Program FAQs

Elementary (Birth - 6) certification - also referred to as early childhood and childhood education, and primary/junior grades. 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 grades. Upon completion of the program, students will hold a master of science in education degree.

Niagara University offers three entry points: Summer (May), Spring (January), or Fall (August). 

The program requires at least 39 credit hours and takes 3 semesters to complete. The program can be completed in one calendar year with a summer start. Students who begin in the fall or spring can complete the program in 15 months.

*Bridge courses are available for students seeking certification in other countries.

Yes, the program is now 100% online. Most courses will be synchronous with designated meeting times. Students will join a virtual meeting with their professors and classmates on the scheduled meeting dates and times. Students are expected to be online the entire time with their camera on and ready to actively participate in class. Some courses are offered asynchronously, which means there is no designated meeting time for the class. Assignments and exams are to be completed according to the syllabus provided by the professor. 

Courses are scheduled 2-3 days per week. You must also factor in time for your field experiences.

The final semester includes the student-teaching placement / practicum and requires a full-time commitment.

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 builds them into a community of teacher-learners by structuring their class schedules together and by teaching them in a way that emphasizes collegiality. 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.

Since the program is cohort-based, your courses assigned. You may have some flexibility in sections, depending on your major.

Yes, we offer part-time options. Students can take anywhere from 1-4 courses as a part-time student. The program advisor works individually with part-time students to create a schedule that fits their needs.

Field experiences are designed to provide practical 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 classrooms. The following field experiences are embedded into the program.

Impact Placement - (75 hours) Early field experience that give students the opportunity to experience the classroom from a teacher's perspective.

Teaching Assistantship Experience - (75 hours) These placements involve teacher candidates working with local students.

Student Teaching Practicum - ((2) 7-week (or one 14-week) full-time placement) Each placement will address a different grade level to provide students with a variety of experiences. The Field Experience Office facilitates placement and works with numerous school districts and boards locally, nationally and internationally.

Additional information regarding policies & procedures for field experience at the graduate level can be found here.

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.

CAEP advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning. CAEP determines which schools, colleges, and departments of education meet rigorous national standards in preparing teachers and other school specialists for the classroom.

For more information about CAEP you can go to - www.ncate.org

Admission FAQs

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. Qualified students will continue to be accepted until the program is full. Please note programs may fill up without advance notice.

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college of university is required for admission. In addition to the online application, students must also submit the following materials: 

  1. Two letters of recommendation (academic, professional or volunteer are acceptable)
  2. Official transcript(s) from all previous attended colleges/universities
  3. A Statement of Intent
  4. Official SAT/ACT/GRE or Accuplacer exam scores within the last 6 years

All documents can be uploaded as a PDF or Word document directly into the online application. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution either electronically to our general email address (grad-ed@niagara.edu) or mailed to our office address: 

Niagara University Graduate Education Office
Academic Complex, Room 221
5795 Lewiston Road
Niagara University, NY 14109

Please visit our Apply page for additional details. 

The Elementary Education program requires a college-level course in math, science, social studies, and English from an accredited college or university. Students may still be admitted into the program if they are missing no more then 2 of these prerequisite courses. Any missing courses will be noted in the acceptance letter, and students will be required to complete any missing courses concurrently with the graduate program. 

Prerequisite courses can be taken at any accredited university, college, or community college. Institutions are now offering flexible formatting of classes, express classes, staggered starts, intersession classes, distance education and online classes, etc. If the course is taken at a college/community college it needs to be for college-level credit. Upon completion of required coursework, official transcripts (with credits at least three hours/units or .5 credits) must be submitted to Niagara University with documentation with the credits and grade/mark earned.

The Secondary Program does not require any prerequisite courses. However, students must have 36-credit hours of college-level coursework in their content area in order to qualify. 

Yes. Credit is awarded for scores of 50 or above on all CLEP examinations.

For more information visit the CLEP website

You need a minimum overall GPA of 3.0. Individuals applying to the secondary program also need a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their content area(s). Individuals who fall below this requirement can still apply. We are able to accept a small percentage of students who fall below this minimum average. 

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. Please submit with your application your “in progress" official transcript showing classes you are currently enrolled in. A final transcript will be required once your degree is conferred and posted.

More information pertaining to Niagara’s teacher education program can be found online on our Admission Events Page. Times and dates for upcoming events are posted regularly on our website. 

It is highly recommended that you attend an information session to ask questions, meet our faculty & staff, and learn more about our program. 

A bachelor’s degree is required for the program. An honors is not necessary, thus a 3-year bachelor’s degree will satisfy admission requirements.

Only complete applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Admission decisions are usually sent out within 1-3 weeks after completing all items within the application. 

Niagara University offers the Accuplacer assessment as a testing option. The Accuplacer is a remotely-proctored exam that can be taken on your home computer and scheduled at any time. The exam is untimed and tests your knowledge of arithmetic, reading, and writing. The arithmetic and reading sections include 20 multiple choice questions, and the writing section includes 25 multiple choice questions. There is a proctoring fee of $25 USD. Practice materials are available online. Vouchers for the exam are issued via email once your graduate application is submitted. 

Canadian / International FAQs

Yes. Successful completion of this 39 credit-hour program leads to certification in New York State and Ontario. It is important to note:

  • Canadian students must first obtain NYS certification in order to be eligible to apply for certification with conditions in Ontario. 
  • Candidates take EDU681PA in the first semester as a bridge course
  • Candidates will then have five years to complete additional course work to meet the 60 credit-hour requirement for permanent certification in Ontario. This can be achieved by taking schedule-C AQ (Additional Qualification) courses that can be fulfilled while working as an O.C.T qualified teacher. 

US college 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.

  • Business Studies- Accounting
  • Business Studies- Entrepreneurship
  • Business Studies- General
  • Business Studies- Information and Communication Technology
  • Computer Studies
  • Dramatic Arts (2nd only)
  • Economics
  • English
  • French as a 2nd Language
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Languages
  • International Languages- Arabic
  • International Languages- Italian
  • International Languages- Mandarin
  • International Languages - Spanish 
  • Mathematics
  • Politics
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Education in Catholic schools
  • Science- General
  • Science- Biology
  • Science- Chemistry
  • Science - Physics
  • Social Science- General
  • Visual Arts

*Two teachables are required for students seeking certification in Ontario.  

The first specific teachable area requires what constitutes a major in that discipline, generally between 6 full year courses (12 half-year courses). The second teachable area requires what constitutes a minor in that discipline, generally 3 full year courses (6 half-year courses).

Educating All Students Test (EAS)
Content Specialty Test (CST) - Elementary candidates must take both the Birth-2 and 1-6 Multi-Subject CST

Learn more on the New York State certification website.

International Relations Office

Sarina M. Munzi (International Student Advisor/SEVIS Coordinator)


Students who are not American citizens and would like to complete their field experience hours in the US require a student VISA. Otherwise, students are NOT required to obtain a student VISA since the program is entirely online.

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 - Phone: 716-286-8726 / Fax: 716-286-8733 / records@niagara.edu

Records Office - Butler Building - Niagara University, NY 14109

Sarina Munzi (Administrative Assistant - SEVIS Compliance): smunzi@niagara.edu / 716-286-8728

Yes, you may apply while waiting for a scheduled exam. However, conditional admission is not provided to international students. We must receive your scores before official admission decisions will be made.

The TOEFL code for Niagara University is 2558.

General FAQs

Please visit the Tuition & Fees website for the most up-to-date information. 

There is a one time $195.00 US Comprehensive Fee (registration, library resources, etc.) and a Chalk and Wire electronic portfolio fee of $100 USD.

The First Day Books Program is available for students who wish to rent their textbooks. Learn more here.

Niagara University Financial Aid Office website 

Niagara University Scholarship, Employment, and Graduate Assistantship Information

US students - FAFSA 

Canadian students - OSAP 

Financial Aid Counselor: 716-286-8686 / fao@niagara.edu

  • High-tech academic classrooms 
  • Family literacy center 
  • Collaborative working space 
  • Model pre-K-12 classrooms 
  • Comprehensive field experience center 
  • Institute of applied learning professional development 
  • Certification/licensure assistance 
  • Coffee bar & green environment 
  • Faculty suites 

Niagara University is located in the Town of Lewiston, New York. It stands atop the picturesque Niagara River Gorge, four 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 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.