Yale University

Frequently Asked Questions: MA in Urban Education



Who should apply?
We accept candidates who want to teach Grades 7-12 in English, History/Social Studies, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or General Science. We do not accept candidates in Elementary Education, Early Childhood, Special Education, Educational Administration, ESL/Bilingual, or Art Education.

We seek applications from candidates around the country who have a strong academic background and who possess the disposition to succeed in an urban classroom. This includes individuals who are seeking to transition into teaching as a second career, already have advanced degrees, or are certified to teach. However, please note that all students will be required to participate in the entirety of the program, including the student teaching, even if they are already certified.

We do not accept international students.

How big is your program and how competitive? What kind of scores are you looking for?
Our admissions process is quite competitive, and we admit only 5 to 10 students each year. Ideally, applicants will have a GPA of 3.0 or better and GRE Verbal scores of at least 600.


Can I start in the fall or the spring?
No, the only start date each year is in June. The structure of our 14 month program is such that it is essential for students to remain in class together with their fellow students and engage in the process together.

How intensive is your program? Can I continue teaching, work full or part time or take your classes part-time?
No, our MA is offered full-time only. Classes are scheduled between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday, year round. Our courses are open only to those enrolled in the MA in Urban Education and cannot be taken outside of the program. We do not offer night classes.

Can I take electives or design my own course of study?
No, the program operates on a cohort model, and each student takes the same courses. There is not time during the program to take additional courses.

Will I get to choose the schools I am placed in during the program?
Placement decisions are made by the faculty. You will be placed in one school in the fall and a different school in the spring, and both placement decisions will take into account your teaching strengths and challenges.


Required Tests

What tests are required before I apply? What if I already have another degree?
The GRE General Test is required by all applicants regardless of their former schooling. For all uncertified teachers, the Praxis I (if not waived) and the one or two subject area tests in your subject (Praxis II) are required. The GRE and Praxis exams are administered by ETS.

I am (or will be) certified in a state other than Connecticut. Do I still need to take the Praxis exams?
You may have to. Please read Certification for Out-of-State Applicants - Fact Sheet #106, and contact the Connecticut State Department of Education for more information.

My GRE scores have expired. Can I still use them?
Yes, but only if you possess a hard copy of your original score report.

Are the Praxis exams offered outside of Connecticut?
Yes, but they are only offered every other month and every test might not be offered on every test date. See ETS for a listing of test centers.

Coursework Prerequisites

I’m unsure which courses will count toward my prerequisites.
First review the coursework prerequisites for the subject you wish to teach, and then download and fill out a first draft of the appropriate worksheet. For any courses that you are not sure about, gather the course descriptions from your university. Email your draft of the worksheet and the extra course descriptions to urbanteaching@yale.edu.  We will gladly go through the process with you and help determine which courses do and do not apply.

What if I don’t have enough courses to finish my coursework prerequisites?
You may take courses during the spring semester before you come if you are short on credits. Applicants may decide to postpone the completion of up to 3 credits (1 course) until the second summer of the program (i.e. between the completion of the program and the start of your teaching commitment). The cost of those credits will not be covered by the tuition fellowship.

If I fulfill some of my coursework prerequisites online or at a community college, will it hurt my chances of getting in?
No, not if the majority of your content coursework was done at an academically rigorous institution.

What is a "semester hour of credit"?
A semester hour of credit is the most commonly used system of measuring course work at the university level. Some universities may award only one "credit" per course, but at every university that does so, those credits can be converted into "semester hours of credit." That information will be available from your university registrar and will most likely also be printed on the back of an official hard copy of your transcript. So for most applicants, the requirement of "30 semester hours of credit in the subject you wish to teach" will translate into 10 courses.

Can I use AP credit to fulfill some of the coursework prerequisites?
Yes, but only if the credit appears on your undergraduate transcript.

What subjects are included in "History/Social Studies"?
A History/Social Studies certificate is a single certificate. Teachers holding this certificate in New Haven teach world history, United States history, and civics, and may teach psychology as well. Visit the following website for more information on New Haven's social studies curriculum.

Tuition, Fees & Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid? Do I need to submit financial information with my online application?

There is no application, and you do not need to fill out the Financial Statement supplemental form within the online application. If you are admitted into our program you will automatically be awarded the full aid package, a full tuition scholarship ($32,500 in 2009-2010) plus a room and board stipend ($25,500 in 2009-2010) and a health award that funds the full cost of a single student's Yale Health Plan Basic and Hospitalization/Specialty coverage.

How is the stipend paid? How much can I expect to have to live on per month?
The stipend is distributed twice a month, over 14 months. A stipend of $25,500, for example, will be distributed in 28 equal installments of $910.71, beginning on June 15 and ending on July 31 the following year. More information is available from the Graduate School Office of Financial Aid.

I have an outside fellowship that provides funding for graduate school. Will I still receive the full amount of the Urban Teaching Fellowship?
Yes. The amount of any funding you have outside of the Urban Teaching Fellowship does not affect the level of financial support you will receive from Yale University.

Teaching Commitment

Can the teaching commitment be fulfilled in another urban area besides New Haven, CT?  Am I compensated?
No, the two-year teaching commitment must be fulfilled in the New Haven Public School District. Teachers are hired by the New Haven Public Schools as regular full-time teachers at MA-level salary.

I have taught for several years already. Will those years be counted towards my salary scale when I begin teaching in New Haven?
Yes, most likely. For more information contact the New Haven Public School Personnel Office at (203) 946-8808.

After I complete the teaching commitment in New Haven, can I teach outside of Connecticut?

Yes. You must contact the state department of education in the state to which you wish to transfer. Additional tests or specific coursework may be required. For more information see the NASDEC Interstate Agreement.

How are the teaching placements made?  What if I would like a particular grade or school?

For your two-year teaching commitment, we do not place you in a specific school. You are free to interview for any position that is open in your subject area. Because it is not possible to foresee where the openings will be at the time you are applying, we cannot guarantee specific requests.

What if there are no teaching openings?
Our students are treated as internal candidates by New Haven Public Schools and given priority. Even during times of teacher shrinkage, our students have always been offered a spot.

What kind of support and professional development do graduates receive during the two-year teaching commitment?
Alumni teaching in New Haven are supported both formally and informally, and are expected to in turn provide support to candidates currently in the program. Alumni attend monthly induction dinner meetings, where theory and research are applied to case studies from each teaching site. Yale faculty continue to observe and provide feedback, and less formal social and mentoring opportunities are structured through the years following graduation.


Where is your office located?
Please use this map to locate our office. Putting the address "35 Broadway" into Google Maps will not identify the location of our building. The building does not face Broadway, but rather is on the back side of Broadway, behind Toad's Place on York Street.

Can you send me more information?
We do not have printed materials about our program and cannot mail you a hard copy application, as the application is only available online.

If I have further questions, what should I do?
Email Program Administrator Elizabeth Wilkinson at urbanteaching@yale.edu