Childhood Education

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

Learn to effectively teach children at all ability levels

This dual-certification master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education for grades 1-6. Field experiences, student teaching, and coursework that links pedagogical theory and practice will prepare you to work collaboratively with families, education professionals, and community organizations to deliver a quality education to children in both general and special education settings.

This program is open to participants who hold a bachelor's degree but are not yet certified to teach. An MA leading to initial certification in Childhood Education and an MA leading to professional certification in Childhood Special Education are also available. 

What you'll learn
  • Strategies to adapt curricula, learning environments, and assessments to address the different intellectual, emotional, and behavioral needs of students
  • Solid foundation in pedagogy and core liberal arts subjects such as mathematics, English/language arts, and social studies
  • Approaches for working with children with emotional/behavioral disabilities, including educating children with severe/multiple disabilities

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

How you'll learn

Practical Teaching Strategies
As part of your program of study, you'll take courses that link the theory and practice of childhood education and childhood special education, including Language and Literacy in the Early Years, Education of Children with Special Needs in Childhood Settings, and Foundations of Curriculum for Diverse Learners.

Student Teaching Experience
You will complete one semester of classroom observation and two semesters of student teaching, one in childhood general education and one in childhood special education. Through student teaching experiences, you will be able to reflect on, question, and refine your knowledge and skills as you work with children at different age levels and with diverse needs and abilities. 

Special Education That Is Compassionate and Inclusive
Our graduates understand that special education is neither a place nor a group of students. Rather, special education refers to specialized services, environment modifications, differentiated instruction, adapted curricula, or other supports provided to students with disabilities. We encourage NYU students to view all children and their families as individuals with varying degrees of skills, and untapped potential for quality lives in schools, work, recreation, and in their communities. 

Study Abroad
As a student in our graduate program, you'll have several unique opportunities to study teaching and learning abroad:

Prepare for a career as a
  • Teacher in general, inclusive, and special education classrooms in public and private elementary schools
  • Special education teacher in hospitals, day-treatment centers and other clinical settings, and in group homes and agencies such as the Young Adult Institute
  • Charter school developer or administrator for specialized education programs 
If you have any questions about prerequisites and requirements, please email
For more information about this master's program, please contact

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