Department of Teaching and Learning

Special Education

Master's Degrees in Special Education

Degree options for those who already hold or are eligible for teaching certification:

MA in Childhood Special Education, Grades 1-6, Professional Certification

This 30-credit master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State professional teaching certification for special education at the childhood level, grades 1-6. Learn more about this degree.

MA in Early Childhood Special Education, Birth-Grade 2, Professional Certification

This 30-credit master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State professional teaching certification in both early childhood special education, birth-grade 2. Learn more about this degree.

Degree options for prospective teachers:

MA in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education, Grades 1-6, Initial Certification

This dual-certification master of arts program consists of 46 credits and leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education for grades 1-6. Learn more about this degree.

MA in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, Birth-Grade 2, Initial Certification

This dual-certification master of arts program consists of 47 credits and leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education for birth-grade 2. Learn more about this degree

MA in Teaching English and Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12, Initial Certification

This dual-certification master of arts program prepares you to teach English and Special Education for grades 7-12. Learn more about this degree

MA in Teaching Social Studies and Teaching Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12, Initial Certification

Through this dual-certification program, you'll be qualified to teach both social studies and special education. Learn more about this degree

About our MA programs

Our programs of study integrate theory and practice, allowing you to reflect, question, and refine your knowledge and skills. Observation and fieldwork, plus student teaching placements, enable you to practice applying your skills with children representing the full range of abilities and disabilities, in a range of settings, and within the full age range of the teaching certificate.

Classroom, home, and community interventions are designed to meet the characteristics, needs, and visions for a valued future of each child, not limited by traditional categories of disability. Respecting the critical role that families play in the lives of children, and the multidimensional nature of providing quality services for complex students, our graduates are prepared to work collaboratively with families, other professionals, and the community organizations that represent the wide cultural variations characteristic of urban settings.

Our students vary widely in age and background. Some were education majors, but many were liberal arts, business, or fine arts majors as undergraduates. Some are making a career change. The diversity of our student population contributes to the richness of our programs. Consequently, program requirements and curriculum offerings are designed to be responsive to the diverse backgrounds of our participants. Although our graduate students have the option of beginning the program part-time, they must be available during the school day throughout the program to participate in observations and fieldwork. Once you begin student teaching, full-time commitment is required.

Financial aid opportunities

The Special Education program is a participant in the New York City Board of Education incentive program, which provides tuition scholarships to candidates who are fluent in Spanish, Chinese, or French-Creole and who are interested in pursuing teaching careers in bilingual special education. In addition, the program frequently secures federal tuition grants earmarked for particular specializations within the program. Funds for all special grant programs are contingent on annual funding from the granting agencies. See more information on financial aid at NYU Steinhardt.

Career opportunities

Graduates work in public and private schools, hospital and community learning units, hospital day-treatment programs, group homes, and agencies such as United Cerebral Palsy, Association for the Help of Retarded Citizens, and the Young Adult Institute. Our alumni have opened their own schools or established private practices providing academic and behavioral support to students with disabilities.