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 understanding children’s development and learning, and supporting them in their education from birth through elementary school. An emphasis is placed on preparing graduates to conduct rigorous research studies in child development and 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.


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.   

Applications to the PhD in Teaching and Learning with a focus on Early Childhood and Childhood Education will also be considered for NYU’s Institute of Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training (IES-PIRT) program if the applicants have relevant qualifications, and express interests that align with IES-PIRT’s central themes. A separate application is not necessary. See for more information.