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Teaching K-12

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Cornell does not offer a teacher certification program for undergraduates. However, it offers strong preparation for graduate programs leading to teacher certification and for other pathways into K-12 teaching.

Public Schools

Employment in public schools generally requires teacher certification (also known as licensure or credentialing). Programs leading to certification and a master’s degree are available throughout the country. Such programs typically range from 11 to 24 months. Through inter-state reciprocity agreements, certification by a program in one state is usually portable, allowing certified teachers to teach in public schools in most other states (pending completion of some paperwork and possibly additional workshops or exams).

Cornell has special agreements with the outstanding graduate-level certification programs at nearby Ithaca College. Students interested in teaching at the elementary or secondary level can earn an undergraduate education minor at Cornell and then spend an additional 13 months at Ithaca College to earn a master’s degree and New York State teacher certification.  More information about this streamlined path can be found in the box on the right.

For information about other graduate teacher-certification programs, as well as other pathways into public school teaching—for example, Teach For America—you can contact one of our team members on the left. 

Independent Schools

Employment in independent (private) schools usually does not require teacher certification. For students who want to teach in privately-run boarding or day schools, Cornell’s minor in education can provide the frames of reference and hands-on experience with youth needed to hit the ground running.