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Master's Degree Program

Teaching and Teacher Leadership

A groundbreaking approach to teacher education — for novice teachers developing their skills and experienced teachers building their leadership.

The Teaching and Teacher Leadership (TTL) Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education will prepare you with the skills, knowledge, support, and professional network you need to design and lead transformative learning experiences, advance equity and social justice, and generate the best outcomes for students in U.S. schools. 

The program’s innovative approach is intentionally designed to serve both novice teachers who are seeking licensure and experienced teachers who are advancing their leadership in their classrooms, schools, and districts. Additionally, HGSE offers significant fellowship support to qualified TTL candidates to help reduce the burden of loan debt for teachers. 

Whether you are starting your career as a teacher or taking the next steps to advance it, the TTL Program will anchor you in a community of practice and allow you to build the core competencies you need — with the latest and best knowledge about how teachers grow, learn, and thrive in their work. You’ll learn alongside inspiring Harvard faculty and school-based mentors, working in meaningful networks, and you’ll be equipped to pursue a wide range of career goals in one of today’s most essential and impactful professions: teaching.

Applicants to the TTL Program will choose between two strands:
  1. The Teaching Licensure strand enables both novice and early-career teachers to pursue Massachusetts initial licensure in secondary education, which is transferrable to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., through a residency or an internship fieldwork model.
  2. The Teacher Leadership strand will enable experienced teachers to focus on instructional leadership, coaching, and/or teacher development. Ideal candidates will come with the intention to work in U.S. schools.

The intentional mixture of experience levels and diverse backgrounds is one of the signature strengths of the program.

“At the heart of TTL is helping teachers reach all students. Whether you are preparing for the classroom yourself or are 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

After completing the Teaching and Teacher Leadership Program, you will be able 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.
  • Solve problems through planful cycles that include gathering information, interpreting data, making diagnoses, and testing solutions.

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) — How People Learn, Leading Change, Evidence, and Equity and Opportunity — in which students gain core skills central to the profession of education.
    • You will commence your Foundations studies 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. 
    • Your Equity and Opportunity Foundations experience culminates in an elected course, 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), where both teacher leaders and teacher licensure candidates will together learn to analyze instruction and think about how to improve it.
  • Required courses (4+ credits), which are specialized for each strand:
    • Teacher licensure candidates participate in a Summer Experience (4 credits), held on site in Cambridge in July, that allows them to begin to hone their teaching practice. The summer experience is followed by year-long teaching methods and field experience coursework.
    • Teacher leaders enroll in a year-long methods seminar (4 credits), to develop the mindsets and skills for leading change in classrooms and schools.
  • Field experiences, where students in the Teacher Licensure strand will work directly in Boston-area schools, and teacher leaders will have the option to enroll in elective fieldwork by shadowing coaches and other educators engaged in making change.
  • Elective coursework, individuals in the Teacher Leadership strand can take elective coursework based on interests, which includes the opportunity to specialize in an HGSE Concentration.

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

Teaching Licensure Strand

Students who want to earn certification to teach at the middle school and high school levels in U.S. schools should select the Teaching Licensure strand. Specifically, TTL provides coursework and fieldwork that lead to licensure 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. In the Teaching Licensure strand, you will apply to either:

  • The residency model – our innovative classroom immersion model, with significant funding available, in which students assume teaching responsibilities in the September following acceptance to the program. 
  • The internship model – which ramps up teaching responsibility more gradually. 

In both fieldwork models, you will be supported by TTL faculty and school-based mentors — as well as students in the Teacher Leadership strand. Both models require applicants to have an existing familiarity with U.S. schools to be successful. Learn more about the differences between the residency and internship models.

Teacher Leadership Strand

The Teacher Leadership strand is designed for experienced teachers who want to engage other educators in rigorous, equitable, and joyful learning. Teacher leaders do this work with the goal of improving classroom experiences for all students. Successful applicants will demonstrate leadership potential and familiarity with U.S. school settings.

As a teacher leader, you will enroll in courses that will focus on growing your skills as a reflective leader, preparing you to facilitate adult learning, helping you understand how to disrupt inequity, and teaching you how to engage in best practices around coaching, mentoring, and data analysis. You can also take on internships within the TTL Program (e.g., program supervisor, early career coach) or the HGSE community, and at surrounding schools or organizations. Additionally, if you want to further specialize your practice, you will have the opportunity to customize your learning experience to address your areas of interest by pursuing one of HGSE's six Concentrations.

Note: Applicants should expect a focus on leadership within U.S. schools.

Summer Experience

All students in the Teaching Licensure strand will participate in the Summer Experience supporting the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy (CHSA), which takes place in Cambridge in July 2023. 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 Licensure strand will teach students directly as part of 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.

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.

The Teaching and Teacher Leadership Fellowship and other Aid 

HGSE is committed to investing in the future of the teaching profession — and minimizing the student debt that teachers have to carry. We offer a signature fellowship — the Teaching and Teacher Leadership Fellowship — to qualified candidates. This fellowship package covers 80 percent of tuition and provides for a $10,000 living stipend. Preference is given to candidates pursuing the Teaching Licensure Residency. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled as full-time students. 
HGSE offers a range of other financial aid and fellowship 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:

Teaching Licensure Strand:
  • Licensed middle or high school teacher in English, science, math, and history
Teacher Leader Strand: 
  • Curriculum designers 
  • Department heads and grade-level team leaders 
  • District-based instructional leadership team members 
  • Instructional and curriculum leadership team members 
  • 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 are examples of the TTL experience and the impact its community is making on the field:

ICA Winners 2023

HGSE Honors Master's Students with Intellectual Contribution Award

The recognition is given to 10 graduating Ed.M. students (two from each residential Ed.M. program) whose dedication to scholarship enhanced HGSE’s academic community and positively affected fellow students

Alaina Ratanapool

Strong Voices in Teaching

HGSE's new Teaching and Teacher Leadership master's program launches, with immediate classroom impact and stories of hope for the future of education

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: Upcoming Admission Events Application Requirements | Tuition and Financial Aid | Recorded Webinars | Brochure Download | FAQs

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 the TTL Program Staff.