Elementary (Birth - 6) certification - also referred to as Early Childhood and Childhood Education, and Primary/Junior in Ontario.  Upon completion of the program students will hold a Master of Science in Education degree.

Secondary (5 - 12) certification - also referred to as Middle Childhood and Adolescence Education, and Intermediate/Senior in Ontario. Upon completion of the program students will hold a Master of Science in Education degree.


Cohort-based programs are programs in which candidates attend courses and field experiences as a specific group earning their degrees together in a professional learning community.  A cohort approach takes a diverse group of students and attempts to build them into a community of teacher-learners by structuring their class schedules together and by teaching them in a way that emphasizes collegiality.  It is extraordinarily non-competitive, and thus non-traditional.  The learning of each individual will assist the learning of others; the accomplishments of one should help all.  This adds to the peer support that candidates experience within their group while at Niagara University, in field experiences, student teaching and later as alumni.   

The model is based on a set of principles known as constructivism in which the program is built on the sound research base of cooperative learning and is consistent with recent findings on successful professional growth projects.  It provides a laboratory of meaningful interaction and offers the opportunity to develop professional dispositions and leadership skills on a daily basis.  Further, the program utilizes team strategies drawn from the business and athletic worlds and fuses them into a collaborative school faculty.  Candidates and professors alike find cohort-based programs to be a positive and dynamic learning experience.

Simply put: to get ready to become a teacher in the collaborative, constructivist and reflective schools of tomorrow, the students work as a cohort in their pre-service studies today.

Niagara University offers three entry points into the program:  Summer (May); Fall (September); and Spring (January).

The program is three semesters.  Depending on the semester in which you initiate study, you can complete the program in 12 to 15 months:  

Summer - Summer (May), Fall, Spring (January) - One year program

Fall - Fall, Spring, Fall  (Student teaching is not available in the summer, therefore you do not attend in the summer.)   

Spring - Spring, Fall, Spring.  (Teaching Assistantship / Methods is not available in the summer for this track, therefore you do not attend in the summer.)

Niagara University has a rolling admissions policy.  Applications are considered as they are received and evaluated in a holistic fashion in keeping with the mission of the university.  The earlier you apply, the sooner your application will be considered.  Please note programs may fill up without advance notice.

Field experiences are designed to provide experience in various types of schools, learning environments, grade levels (as they apply to the certificate), and in the diversity of the student population in the classrooms.  The following field experiences are embedded into the program.

1st Semester - 75 hours Early Field Experiences. Students from Ontario must complete these hours in the US.

2nd Semester - 75 hours Teaching Assistantship - Two placements of 37.5 hours each. Students from Ontario may split the 75-hour requirement between the US and Canada.

3rd Semester - Student Teaching-  Approximately two seven-week placements.  Each placement will address a different grade level to provide students with a variety of experiences.  The Office of Student Teaching facilitates placement and works with numerous school districts and boards in New York and Ontario. Secondary students from Ontario will have placements in the content areas of their two teachables.  Canadians can student teach in Ontario for both placements.  (Canadian students therefore gain experiences in both the US and Canadian educational systems.)

Since you will be teaching these subjects on a daily basis in the elementary classroom, it is essential that you have college / university course work in these respective disciplines.

Courses can be taken at accredited universities, colleges, or community colleges. Institutions are now offering flexible formatting of classes- express classes, staggered starts, intersession classes, distance education and Internet classes, etc.  If the course is taken at a college / community college it needs to be for college (level) credit and not for continuing education units – hours - or personal enjoyment / enhancement.  Upon completion of required course work, an official transcript with credits (3 hours / units or .5 credits) must to be submitted to Niagara University with documentation of the credits and grade / mark earned.  

You will need an accredited college or university course in a language other than English (See above). Students applying for Business Education are exempt from this requirement.

Yes, as long as it is for 3 credit hours/units for US students, or at least .5 credit for Canadians.

Yes. Credit is awarded for scores of 50 or above on all CLEP examinations. For more information visit the CLEP website

During the Fall and Spring course work is kept to 2 consecutive days a week. You must also factor in time for your field experiences. For the program starting in the summer, due to the semester being more compact, classes are held 4-5 days a week, Monday – Friday (during the Summer semester only).

Since the program is cohort based, your schedule is assigned.

The program is 39 credit hours. For the 2012 academic year cost per credit hour is $650 US.

39 hours x $650 = $25,350 US. You pay tuition on semester-by-semester basis.
Semester One - 15 hours x $650 = $9,750 US.
Semester Two - 15 hours x $650 = $9,750 US.
Semester Three - 9 hours x $650 = $5,850 US. 

There is a one time $150.00 US Comprehensive Fee (parking, library, etc.). Students must also factor in the cost of textbooks.

Yes, a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited college or university is required for admissions. The degree conferred needs to be posted on the official transcript.

Individuals who are still students and currently “in progress” with a graduation date planned before the start of Niagara University’s program need to indicate this on their application. Also, an official letter from the college / university will be needed to verify your planned graduation date. The “in progress” letter usually is provided by the registrar or academic department.

Please submit with your application the “in progress” letter and transcript along with a copy of any registrations for classes currently enrolled in if they do not appear on your transcript. A second transcript will be required once your degree is conferred and posted. 

You need a minimum overall average of a 70/B. Individuals applying to the Secondary program also need a minimum average of a 70/B in both teachable areas.

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
Education All Students Test (EAS)
Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST)
Content Specialty Test (CST)*

*Elementary candidates must take both the Birth-2 and 1-6 Multi-Subject Content Specialty Tests
New York State certification website:  www.nystce.nesinc.com

Yes. But it is recommended you take the test by the end of your first semester.

Niagara University is located in the Town of Lewiston, New York.  It stands atop the picturesque Niagara River Gorge five miles from the world famous Niagara Falls and overlooks the Province of Ontario, Canada.  The Queenston – Lewiston Bridge is only one mile from Niagara University.  Niagara University is located outside of the Buffalo / Lake Erie snow belt and receives substantially less snow than the metroplex in the winter.

Professional accreditation of preparatory programs is the bedrock upon which all professions (e.g., architecture, engineering, medicine, law) have built their reputations.  It assures that those entering the respective field have been suitably prepared to practice through assimilation of a body of knowledge and pre-service practice in the profession.  Accreditation of schools of education indicates that the school underwent rigorous external review by professionals, that performance of a teacher candidate in the program has been thoroughly assessed before he or she is recommended for licensure, and that programs meet standards set by the teaching profession at large.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is the only accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.  NCATE determines which schools, colleges, and departments of education meet rigorous national standards in preparing teachers and other school specialists for the classroom.

NCATE is the profession’s mechanism to help establish high quality teacher preparation. Through the process of professional accreditation of schools, colleges and departments of education, NCATE works to make a difference in the quality of teaching and teacher preparation today, tomorrow, and for the next century.  NCATE’s performance-based system of accreditation fosters competent classroom teachers and other educators who work to improve the education of all P–12 students.  NCATE believes every student deserves a caring, competent, and highly qualified teacher.

Only ten percent of New York State institutions of higher learning hold NCATE accreditation, Niagara University is proud to be one.

You can also contact the Financial Aid office at Niagara University: 716-286-8686/e-mail: finaid@niagara.edu

The Center of Renewal
4421 Lower River Road
Stella Niagara, NY  14144

Nightly Niagara: http://www.niagara.edu/nightly-niagara/

Director of Student Accounts
716-286-8381 / e-mail - sao@niagara.edu

Starting in June 2009, citizens of Canada will be required to present a valid passport to enter the United States by any means, including by land, sea and air.

All students who are not American citizens require a student VISA. The VISA is used to cross the border on a daily basis for classes.

The process for obtaining a VISA is fairly simple and very straightforward. Niagara University has been issuing student VISAs for decades and our staff is highly responsive to student's needs.

Assistant Director of Records
Records Office, Lower Level Gallagher, Niagara University, NY 14109
Phone - 716-286-8726 / Fax- 716-286-8733 / E-mail- records@niagara.edu

Niagara University will send you an application for a student VISA, which will take you about 5 minutes to fill out.  In addition to providing your personal information (e.g. citizenship, date of birth), you will also provide a letter from a financial institution documenting your ability to pay you tuition.  You will then fax or mail the application back to Niagara, and then we will prepare your VISA.  NU sends the VISA back to you in the mail so that you can present it at the border.

Contrary to public speculation, crossing the border is quite quick and convenient. The delays that are announced in the media typically pertain only to "commercial" traffic -large trucks. Cars typically go around the line of trucks, and straight to the booths on the border.

Ontario students apply to the Ontario College of Teachers for an interim Certification of Qualifications. Upon completion of Niagara University’s program, official transcripts of coursework and a letter of professional standing will be sent to the Ontario College of Teachers by the College of Education.

US college credit hour courses are semester based and are worth 3 college / university credit hours/units and usually equal .5 credit at Canadian institutions (though some Canadian institutions are on the hour system).  Many Canadian courses are full year, which would equate to 6 credit hours.  Six full year courses (or 12 half credits) would equate to 36 college / university credit hours in the US.

The first specific teachable area requires what constitutes a major in that discipline, generally between 5 - 6 full year courses.  The second teachable area requires what constitutes a minor in that discipline, generally 3 full year courses.

A Bachelor’s degree is required for the program. An honors is not necessary.

  • Business Studies- Accounting
  • Business Studies- Entrepreneurship
  • Business Studies- General
  • Business Studies- Information and Communication Technology
  • Computer Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • French as a 2nd Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • Social Sciences – General
  • International Languages
  • International Languages- Arabic
  • International Languages- Italian
  • International Languages- Mandarin
  • Mathematics
  • Politics
  • Religious Education
  • Science- General
  • Science- Biology
  • Science- Chemistry
  • Science- Physics
  • Visual Arts
  • Dramatic Arts

Two teachables are required for students seeking certification in Ontario.  

No. Due to our standards and national accreditation, we cannot accept OACs.

  • Directions
  • Take the QEW towards Niagara
  • Once you pass over the St. Catharines Skyway you will want to get over in the left lane
  • Take the HWY-405 exit towards Queenston, exit #37
  • Continue on to the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge (You can see Niagara University from the bridge off on your right hand side.)
  • After customs proceed to the far right hand lane and take the first right hand turn which is the first exit toward RT-104/ R. MOSES PKWY/ Lewiston
  • Take the RT-104 West ramp
  • Turn slight right onto Lewiston Rd / NY-104 West
  • Turn left onto University Dr.
  • The College of Education is located in the Academic Complex - Room 225

Niagara University reserves the right to make revisions on any or all specifications contained herein and to apply such revisions to current and new students alike.  The provisions in this document are to be considered directive in character and not as an irrevocable contract between the student and graduate division.