Department of Teaching and Learning

Childhood Education

PhD in Teaching and Learning with a Focus on Early Childhood and Childhood Education

NYU Steinhardt's Department of Teaching and Learning welcomes applications from individuals seeking a rigorous doctoral program in Teaching and Learning with a focus on Early Childhood and Childhood Education. The program prepares researchers and educators dedicated to improving children's access to equitable opportunities for learning from birth through elementary school.

The doctoral program, which leads to a PhD, requires a minimum of 60 points beyond the master’s degree. The program is designed for people seeking leadership roles such as serving on a college or university faculty, as an educational researcher, or as a curriculum specialist. Extensive individual mentoring is available by our skilled faculty representing many dimensions of early childhood and childhood education.

Learn more about doctoral programs in the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Points are distributed among courses in the foundations, cognate areas, research, specialization, and dissertation research and preparation. The program is flexible and highly individualized, providing specialties in such related areas as teacher education, curriculum development, child development, innovations in schooling, and specific content areas such as literacy, numeracy, and social studies. Extensive faculty mentoring is a distinctive feature of the doctoral program.

A World-Class Facility for Research

NYU Steinhardt offers a world-class facility for conducting educational research. Factors that distinguish its doctoral programs are:

Faculty Research Interests

Faculty interests and research center on the following key themes in teaching and learning for children from birth through the primary grades:

Faculty participate in grants and studies that provide students with opportunities to establish their own research agenda.

Degree Requirements

All doctoral students must complete both Steinhardt-wide and area specific requirements for a total of 60 points prior to the dissertation.

Steinhardt-wide requirements are as follows:

Early Childhood and Childhood Education specific requirements are as follows:


Each doctoral student is assigned a faculty advisor in the doctoral student's chosen area of specialization. This advisor serves as an interim academic advisor until the doctoral student selects a doctoral dissertation advisor.

Learn more about doctoral advising at the Office of Graduate Studies.


All prospective students must meet or provide the following criteria for consideration of admission: