Childhood Education

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

Make education accessible for all learners

This dual-certification bachelor of science program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education for Grades 1-6. You'll gain hands-on experience by student teaching in New York City schools, collaborating with families and other education professionals to teach children with varying capacities and needs. Graduates will be prepared for certification as a childhood education teacher as well as a special education teacher, enabling you to teach in general, inclusive, or self-contained education settings. 

A dual-certification BS in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education (Birth-Grade 2) is also available. 

What you'll learn
  • A firm knowledge of how children grow and develop, with an emphasis on variability in development
  • A mastery of core liberal arts subjects, including mathematics, English/language arts, and social studies
  • Skills for creating rich, child-centered instructional environments, and for adapting those environments to meet the diverse needs of students

See the curriculum and requirements for this bachelor's degree. 

How you'll learn

A Focus on How Children Learn and Develop
This is an urban-centered, field-based program designed to give you a thorough command of an integrated curriculum grounded in a deep understanding of how children grow and develop. You will gain mastery of the content areas of the elementary school curriculum, and through practical field experiences and student teaching, learn to create and adapt learning environments that allow all children to reach their maximum potential.  

Strong Emphasis on Liberal Arts
The liberal arts core of this bachelor's program, and the 30-point liberal arts concentration required by New York State for teacher certification, ensure that you will receive the best possible training to be a teacher. For your liberal arts concentration, you can choose from such areas as history, psychology, literacy, science, and many other offerings in NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. Through NYU Steinhardt, you will take course work on human development, educational foundations, and inquiry-based education. 

Study Abroad
As a student in our program, you'll have the unique opportunities to study in London, UK, and Accra, Ghana. We offer the required course Human Development through NYU London and NYU-Accra for teacher-education students. The course includes weekly observations in British or Ghanaian schools and classrooms for first-hand learning in the local context. You'll typically combine this course with three liberal arts electives for an unforgettable semester-long experience. You may also spend a semester abroad at one of NYU's many other study abroad sites.

Field Experiences
Throughout your freshman and sophomore years, you will have opportunities to work in Grades 1–3 and Grades 4–6 settings, in both general education and special education, acquiring valuable teaching experience as you launch your professional career. In your junior year, you will have four student teaching experiences, supervised by a cooperating teacher at your school site and a member of our faculty. These field experiences will be supported by coursework designed to help you understand children and their diverse learning experiences.

Prepare for a career as a
  • Lead or team teacher in general, inclusive, and special education settings
  • Elementary school supervisor, counselor, psychologist, librarian, or administrator
  • Curriculum specialist or staff developer in childhood education and childhood special education programs
  • Resource room teacher, consulting teacher, itinerant teacher, or assistant teacher
  • Social service agency caseworker
  • Curriculum developer
  • Inclusion coordinator
  • Afterschool program director
  • Children's book editor or children's television producer
For more details about the prerequisites and requirements, and for program recruitment events, please email the Undergraduate Advising Team at
Program Leader

Audrey A. Trainor
Associate Professor
Department of Teaching & Learning, Special Education
Room 524 East Building
239 Greene Street
New York, NY 10003