Early Childhood Education

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

Help children reach their full academic potential

This dual-certification bachelor of science program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education (birth-grade 2). You'll master core subjects in mathematics, social studies, science, and language arts, with a focus on how children learn at different developmental stages, and have the opportunity to teach children with varying capacities and needs. Graduates will be prepared to teach in general education, or inclusive or self-contained special education settings, as well as early intervention, home-based, day care, and other infant/toddler programs.

A dual-certification BS in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education (grades 1-6) is also available. 

What you'll learn
  • A firm knowledge of human development and variability in development
  • How to develop learning environments to meet the diverse needs of students
  • Skills to provide young learners with rich, child-centered educational environments

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

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 mastery of the core content areas of the elementary curriculum (mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts). Through fieldwork, you will learn to create and adapt 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, literature, science, mathematics, and other offerings in NYU's College of Arts and Sciences. Through NYU Steinhardt, you will take courses 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.

Senior Honors
Qualified seniors who wish to pursue guided research in an area of educational inquiry may participate in a special year-long seminar called Honors Research in Teaching and Learning. Working with the faculty instructor, you'll be guided through the process of selecting a topic of inquiry, developing research questions, choosing and implementing appropriate methodologies, building outlines, developing bibliographies, writing literature reviews, and preparing drafts. During the second semester, you will work independently on a project under the direction of your own faculty supervisor and meet periodically with their seminar classmates to share research and findings.

Field Experiences
Throughout your freshman and sophomore years, you will be involved in a variety of educational and community-based settings, in both general education and special education, designed to help you understand children and their diverse learning experiences. In your junior year, you will have a placement with infants and toddlers, and then experiences with preschool- and kindergarten-age children and children in grades 1 and 2. Two of these placements will be in settings serving children with disabilities. In your final semester, you will be able to return to the age range and setting of your choice. 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 education, inclusive education, and segregrated special education settings
  • Elementary school supervisor, counselor, librarian, or administrator
  • Curriculum specialist or staff developer in early childhood education programs
  • Resource room, itinerant, assistant, or consulting teacher
  • Inclusion coordinator
  • Social service agency caseworker
  • After-school 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 teachlearn.advise@nyu.edu
Program Leader

Erin O'Connor
Program Director, Early Childhood Education
East Building, 239 Greene Street
New York, NY 10003

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