Early Childhood Education

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

Educate young children during their pivotal developmental years

This dual-certification master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification in both general and special education at the early childhood level (birth-grade 2). Field experiences, student teaching, and coursework linking pedagogical theory and practice will prepare you to work with families, other professionals, and community organizations to teach young children in general, inclusive, and special education settings. 

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

What you'll learn
  • Core content and pedagogical skills essential to educating young children
  • Skills for providing children with rich, child-centered educational and community environments
  • Approaches to adapting curricula, assessments, and learning environments for students with diverse needs and abilities
  • Strategies for supporting learning at all stages of development 
  • Techniques for collaborating with families and other professionals
  • Knowledge and skills to advocate for children with disabilities

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

How you'll learn

Hands-On Student Teaching
Our program is committed to delivering quality care and education for all children through the development of strong relationships with young children, families, and their communities. As a student in this graduate program, you'll have the opportunity to participate in field experiences and student teaching in early childhood general and special education settings, such as preschools, Head Start centers, and elementary schools. You'll develop expertise in human development and disability, learn to create and adapt environments that help all children reach their maximum potential, and gain a deep understanding of how children grow intellectually, physically, and socially/emotionally.  

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 is tied to either fieldwork or student teaching, generating rich and authentic reflections upon theory and practice. 

Prepare for a career as a
  • Lead or team teacher in public or private childcare centers, preschools, early childhood centers, and elementary schools
  • Curriculum specialist, staff developer, or program director in early childhood education and special education programs
If you have any questions about prerequisites and requirements, please email teachlearn.gradadvise@nyu.edu
For more information about this MA program, please contact

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