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Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Master's Degree Program

Program: Teaching and Teacher Leadership

The Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) Program seeks to emphasize, analyze, and elevate the critical role that teachers play in the broader education ecosystem. As a student in our TTL Program, you will gain the skills you need to design and lead transformative learning experiences that change lives, advance social justice, and help generate the best outcomes for all students. The TTL Program prepares teachers who are also learners — so you’ll think not only about the learning you’re trying to instill in your students, but the learning that you are doing as well.

This program is intentionally designed for those who are both learning to teach and who are already developing their leadership as teachers. Whether you are an experienced or novice teacher, our groundbreaking approach to teacher education will engage you in a community of practice that enables you to build core competencies, work alongside faculty and school-based mentors in meaningful and lasting networks and pursue a wide range of career goals.

Applicants to the TTL Program will choose between two strands. The Teaching strand enables both novice and early-career teachers to pursue Massachusetts initial licensure in secondary education through a residency or an internship fieldwork model. The Teacher Leadership strand will enable experienced teachers to focus on instructional leadership, coaching, and/or teacher development. Ideal candidates will come ready to work in US schools. The intentional mixture of experience levels and diverse backgrounds is one of the signature strengths of the program. 

After completing the Teaching and Teacher Leadership Program, you will have a deeper understanding of the following competencies that explore how to:

  • Leverage your knowledge and skills to lead others in joyful, equitable, rigorous, and transformative learning.
  • Analyze instruction for the purpose of improving it.
  • Foster productive inquiry and discussion.
  • Identify, understand, and counteract systemic inequities within educational institutions.
  • Problem-solve through planful cycles that include gathering information, interpreting data, making diagnoses, and testing solutions.

“At the heart of TTL is helping teachers reach all students. Whether you are preparing for the classroom yourself or an experienced teacher preparing to improve teaching and learning on a wider scale, our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and skills to lead others in learning.” 

Heather Hill, Faculty Co-Chair

Curriculum Information

The TTL Program is designed to help you gain the knowledge and practice the skills essential to leading others in learning — and will create pathways to success that will allow you to thrive as an expert practitioner and mentor in your community. A minimum of 42 credits are required to graduate with an Ed.M. degree from HGSE. 

The main elements of the 2022–23 academic year curriculum are:

  • The HGSE Foundations courses (14 credits) are How People Learn, Leading Change, Evidence, and Equity and Opportunity, in which students gain core skills central to the profession of education.
    • This program commences with How People Learn, an immersive online course that runs June–July and requires a time commitment of 10-15 hours per week.
    • You will continue Foundations with Leading Change, Evidence, and Equity and Opportunity on campus in August. 
    • The final component of Foundations is an Equity and Opportunity elective, which will take place during terms when electives are available. 

A minimum of 12-credits specific to TTL, including the following:  

  • The TTL Program Core Experience (4 credits), a yearlong course in which teachers and teacher-leaders collaborate to improve practice. Students must enroll in their first fall semester.
  • Required coursework (8 credits), particularly for those who are in the Teaching licensure strand.
  • Field experiences that provide both teachers-in-training and teacher-leaders with opportunities to practice the skills needed to advance into new or expanded roles.
  • Elective coursework, which includes the opportunity for those not earning licensure to specialize in an HGSE Concentration

Explore our course catalog.
Note, all information and courses are subject to change.

Summer Experience

All TTL students will participate in the Summer Experience supporting the Cambridge Harvard Summer Academy (CHSA), taking place in Cambridge, MA in July. Through your work at CHSA, you will help middle and high school students in the Cambridge Public Schools with credit recovery, academic enrichment, and preparation for high school. Students in the Teaching strand will teach students directly as part of the teaching team, while students in the Teaching Leadership strand will provide instructional support and coaching to the teaching team. This is an opportunity for you to immediately immerse yourself in a school environment and practice the skills necessary to advance your career.

Licensure Information

Students who elect the Teaching strand will work toward earning teaching licensure and will select one of two fieldwork models. You can choose to apply either to a residency model, where students assume teaching responsibilities near the start of the program, or to an internship model, which ramps up teaching responsibility more gradually. In both fieldwork models, licensure candidates will be supported by TTL faculty and school-based mentors.   

Both of the TTL licensure models enable novice teachers to complete the courses and field experiences needed to teach at the middle school and high school levels. Specifically, you will be eligible to teach in grades 5–8 in English, general science, history, and mathematics, as well as grades 8–12 in biology, chemistry, English, history, mathematics, and physics.

Advancing Research on Effective Teacher Preparation 

As a student in the TTL Program, you will have the opportunity to contribute to HGSE’s research on what makes effective teacher preparation. This research seeks to build an evidence base that contributes to the field’s understanding of effective approaches to teacher training, including how to support high-quality instruction, successful models of coaching and mentorship, and effective approaches to addressing the range of challenges facing our students. 

TTL students will be able to participate in research studies for course credit, and some will also serve as research assistants, gaining knowledge of what works, as well as a doctoral-type experience at a major research university.  

TTL Fellowships

HGSE is committed both to investing in the future of the teaching profession and minimizing the student debt that teachers have to carry. HGSE offers a range of financial aid, fellowship, and grant opportunities to provide greater access and affordability to our students. 

Program Faculty

Students will work closely with faculty associated with their area of study, but students can also work with and take courses with faculty throughout HGSE and Harvard. The faculty co-chairs for TTL are Heather Hill and Victor PereiraView our faculty directory for a full list of HGSE faculty.

Career Pathways

The TTL Program prepares you for a variety of career pathways, including: 

  • Curriculum designers 
  • Department heads and grade level team leaders 
  • District-based instructional leadership team members 
  • Instructional and curriculum leadership team members 
  • Licensed middle or high school teacher 
  • Professional developers and content specialists 
  • School improvement facilitators 
  • School-based instructional coaches and mentor teachers 


Our TTL Program enables you to fully examine your growth as a professional — and explore the many ways you can generate better outcomes for your students. From developing a deeper understanding of teaching principles and practices to honing your experience and embracing innovation in a variety of learning environments, our graduates go on to make a profound difference in the lives of their students. Here, you'll meet several HGSE alumni whose careers center around teaching and learning leadership:

Alice Wang

Centering Learning: Alice Wang, TEP'22

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Teacher Education reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

Melanie Shea

On the Child's Side: Melanie Shea, TEP'20

The Intellectual Contribution Award recipient for Teacher Education reflects on her time at HGSE and looks toward the future.

Cohort and Community

The TTL Program prioritizes the development of ongoing teacher communities that provide continued support, learning, and collaboration. Our cohort-based approach is designed to encourage and allow aspiring teachers and leaders to build relationships with one another, as well as with instructors and mentors — ultimately building a strong, dynamic network. 

As a TTL student, you will build a community around a shared commitment to teaching and teacher development. You will learn from and with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, levels of expertise, and instructional settings. To further connections with the field, you are invited to attend “meet the researcher” chats, engage in learning through affinity groups, and interact with teaching-focused colleagues across the larger university, by taking courses and participating in activities both at HGSE and at other Harvard schools. 

Tell us about yourself so that we can tailor our communication to best fit your interests and provide you with relevant information about our programs, events, and other opportunities to connect with us.

Admissions Information

Learn more about our admissions application requirements and instructionstuition and financial aidrecorded webinarsdownload a brochure, and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Connect with Admissions

If you have additional admissions-related questions, please contact Samantha Pulley.

Additional TTL Resources

Connect with Program Staff

If you have remaining program-specific questions, please contact TTL Assistant Director Andrena Mason.