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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 into the program: Fall (August), Summer (May), or Spring (January).

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.

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.

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.

  • 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 

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.


Since you will be teaching these subjects on a daily basis in the elementary classroom, it is essential that you have college/university-level course work in these respective disciplines. This is also a requirement for NYS certification.

Courses can be taken at accredited universities, colleges, or community colleges. Institutions are now offering flexible formatting of classes (e.g. 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. Upon completion of required coursework, 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. 

No. However, students must have 36-credit hours of college-level coursework in their content area in order to qualify. 

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.

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

For more information visit the CLEP website

Coursework is kept to 2 consecutive 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.

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

Visit for the most up to date tuition information.

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

The First Day Books Program is available for students who wish to utilize this service for textbooks costs. Learn more here:

Yes, a Baccalaureate Degree from an accredited college or university is required for admissions. The degree conferral should be posted on the final official transcript you submit.

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.

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 should be submitted to verify your planned graduation date. The “in progress” letter is provided by the registrar or academic department.

Please submit with your application the “in progress” letter and a current transcript showing classes you are currently enrolled in. A final transcript will be required once your degree is conferred and posted.

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

New York State certification website:

More information pertaining to Niagara’s teacher education program can be found online at 

It is highly recommended that you attend an information session to ask questions, meet our faculty & staff, and learn more about our program. Times, dates, locations, and registration information can be found at

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 -

Niagara University Financial Aid office:

Niagara University Scholarship, Employment, and Graduate Assistantship Information: www/

US students - FAFSA:

Canadian students - OSAP:

Financial Aid Counselor: 716-286-8686 /

Director of Student Accounts
716.286.8300 /

International Relations:

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


Citizens of Canada are required to present a valid passport to enter the United States by any means, including by land, sea and air.

Students who are not American citizens and would like to complete their field experience hours in the US require a student VISA. 

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 Office - Butler Building - Niagara University, NY 14109

Sarina Munzi (Administrative Assistant - SEVIS Compliance): / 716-286-8728

Niagara University will send you an application for a student VISA, which will take you about five 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.

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 second semester 
  • Candidates will then have five years to complete additional course work to meet the 60 credit-hour requirement for unrestricted 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. 

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.

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).

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.

  • 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
  • Religious Education in Catholic schools
  • Science- General
  • Science- Biology
  • Science- Chemistry
  • Social Science- General

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

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 is located outside of the Buffalo/Lake Erie snow belt and receives substantially less snow than the metroplex in the winter.

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.