Early Childhood Education: Special Education MA Dual Extension

M.A. in Early Childhood Education & Early Childhood/Teaching Students with Disabilities: Dual Certification + Bilingual Extension

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.

Teachers College Building
A graduate student smiles while she makes a point in a discussion with her peers at TC.

Admissions Information

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

Master of Arts

  • Points/Credits: 45
  • Entry Terms: Summer, Fall


View Public Disclosure Notification

  • NY State Initial: Birth-2
  • NY State Initial: Students with Disabilities 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.

View Full Catalog Listing

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


C&T 4302    Supervised practicum in the educational assessment of young children with disabilities (3)

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&HB 4021      Foundations of Bilingual/Bicultural Education (3)

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

Out of Department Elective (6)

Elective (3)

Elective in special education  (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.

Back to skip to quick links