Preparing future generations

Gain the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to contribute to a world not yet known. With a major or minor in Educational Studies, you’ll gain critical skills in promoting justice, inclusion, and a sense of belonging, develop expertise in addressing educational inequities, and most importantly, you’ll gain hands-on experience in various educational environments

Distinct from the major and minor, many students choose to pursue teacher certification while at the Colleges. Offerings include 15 NYS-registered teacher certification programs in elementary education and teaching students with disabilities (grades 1-6), in most secondary school subjects (grades 7-12), and in music, art, and TESOL (grades preK-12). To become certified, you must have a major other than Educational Studies, although many teacher education students add it as a second major.

Student SpotlightAbigail Cole '25

Majors: Sociology
Minors: Educational studies, american studies 

“I fell in love with Educational Studies while taking the intro course for the department, 'Perspectives on Education.' HWS prioritizes being critical of existing education systems and finding creative ways to improve upon them. As an aspiring teacher in the Teacher Education Program, it’s been indispensable to have a critical lens towards the systems I work within in order to improve them given my own biases and positionality.”


Experiential EducationApplying Your Knowledge

Students read to children

Become an America Reads tutor through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning or discover the power of bilingual education at the Adams Intercultural Center.

At Hobart and William Smith, learning goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. You’ll gain high-impact practical experience that deepens learning and opens doors.


Amplify your Educational Studies degree with the skills, knowledge and ethical foundation needed to be a leader in the 21st century. In partnership with the Centennial Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, our department offers the opportunity to engage in leadership development that culminates in a degree with leadership distinction and provides a competitive edge when applying to internships, jobs and graduate or professional school.

To graduate with leadership distinction, you will complete a series of foundational, action-oriented and reflective milestones within the Educational Studies and Leadership curriculum. We encourage you to begin your leadership journey as early as your second semester on campus. 


No Borders:Global Education

Dedicated to fostering global citizens, the Educational Studies Department encourages study abroad and provides the flexibility for all majors, minors and Teacher Education Program students to participate.

Our department regularly offers a faculty-led program in Auckland, New Zealand. This education-focused program allows students to complete internships in local primary or secondary school classrooms while living with host families and taking courses about New Zealand and its rich tradition of multi-cultural and bilingual education.

Wherever you go, our top-ranked global education program will allow you to apply classroom knowledge, develop cultural understanding and build global connections that expand your personal capacity and sense of purpose.

new zealand

Explore education as a practice, institution and its theories.

EDU 203 – Children with Disabilities

Explore social movements, policies, and practices that impact the experiences of children with disabilities in schools and society.

EDU 320 – Children’s Literature

Explore children's books from many angles, including for their literary qualities and their effort to promote multiculturalism and social justice.

EDU 370 – Multiculturalism

Examine the institution of schooling, broadly conceived, as it is positioned in a multicultural and diverse society. 

Teaching ProgramsBecoming an Educator

Teacher Education Program

If you’re thinking about becoming a teacher, consider applying to the Teacher Education Program. Starting in your sophomore (or junior) year, you’ll have the opportunity to work with local teachers inside their classrooms, observing and learning, while you major in another subject. Completion of the program will prepare you for certification to teach in New York and most other states.

teaching english as a foreign language certificate

The Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate is an entry-level credential that is required for many jobs teaching English abroad. The certificate may also strengthen applications to international post-graduate opportunities like the Peace Corps or Fulbright English Teaching Assistant programs. It includes six courses which may be completed any time they are offered during undergraduate or graduate study.

master of arts in teaching 

Building on the Teacher Education Program, HWS graduates can earn a master’s degree in teaching. The year-long program includes a student teaching placement in the fall, graduate seminars and two elective courses in the spring.

master of arts in higher education leadership

Discover the needs of contemporary college students and be ready to create the change needed to support them in this two-year master's program. 


Alum ImpactA World of Experience

emma hardee '21, MAT '22 

Current Position: 
Third-Grade Teacher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elementary School
Current Location:
Seneca Falls, NY   

"The mentorship I was provided with on and off campus allowed me to grow in ways I never knew I could and fulfill my childhood dream of having a classroom and students of my own. I hope to inspire many little humans the way I have been inspired by my mentors."

recent teacher education program graduates

  • Brandi Taylor '19 MAT '21
  • Bailey DiSanto '21 MAT '22-English teacher at Geneva High School 
  • Maria Arias '17-Bilingual (Spanish and English) High School Math teacher at South Hampton High School 
  • Shannon Beatty '16
  • Lucie Mendelson '17-Sixth-grade special education teacher at the Lab School in Washington D.C. 
  • Emily O'Brien '18-Clinical Supervisor at Regis Autism Center 
  • Emily Surprenant '15-English and Reading Teacher at Washington Jesuit Academy
  • Canieshia Phillips '19-Sixth-grade science teacher at Beginning with Children
  • Sarah Linsner '20 MAT '21-Chemistry teacher at Fayetteville-Manlius High School
  • Tzipora Glaser '18-Special education teacher at the Ithaca City School District 
  • Sophie Kaufman '20 MAT '21-First-grade teacher at Trumansburg Central School District 
  • Lyndsey Ackerman '18-Special education teacher at Lake Pointe Elementary School
  • Chatham Anastasi '16-Eighth Grade ELA Teacher, Grade Level Leader, and Teacher Leader at UP Academy Charter School Of Boston
  • Samantha Sasse '16-Primary school teacher at St. Joesph's Primary, Auckland, New Zealand.

Companies That Employ Our graduates

  • Achievement First Brooklyn High School
  • AmeriCorps
  • Beginning with Children, Brooklyn NY
  • Bernice A. Ray School
  • Bishop Kearney High School
  • Bowen Elementary School
  • Bright Kids Network
  • Canandaigua City School District 
  • Cayuga Heights Elementary School
  • Center for Land-Based Learning
  • Clarence Central School District
  • Classical Charter Schools
  • Daniel Hand High School
  • Dexter Southfield Street
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
  • Dundee City School District 
  • Emerson College
  • Expert Institute
  • Frank M. Sokolowski School
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program Scholarship
  • Geneseo Elementary School
  • Geneva City School District 
  • Gillen Brewer School
  • Glove Cities Veterinary Hospital
  • Grace Church School
  • Hope Academy
  • Institute for Child Development
  • International Baccalaureate Charter School
  • Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program
  • KinderCare Education 
  • Lake Pointe Elementary School
  • Lee Montessori Public Charter School
  • Marblehead Public Schools
  • Marcus Whitman School District 
  • Midlakes Education Center
  • Neighborhood Charter School
  • New Haven Public Schools
  • New York City Department of Education
  • North Syracuse Central School District
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone 
  • Seneca Falls Central School District
  • Southampton High School
  • Teach for America
  • The Meadowbrook School
  • Trumansburg Central School District
  • Wappingers Central School District
  • Wellesley Public Schools
  • Westtown School
  • Williams School

universities where our graduates are studying 

  • American University 
  • Atlantic Veterinary College 
  • Boston College 
  • Columbia University School of Social Work 
  • Emerson College 
  • Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Loyola University in Maryland 
  • Thomas Jefferson University 
  • Teachers College - Columbia University 
  • University of Maryland College Park