Special Education

MA in Childhood Special Education, Grades 1-6, Professional Certification

Expand your teaching skills to meet the diverse needs of students

Examine critical education issues and acquire the skills to work with students with or without disabilities. In this master of arts program, you'll build on your pedagogical training to become an effective teacher for children in special education settings. Graduates are eligible for New York State professional teaching certification in special education at the childhood level, or grades 1-6. This program is open to participants who have a bachelor's degree and who hold certification or are eligible for certification in childhood education.

A dual-certification MA program in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education leading to initial teaching certification is 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 
  • 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

Student Teaching Experience
Successful completion of the program includes one semester of classroom observation and two semesters of student teaching in special education settings. Through student teaching, you will be encouraged 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. 

Culminating Seminar in Childhood Special Education
The Integrated Seminar in Childhood Special Education links theory and practice. In this collaborative seminar, you will have the opportunity to share, analyze, and extend your professional experiences, including your collaborations with other professionals and parents.

Practical Teaching Strategies
Courses that offer theories and teaching strategies include Foundations of Curriculum for Diverse Learners, Strategies for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities, and Individuals with Disabilities in Schools and Communities.

Prepare for a career as a
  • Teacher in general, inclusive, and special education settings 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 administrator or developer in specialized education services
If you have any questions about prerequisites and requirements, please email teachlearn.gradadvise@nyu.edu
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