New York State Teacher Certification

MS Reading Degrees Lead To Certifications

MS in Literacy
This degree leads to Initial Literacy Certification in the grade range you selected--B-6, 5-12, or B-12. After three years of successful teaching, and fulfilling all other requirements, leads to Professional Certification. Applicants must successfully pass the Literacy Content Specialty Exam for initial certification in this area. For information on this exam, visit NYSTCE. The University processes your application for initial and professional certification at the time of graduation. 

MS in Early Childhood/Childhood
This degree provides you with the MS degree and Institutional Recommendation needed for professional certification in the area of Early Childhood or Childhood Education. You must meet the other NYSED requirements prior to receiving your professional certificate (e.g., teaching experience, mentoring). There is no additional examination for this degree.  Please note: This degree does NOT lead to certification in Literacy, though it does include a focus on literacy courses.

New York State Teacher Certification

The New York State Education Department has sole jurisdiction over teacher and specialist certifications. The Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning is authorized by the State Education Department to offer registered programs that lead to various certifications. So if you have a question about certification, your final stop should be the State Education Department.  But before you go to State Ed, try contacting the staff in Pathways into Education (PIE) right here in the School of Education. Among their many services, they provide UAlbany graduate students with information about teacher certification, NYS Teacher Certification Exams, and assists students in applying for teacher certification.

Processing Certification Applications

We encourage you to check the TEACH system regularly to determine the current status of your certification application. The appropriate word of advice is patience. However, if you have already filed an application, and are concerned about the status, direct your questions to the Albany Office for Teaching at 518-474-3901, any day except Wednesdays.

Questions About Certifications

Most BOCES have certification specialists who specialize in certification issues. They are very well versed in the regulations, application procedures, and prerequisites. You can call Ken Ziegler, certification specialist at the Albany BOCES (862-4918); or, if you live in Saratoga County and north, contact Karol Masher at 746-3370, or email him at