Early Childhood Education MA Initial Extension

M.A. in Early Childhood Education: Initial Certification + Bilingual Extension

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.

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Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 39
  • Entry Terms: Summer, Fall


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  • NY State Initial: Birth-2
  • Bilingual Extension

Application Deadlines

Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
SummerJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024May 1, 2024
FallJanuary 15, 2024April 1, 2024May 1, 2024

Program has reached enrollment capacity and is no longer accepting applications for the following 2024 term(s): Fall, Summer.

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

 Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
 Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
 Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
 $75 Application Fee
 Two (2) Letters of Recommendation
 Preference that one (1) letter of recommendation be academic

Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

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Course requirements for M.A. degree students seeking initial teacher certification as early childhood teachers (birth–Grade 2)with bilingual extension


C&T 4308      Introduction to diverse early childhood classrooms (3)

C&T 4708      Student teaching in early childhood setting (4)

C&T 5118      Infant and toddler development and practice (3)

Foundations and Methods Courses

C&T 4003      Differentiation and inclusion in early childhood classrooms (3)

C&T 4080      Child development and intersectional identities (3)

C&T 4083       Home/school/community partnerships (3)

C&T 4112       Integrated curriculum in early childhood education: curricular inquiry and design (3)

C&T 4114     Integrated curriculum in early childhood education: diversity, equity, and technologies (3)

C&T 4131        Play, language, and early childhood curriculum (3)

C&T 4132     Language and teaching in the primary reading/writing classroom (3)  or selected alternative

A&HM 4022 The artistic Lives of young children (2) or selected alternative

A&HB 4021      Foundations of bilingual/bicultural education (3) 

Out of Department  Elective (3)    

Culminating Project:

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

New York State Education Department (NYSED) mandates 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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