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Master of Arts
Early Childhood Special Education
Birth–Grade 2, Professional Certification

Application Extended: Still Accepting Applications

Build on your existing pedagogical knowledge and prepare to teach young children in special education settings. Ideal if you have a bachelor's degree and hold certification or are eligible for certification in early childhood education or early childhood special education, the program leads to eligibility for New York State certification in early childhood special education, birth–grade 2.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

Master of Arts in Special Education: Early Childhood

Licensure or Certification
Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

Your course work will expand your pedagogical training and help you develop strategies for teaching young children with diverse of needs and abilities, working collaboratively with families, other professionals, and community organizations. Throughout the program, you’ll learn:

  • Core content and pedagogical knowledge essential to educating young children
  • Skills for providing children with rich, child-centered educational environments
  • Approaches for adapting curricula, assessments, and learning environments to meet children's diverse needs and abilities
  • How children grow and develop, why play is the basis of learning in all spheres of development and relationships with peers, and why adults are key to children’s learning
  • Strategies for supporting learning at all stages

Immersion in Early Childhood and Special Education Settings 

You’ll undertake extensive study of how children develop in multiple contexts. You will participate in student teaching in a variety of early childhood general and special education settings, from preschools to early childhood centers and Head Start programs.

Develop as a Reflective Practitioner

As a prospective teacher, you’ll be immersed in thoughtful discussions and interactions around critical educational issues, especially issues of developmental, linguistic, cultural, and racial diversity and educational equity. Each course in the program of study is tied to either fieldwork or student teaching, generating rich and authentic reflections upon theory and practice.

Upon graduation, you are eligible for New York State certification in early childhood special education, birth–grade 2, and prepared for careers including: 

  • Lead or team teacher in public or private childcare centers, preschools, early childhood centers, and elementary schools
  • Preschool or elementary school supervisor, counselor, psychologist, or administrator
  • Curriculum specialist, staff developer, or program director in early childhood special education programs

Learn more about teacher certification and our degree's accreditation.


If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact program directors Katie Newhouse at for Special Education and Erin O'Connor at for Early Childhood Education.

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