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.

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.

Learn more about doctoral programs in Teaching and Learning, including themes of studydegree requirements, and doctoral seminars.

A World-Class Facility for Research

NYU Steinhardt offers a world-class facility for conducting educational research. Factors that distinguish our 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 adviser in the doctoral student's chosen area of specialization. This adviser serves as an interim academic adviser until the doctoral student selects a doctoral dissertation adviser. Learn more about doctoral advising at Steinhardt. 

How to Apply

See application requirements and deadlines for the PhD program in Teaching and Learning. Please indicate your specific interest in Early Childhood and Childhood Education on your application. 

See the Graduate Admissions Application Guide for instructions on how to apply online. 

Fellowships, research assistant work, and other forms of funding are available. Please see Financial Aid.   

All prospective students must meet or provide the following criteria for consideration of admission to this PhD program: