Professional Certificate - Master's Degree Requirement

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Master’s degrees listed in the table below are not relevant to the Master’s degree requirement for the STEM pathway.

In order to satisfy the Master's degree requirement and requirement for 12 graduate semester hours in the content core for professional certification, you must have been awarded a Master's from a regionally accredited institution of higher education or from an institution authorized by the Regents to confer degrees. Below are four possible routes to an acceptable master’s degree.

  • Graduate Teacher Education Programs Leading to a Certificate
    The Master’s degree is acceptable if it is based upon completing any teacher Certification program leading to any certificate, whether in New York State or another jurisdiction.  The Master’s degree may be completed toward a classroom teaching or supervisory/administrative certificate. 

    Such a master's degree can be used to fulfill the master's degree requirement for any additional classroom teaching service certificate title.
  • Master's Degree accepted previously to satisfy requirements for a permanent or professional classroom teaching certificate
    This same Master's degree will satisfy the master's degree requirement and the requirement for 12 graduate semester hours in the content core for professional Certification for any subsequent certificate.

  • Master's Degree in the Initial Certificate Content or Related Area *
    The Master’s degree may also be in the content area of the Initial certificate or in a closely related subject area.  For more information go to the Professional Certificate - Chart of Related Master's Degrees.

    In the case of any of the "Generalist" certificates (Early Childhood Education Birth- Grade 2, Childhood Education Grades 1-6, Generalist in Middle Childhood Education Grades 5-9, Students with Disabilities Birth-Grade 2, Students with Disabilities Grades 1-6 and Students with Disabilities Generalist Grades 5-9), the master's degree may be in any of the Liberal Arts & Sciences.

    * Master's degrees that focus on grades PreK-12 in Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Instructional Technology, Literacy, Bilingual Education, and Teaching English as a Second Language are also considered to be related to ALL content areas. While degrees in these subjects do not need to lead to a teaching certificate, they must be completed at an institution with an approved teacher preparation program.

  • Required Coursework for those with an Unrelated Master's Degree
    1. Graduate Course work in the content area of the certificate.
      If the Master’s degree is not in any of the above categories, the applicant for Professional Certification must complete twelve semester hours of graduate study in the content of the Initial certificate.

      • If course work is completed in the content (subject) of the certificate, it must be taken at a regionally accredited college offering a graduate degree in the subject of the certificate. 

      • For certificate titles with multiple disciplines within the subject of the certificate (for example family and consumer science includes health, nutrition, textiles, etc), the course must be completed at a regionally accredited college offering a graduate degree in one of these disciplines.

      • If it is not clear whether a course that you have taken would count toward such a degree, you may submit a completed Graduate Course Work Verification Form PDF Document with an official transcript.  This form is intended ONLY for courses that are not clearly integral to a master’s degree in your content area.

    2. Graduate Course work in content linking pedagogy (See Pedagogical Core)
      • All content linking pedagogical coursework must be from a regionally accredited institution with an approved teacher preparation program.

      • Course work that links content to pedagogy may also be used to meet this requirement.  Content linking pedagogy refers to courses that focus on the methods of teaching content in the subject matter for which the professional certificate is sought.  For example, a secondary teacher of biology could take courses in advanced curriculum development and instruction that would include 12 credits in pedagogical knowledge specific to teaching biology.  Graduate level content linking pedagogy can also be combined with graduate content in the subject matter to meet the 12 semester-hour requirement for professional certification.

      IMPORTANT NOTE:  The 12 graduate semester hours may be included in the unrelated Master degree. The Master’s degrees listed in the table below are not relevant to the Master’s degree requirement for the STEM pathway.


Professional Certificate - Chart of Related Master's Degree

This table serves as a guide to common graduate degrees considered to be acceptable as related to the Initial certificate subject area for the purpose of qualifying for the Professional level certificate.

This chart is not intended to be an exhaustive list. For more information on the Master’s degree requirement click on the icon below.

search for specific certification requirements

Click on the Initial Certificate Area to view the related Master's or higher degrees for that area:

Initial Certificate Area Related Master's or Higher Degrees</th>
Earth Science

Any of the four sciences is considered a related area to each other. Earth Science comprises the sub-fields of Astronomy, Geology, Meteorology and Oceanography.
Chemical Engineering
Bio Chemical Engineering
Genetic Engineering
Medicine (MD)

Business and Marketing

Business Administration
Macro/Micro Economics
Business Management
International Business
International Economics
Industrial and Labor Relations
Mathematical Finance


Dance History
Dance/Movement Therapy
Dance Performance
Dance Theatre
Physical Education

Early Childhood, Childhood, Middle Childhood Generalist Any Liberal Arts and Sciences
English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Any Liberal Arts and Sciences
English Language Arts

English Linguistics
Film Writing
Creative Writing
Comparative Literature

Family and Consumer Science

Home Economics
Food and Nutrition
Career Counseling
Child and/or Family Studies
Fashion/Textile Design
Human Development

Health Education

Anatomy & Physiology
Chiropractic (Doctor of Chiropractic)
Dentistry(DDS, DMD)
Medicine (MD)
Health Systems Administration
Physical Therapy

Languages Other Than English A Master’s degree in any language other than English (LOTE) will be considered sufficiently related to any other language certificate to qualify as a related Masters Degree.
Literacy Any Liberal Arts and Sciences

Quantitative Analysis
Applied Mathematics
Mechanical/Civil Engineering


Music History
Music Composition
Music Theory
Music Therapy
Music Performance
Musical Theatre

Physical Education

Sports Medicine
Safety Education
Sports Science
Sports Administration
Sports Management

Social Studies

Political Science
Area/Ethnic/Gender Studies
Juris Doctorate Degree
Police Science

Students with Disabilities  (Birth-2, 1-6, 5-9 generalist) Any Liberal Arts and Sciences
Special Education
Students with Disabilities 5-9 and 7-12 specialist

Content area of the certificate or related content area as indicated in this table.
Special Education

Technology Education
(Master’s must be related to manufacturing/industry)

Engineering ( e.g. Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Chemical)
Systems Analysis and Design
Industrial Design
Communication and Information Technology


Theatre History
Dramatic Writing
Drama Therapy
Theatre Production
Radio & TV Production
Film Production

Visual Arts

Fine Arts (Drawing, Printing, Printmaking, Sculpture)
Crafts (Ceramics, Fibers, Glass, Jewelry, Metal)
Media Arts (Computer Art, Film, Photography, Video)
Art History
Art Conservation
Art Therapy
Commercial Design
Applied Design

Last Updated: June 4, 2018