Early Childhood Education MA Initial Extension

M.A. in Early Childhood Education with Initial Certification and Bilingual Extension

The Master of Arts programs in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education: Special Education will not be accepting applications for 2021. Over the course of the next year, we will be making several exciting changes to our curriculum. Please check back in Fall 2021 for more information.

In the Early Childhood Education with Initial Certification and Bilingual Extension M.A. Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early education professionals who are committed to the well-being of young multilingual children, families and communities, and who are knowledgeable about bilingual education (Birth-Grade 2). This degree program focuses on urban settings and centers issues pertaining to multilingualism and multiculturalism in curriculum, teaching, and learning, espousing a critical social justice perspective. Our students (who must be bilingual and biliterate in Chinese, French, Korean, or Spanish in order to be admitted to the program) are prepared to engage in the real world issues pertaining to the education of young multilingual learners via pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.

Through a curriculum that integrates early childhood education and bilingual education content, we aim to enable our initial certification students to become outstanding bilingual early childhood teachers and leaders in the education of young multilingual learners. Honoring the importance of understanding children’s development and learning in light of their cultural practices and multilingual repertoires, our Master of Arts program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals, and considers how policies have historically and continue to contemporarily affect families’ access to social services.

Our students participate in several field experiences in bilingual and multilingual early education settings, which serve as the foundation from which theories about language development, learning, and curriculum come to life. By bringing together coursework and fieldwork, graduates are well-prepared to begin and continue to develop their professional identity and practice in research-informed ways.

Early Childhood Programs Handbook

Two students chat inside a faculty member's office at Teachers College

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 40
  • Entry Terms: Summer/Fall


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  • NY State Initial: Birth-2
  • Bilingual Extension

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): January 15
  • Summer/Fall (Final): April 15

* Program is not currently accepting applications. The next available application term will be Summer 2022.

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • GRE General Test
  • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation, two (2) of which must be academic

Requirements from the TC Catalog

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Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial certification as teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–8 years):

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood (6)
  • C&T 4302               Supervised practicum in the educational assessment of young children with exceptionalities (3)             
  • C&T 4708               Student teaching- infancy and early childhood (two terms) (6)
  • C&T 5118               Infant and toddler development and practice (3)

Methods Courses

  • A&HM 4022           The artistic lives of young children (2)
  • C&T 4131               Language and literacy in the early childhood curriculum (3)
  • C&T 4132               Learning and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom (3)
  • HBSS 4116             Health education for teachers (1)
  • HUDK 4027            How children learn math (3) OR
  • MTSM 4057            Teaching & learning math in early childhood (3)

Foundation Courses

  • C&T 4001      Differentiating instruction in inclusive classrooms (2)
  • C&T 4615      Young children, families and social policy (3)  OR
  • C&T 4083      Working with families of young children with disabilities (or equivalent) (3);
  • Out of Dept.  Special education elective (2)

Culminating Project:

Students complete an integrative portfolio over the course of the program reflecting their growth as an early childhood teacher.

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has teacher certification requirements that are needed for program completion and graduation which are listed in the Office of Teacher Education section of the catalog.

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