The CUNY Baccalaureate does not lead to New York State Teacher Certification. If your goal is to teach in the New York public school system, the CUNY Baccalaureate may not be your best degree route. Aspiring teachers are urged to compare the benefits of completing the CUNY Baccalaureate versus completing a degree at a CUNY college.

The best academic preparation for aspiring teachers who do choose the CUNY Baccalaureate is to complete a liberal arts area of concentration and also complete the pertinent sequence of Education courses in an Education department as electives. Note that an area of concentration cannot be called “Education”; New York State does not recognize Education by itself as an undergraduate major. To teach in early childhood education (pre-K to 5), any liberal arts major is useful; to teach in middle or high school, the concentration should be one that is taught in those grades, i.e., history, English, biology, math, Spanish, etc. If you choose this option but cannot take the full sequence of Education courses as an undergraduate for some reason, you can:

  • Apply to an approved alternative teacher certification program (available at most CUNY senior colleges) after completing a liberal arts B.A. or B.S. with a 3.0 GPA. See “alternative certification programs” at the www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/.
  • Apply to the NYC Teaching Fellows Program, an intensive pre-service training and education program. For more information, visit www.nycteachingfellows.org.
  • Apply to Teach for America, which is similar to the NYC Teaching Fellows but offered nationally. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.

After completing a degree through the CUNY Baccalaureate there are a number of steps you must to take to become certified to teach in New York, including passing the Liberal Arts and Sciences test all aspiring teachers take. CUNY Baccalaureate students interested in teaching must seek advising from a CUNY college education department to understand the myriad requirements necessary for certification: the CUNY Baccalaureate academic advisors are not able to provide advisement with regard to Education department requirements, procedures and deadlines. For more teaching, internships and certification information, visit the New York City Department of Education website at www.teachny.org.

Finally, note that CUNY has a special scholarship and training program for B.A. and B.S. graduates who want to teach mathematics, science, Spanish, or literacy: The Teaching Opportunity Program. For more information, visit www.top.cuny.edu.