What programs does Niagara University offer?

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.

When can I start the program?

Niagara University offers two entry points into the program: Fall (September) or Summer (May).

How long is the program?

The program requires at least 39 credit hours and takes 3 semesters to complete.

*Bridge courses are available for students seeking certification in Ontario.

The program can be completed in 15 months. Two start dates available (Fall Start or Summer Start)

Cohort models:

Fall Starters

Semester 1


Semester 2


Semester 3


Semester 4



US expedited

15 credit hours

15 credit hours


9 credit hours

39 credit hours


12 credit hours

12  credit hours

6 credit hours

9 credit hours

39 credit hours


15 credit hours

12 credit hours

12 credit hours

9 credit hours

48 credit hours


Spring Starters

Semester 1


Semester 2 Summer

Semester 3


Semester 4



US expedited

15 credit hours


15 credit hours

9 credit hours

39 credit hours


12 credit hours

6 credit hours

12 credit hours

9 credit hours

39 credit hours


15 credit hours

12 credit hours

12 credit hours

9 credit hours

48 credit hours

What is the deadline for applying?

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.

I've heard the program at Niagara University is a cohort-based program. What is a cohort-based program?

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.

What facilities does Niagara's Academic Complex have to offer?
  • 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 
What is the field experience requirement of the program?

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.

Learn and Serve Practicum - Students from Ontario must complete these hours in the US.

Teaching Assistantship Practicum - These placements involve teacher candidates working with local students. Canadian students may complete half of this placement in Ontario.

Student Teaching Practicum - Two full time 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.)

Why do I need a college/university-level credit course in English, math, science, social studies, and a language other than English if I am going to be teaching elementary age children?

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.

Where can I take the elementary/secondary prerequisite courses?

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. 

Are there any prerequisite course requirements for Secondary Education?

You will need a course in a language other than English from an accredited college or university (see above.)

*Students applying for Business Education are exempt from this requirement.

Will American Sign Language (ASL) count for the foreign language requirement?

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

Can students take the CLEP test to meet the prerequisite requirements?

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

For more information visit the CLEP website

How many days a week is the program?

During the Fall and Spring, course work is kept to 2 consecutive days per week. You must also factor in time for your field experiences.

During the Summer, course work is 3 to 4 days per week.

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

Do I get to pick my schedule?

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

What is the cost of tuition for the program?

The program cost for the 2017/18 academic year:

39 credit hours x $680 per credit hour = $26,520 US.

*Cost for Canadian bridge courses: additional $150

Besides tuition, are there any additional fees?

There is a one time $180.00 US Comprehensive Fee (parking, library, etc.) and a Chalk and Wire electronic portfolio fee of $46 per year. Students must also factor in the cost of textbooks.

Is a bachelor's degree required to apply?

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.

What average do I need to be considered for the program?

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.

What if I am “in progress” with a scheduled graduation date?

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.

What New York state certification tests are students (both US and Ontario) required to take and pass for certification?

Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)
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: www.nystce.nesinc.com

How can I find more information and upcoming events?

More information pertaining to Niagara’s teacher education program can be found online at www.niagara.edu/teach It is highly recommended that you attend an informational session. Informational sessions, both in Ontario and on the NU Campus, will be coming up soon. Times, dates, locations, and registration information can be found at www.niagara.edu/gradevents

I've heard that Niagara University's program is accredited by NCATE, what does that mean?

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.

NCATE advances excellence in educator preparation through evidence-based accreditation that assures quality and supports continuous improvement to strengthen P-12 student learning. NCATE 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 NCATE you can go to - www.ncate.org

Where can I find information on financial aid?

Niagara University Financial Aid office: www.niagara.edu/financialaid

Niagara University Scholarship, Employment, and Graduate Assistantship Information: www/niagara.edu/gradaid

US students - FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov

Canadian students - OSAP: www.osap.gov.on.ca

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

Who can I contact about housing?

Nightly Niagara: 716.286.8566 / www.niagara.edu/nightly-niagara 

Graduate and commuter students have the option of residing on campus in a residence hall on a nightly basis. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Center of Renewal - 4421 Lower River Road - Stella Niagara, NY 14144 716.754.7376 / Hospitality@Center-of-Renewal.org / www.center-of-renewal.org 

Who can I contact about tuition / bursary questions?

Director of Student Accounts
716.286.8381 / sao@niagara.edu

Who can I contact for assistance if I am an international student? (from outside of the US or Canada)

International Relations: www.niagara.edu/oir

Bernadette Brennan (Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs): bmb@niagara.edu

Will I need a passport?

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

Will I need a student VISA?

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.

How difficult is a student VISA to obtain?

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.

Who can I contact if I have VISA questions?

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

What is required by Immigration?

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.

What are the latest issues regarding crossing 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  (e.g. large trucks). Cars typically go around the line of trucks, and straight to the booths on the border.

Can I be certified to teach in Ontario after completing the master's program?

For students seeking teacher certification in Ontario, bridge courses designed to meet new O.C.T. requirements are available as part of your program. 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. Ontario students apply to the Ontario College of Teachers for an interim Certification of Qualifications.

Can I apply while waiting to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

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.

What is your institutional code so that TOEFL can send Niagara University the score directly?

The TOEFL code for Niagara University is 2558.

How do US college /university credit hours equate to credits in Canada?

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 / univer- sity credit hours in the US.

How many credits do I need if I want to teach secondary in my 1st teachable and 2nd teachable?

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).

Does it matter if I only have a 3-year bachelor's degree?

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.

What are the Ontario Teachables for Secondary Education that Niagara University offers?
  • 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
  • Science- General
  • Science- Biology
  • Science- Chemistry
  • Social Science- General

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

Will Niagara University accept OACs to fulfill the prerequisite course requirement?

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

Where is Niagara University located?

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.

How do I get to the campus from Ontario?
  • 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.