Early Childhood Education: Special Education MA Dual


The Masters of Arts Programs in Early Childhood Education will be accepting applications for Fall 2023! We are excited to welcome a new cohort to our newly revised program.

The Masters of Arts Program in Early Childhood Education will be accepting applications for Fall 2023! We are excited to welcome a new cohort to our newly revised program.

In the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education/Teaching Students with Disabilities (Dual Certification) programs at Teachers College, Columbia University, we prepare early education professionals who are committed to the well-being of young children with and without disability labels and who are knowledgeable about Birth-Grade 2 education, special education, and early intervention. Our degree programs focus on urban settings and center issues pertaining to curriculum, social justice, teaching, and learning across abilities. Our students are prepared to engage in the real world, skillfully addressing important issues pertaining to inclusive education via pedagogical, political, psychological, and sociological perspectives.

Our program offers both a full-time and part-time option. However, please note (in accordance with NYS guidelines), all students will be required to engage in one semester of full-time student teaching. Designed as a cohort model, anticipated duration for full-time students range from 1 ½ years (3 semesters + 2 summers) or 2 years (without summers). 

Prioritizing theory in practice, our program at TC requires that students in the Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education/Teaching Students with Disabilities- Dual Certification programs at TC participate in several field experiences (student teaching, practicum), which serve as the foundation from which to theorize about child development, learning, and inclusive 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. Many of our graduates have gone on to become early childhood practitioners, administrators, community organizers, school founders/leaders, authors, researchers, and professors.  

Early Childhood Programs Handbook

A student is engaged in conversation with one her peers at a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Master of Arts

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


View Public Disclosure Notification

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

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

View Full Catalog Listing

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.

Back to skip to quick links