Early Childhood Education: Special Education MA Dual Extension

M.A. in Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood Special Education with Dual Initial Certification + Bilingual Extension

The Master of Arts programs in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education: Special Education will not be accepting applications for the 2022 cycle. Over the course of the next year, we will be making several exciting changes to our curriculum. The next available terms of entry will be in 2023. Please check back for more information.

In the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education M.A. Program (leading to dual initial certification) combined with a bilingual extension at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early education professionals who are committed to the well-being of young multilingual children with and without disabilities, their families and communities. Graduates are knowledgeable about bilingual education, and bilingual special education, and bilingual early intervention (Birth-Grade 2).

This degree program focuses on urban settings and centers issues pertaining to multilingualism and multiculturalism in curriculum, teaching, and learning, espousing critical social justice and inclusive perspectives. Our students (who must be bilingual and biliterate in Chinese, French, Korean, or Spanish to be admitted) are prepared to engage in the real world issues pertaining to the education of young multilingual learners with and without identified disabilities. Our degree programs focus on urban settings and center issues pertaining to curriculum, social justice, teaching, and learning across languages and abilities, skillfully addressing important issues pertaining to inclusive education via pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.

Through a curriculum that integrates early childhood education, special education, and bilingual education content, the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs at TC prepare initial certification students to become outstanding early childhood teachers, early interventionists, early childhood special education professionals, decision makers, and leaders in multilingual settings. Honoring the contextualized and situated nature of teaching and learning, the M.A. program emphasizes collaboration with families and other professionals and considers policies affecting young multilingual children with and without identified disabilities and their families.

Prioritizing theory in practice, students in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education programs (dual certification + bilingual extension) at TC participate in several field experiences, which serve as the foundation from which to theorize about child development, learning, and inclusive curriculum across settings. 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

A graduate student has an animated conversation with his peers at TC.

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 48
  • Entry Terms: Summer/Fall


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  • NY State Initial: Birth-2
  • NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities Birth-2
  • Bilingual Extension

Application Deadlines

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

* Program is no longer accepting applications.

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

Requirements from the TC Catalog

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Course requirements for M.A. students seeking initial dual certification as both early childhood teachers and teachers of students with disabilities in early childhood (birth–Grade 2):

Core Courses

  • C&T 4080               Risk and resilience in early development: Birth-8 years (3)
  • C&T 4112               Integrated curriculum in early childhood (6)
  • C&T 4302               Supervised practicum in the assessment of young children with exceptionalities (3)             
  • C&T 4708               Student teaching- infancy and early childhood (two terms) (6)
  • C&T 5308               Advanced practicum-infancy and early child-hood (3)
  • 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            Development of mathematical thinking (3) OR
  • MTSM 4057            Teaching & learning math in early childhood

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) 
  • C&T 4114               Multicultural approaches to teaching young children (3)
  • Out of Dept.           Special education elective (2)
  • Out of Dept.           General 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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