to Pearson as one of the course requirements. A candidate will not pass the clinical practice course without submitting proof of his or her edTPA submission in the form of a receipt from Pearson by the end of the semester's grading period. 

Mercy University provides support for candidates to prepare for these tests. Workshops are provided for the EAS and some CSTs. Also, candidates or graduates who need to retake the edTPA may opt to take a workshop for more support. Interested candidates should contact the School of Education or more information. 

Other certification requirements include:

  • Completion of a Child Abuse Awareness seminar
  • Completion of a Violence Identification and Prevention seminar
  • Completion of the Dignity for All Students Workshop (DASA); and
  • Fingerprint clearance

Students must submit an Effective Educator Statement to complete their application. You can download requirements here. 

Please submit the completed statement to your application portal

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