Early Childhood Education MA Initial

M.A. in Early Childhood Education with Initial Certification

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 M.A. Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early education professionals who are committed to the well-being of young children and knowledgeable about Birth-Grade 2 education. Our degree programs focus on urban settings and center issues pertaining to curriculum, teaching, and learning from a critical social justice perspective. Our students are prepared to engage in the real world, learning how to skillfully address critical issues in early education through pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.

Through a curriculum that integrates early childhood education, early childhood special education, and bilingual education content, the Early Childhood Education program at TC prepares initial certification students to become outstanding early childhood teachers, decision makers, and leaders. Honoring the contextualized and situated nature of teaching and learning, the Master of Arts program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals and considers how policies affect young children and their families.

Prioritizing theory in practice, students in the Early Childhood Education program at TC participate in several field experiences (student teaching, practicum), which serve as the foundation from which to theorize about development, learning, and curriculum. 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


View Public Disclosure Notification

  • NY State Initial: Birth-2

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 2023.

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 early childhood teachers (birth–8 years): 

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood education (6)
  • 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 4114              Multicultural approaches to teaching young children (3)
  • C&T 4615              Young Children, Families and Social Policy (3) OR
  • C&T 4083              Working with families of young children with Disabilities (3)
  • Out of Dept.          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 section of the catalog.

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