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New York Teacher Certification

This page is sponsored by Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in New York.


To become a certified teacher in New York, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 1/06/2015


All states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education to become a certified teacher. Additionally, New York State requires teachers to obtain a master’s degree in teaching (or a related discipline) within five years of the completion of their initial degree.

New York Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Here are New York’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education: The individual evaluation pathway requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework in addition to General Core and Pedagogical Core semester hours requirements.
  • Secondary English/Language Arts: The individual evaluation pathway requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework in addition to General Core and Pedagogical Core semester hours requirements.
  • Secondary Mathematics: The individual evaluation pathway requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework in addition to General Core and Pedagogical Core semester hours requirements.
  • Secondary History/Social Science: The individual evaluation pathway requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework in addition to General Core and Pedagogical Core semester hours requirements.
  • Secondary Science: The individual evaluation pathway requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework in addition to General Core and Pedagogical Core semester hours requirements.

New York Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program. Please visit the New York State Department of Education’s Inventory of Registered Programs for a list of accredited teacher preparation programs near you.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Information about alternative certification in New York can be found here.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the State of New York, visit our New York Teacher Scholarships page.

New York Required Tests


The New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) program provides the following tests to assess potential teaching candidates’ knowledge and skills regarding content, theory and practice. Testing requirements vary depending on one’s desired certification(s).



Certification Requirements

Liberal Arts & Sciences Test (LAST)

Examinees must demonstrate conceptual and analytical skills, critical-thinking and communication skills, and multicultural awareness.

Test covers mathematical, scientific, and technological processes; historical and social-scientific awareness; communication and research skills; humanities and artistic expression; written analysis and expression

Required for all certifications

Elementary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)

Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Early Childhood & Elementary Education (birth-grade 6)

Early Childhood and Elementary Education certifications

Secondary Assessment of Teaching Skills (ATS-W)

Measures professional and pedagogical knowledge of Middle Childhood and Adolescence (grades 5-12)

Secondary Education certifications

Content Specialty Tests (CSTs)

Measures knowledge and skill in candidate’s field of certification

Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements

Bilingual Education Assessments (BEAs)

Measure listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills in the targeted language

Please visit NYSTCE for content-specific requirements

Communication and Quantitative Skills Test (CQST)

Measures knowledge and skills in career and technical education

Required for Transitional A certificates and initial certificates in Career & Technical Education subjects

Assessment of Teaching Skills, Performance (ATS-P)

Candidates are required to submit a 20-30 minute video-recorded sample of his or her teaching performance in a classroom of students who were part of candidate’s teaching assignment

*Disclaimer: Candidates applying on or after May 1, 2014 will be affected by NYSTCE’s revised testing requirements. Please visit NYSTCE to read more about these anticipated changes.

New York Certification Reciprocity

New York will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota. Contact the New York State Education Department to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

New York Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: New York provides differential pay support for teachers teaching in high needs schools and teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: New York has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $67,940
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $70,400
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in New York makes 133% of the salary of the average worker in New York
  • District-Specific Teacher Salary: Salaries for New York teachers vary widely, depending on district. An online database of New York teacher salaries is available, in order to access district-specific information
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Applying for Certification

The New York State Department of Education’s TEACH System provides those pursuing a teaching degree with a one-stop shop to complete all required certification documents related to fingerprinting, paperwork and other miscellaneous applications.


The New York State Department of Education offers teaching candidates a comprehensive guide to fingerprinting, outlining the process to obtain fingerprint clearance in New York State.

Want to teach in New York City? The NYC Department of Education requires a separate fingerprint clearance process apart from the rest of New York state.

New York Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in New York.

Contact Information

New York State Department of Education

Office of Teaching Initiatives

89 Washington Avenue, FN EB

Albany, New York 12234

518-474-3901 – Email

New York City Department of Education
Human Resources

65 Court Street, Room 102

Brooklyn, New York 11201

718-935-4000 –

Additional links

Teaching Jobs in New York

OLAS: New York State and Long Island Public Schools

The Online Application System for Educators (commonly referred to as OLAS) is an online-based application system for school districts throughout regions of New York state. The following regions in New York state operate under OLAS’s teacher application system:

Capital Region

Central Region


Long Island

Lower Hudson


Mohawk Valley




Using this online portal, applicants upload their personal information, résumé, cover letter and professional reference(s). This service allows applicants to apply for current jobs within their desired New York state region, and also allows school districts to view applicants’ information. OLAS job opportunities are updated weekly and include positions for paraprofessionals, teaching assistants and substitute teachers. This service is free to applicants.

TeachNYC: New York City Public Schools

TeachNYC is the online portal and application system for the New York City Public School District. TeachNYC is only for full-time teaching positions, and does not include employment opportunities for teaching assistants, paraprofessionals or substitute teachers. TeachNYC has a rigorous application process, and requires the following information before submission:

  • Professional background details, including past employers, dates and contact information
  • Academic history and GPA
  • List of professional references, including names, addresses, relationship and contact information
  • Current copy of résumé
  • Certification documents
  • Sample lesson plan(s)
  • Responses to four writing prompts

TeachNYC provides you with the writing prompts before beginning your application to ensure thoughtful and thorough responses.

  1. Describe your most important accomplishment in the classroom or with a specific student(s). What key strategies contributed to your success? How did you track your progress to ensure that you were successful? (200-400 words)
  2. You are a teacher in NYC Public School 123. Your principal observed you teach a whole class lesson to a group of 25 students and provided the following feedback via email:
  3. Three-quarters of the students were attentive and raised their hands in response to your warm-up activity. Students in the back row were passing notes during the lesson introduction and directions for independent time. Four out of five of your ELL students were doodling in their notebook during the independent work time. At the end of the lesson, only half of the students successfully completed the task.. At the lesson closing, nearly all the students wrote down the homework assignment and followed your instructions for transition to the next class.
    • Write a thoughtful response to your principal regarding the email feedback. Describe your next steps to improve your practice. (200-400 words.)
    • Describe how you establish instructional expectations for your students. Be sure to address the following in your description (200-400 words):
    • What key factors are considered when establishing these expectations? How are these expectations communicated to your students?
    • How would you promote these expectations during instructional time?
  4. Describe the objective of your attached lesson plan and explain why you chose this as your objective. How did your instructional strategies address students with varied learning needs and modalities? How did you know that your students met the objective of your lesson? (200-400 words)