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Early Childhood Special Education

Student with Children at Community Party

Degree: Master of Science in Teaching (MST)
Credits: 45
Career Path: Classroom teacher for birth to grade 2 in General Education and Special Education

Start Semester: Any
Campus: Lincoln Center
Full-time/Part-time: Both

Our program of study explores both theory and practice relevant to contemporary issues (diverse learners, English language learners, behavior management, social-emotional development, technology, inclusive teaching) and changing definitions of both teacher and learner.

Candidates are immersed in a preparatory process that addresses the needs of all learners and considers the changing needs of all teachers.

Candidates develop teaching skills and apply knowledge learned in courses during their field experience in a wide range of age/grade and school settings.

Candidate’s professional development is supported by expert faculty, master teachers and field advisers/mentors in a variety of school settings

Program Prerequisites

Applicants must have prerequisites in 7 areas of study, including English literature, math, foreign language, writing or communications, artistic expression and social sciences.

Admissions Information

Application Deadlines

  • Fall: June 30
  • Spring: November 15
  • Summer (both sessions): April 15

Browse the Admissions section for more about the application and financial aid processes.

Fieldwork Requirements

The practical application of theory, teaching strategies, curriculum construction and behavior management is woven into student teaching throughout our program. Generally, student teaching requires one full academic year, with placements in two different grade levels.

In the fall semester, students complete 3 full days per week, and in the spring semester, 5 full days per week. Students are mentored by a field specialist and placed in our high needs partnership schools in New York City.

Program Curriculum

Browse course schedules and descriptions.

  • Assessment Strategies for Young Children with Disabilities (CTGE5157)
  • Beginning Reading and Writing in Inclusive Classrooms (CTGE5534)
  • Children’s Literature in a multicultural Society (CTGE5245)
  • Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment (CTGE5232)
  • Early Childhood Education Portfolio (CTGE0707)
  • Early Learning Through Play (CTGE5233)
  • Family, Community and All Young Children (CTGE5234)
  • Frameworks for Educating All Young Children (CTGE5230)
  • Historical, Philosophical and Multicultural Foundations of American Education (UEGE5102)
  • Observing and Documenting Children’s Learning: Reflective and Effective Early Childhood Practices (CTGE5850)
  • Perspectives and Issues in Early Childhood Special Education (CTGE5411)
  • Planning Instruction for Young Children with Disabilities (CTGE5421)
  • Psychological Factors in Young Children with Disabilities (PSGE5301)
  • Psychology of Child Development and Learning (PSGE5316)
  • Student Teaching Seminar 1 (CTGE5200)
  • Student Teaching Seminar 2: Issues in Reflective Practice (CTGE5201)
  • Teaching Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Children (CTGE5247)

Certification Information

General Education and Special Education degrees lead toward certification in Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education of children from Birth to- second grade.

Teacher candidates who meet all program requirements, state mandated workshops and mandated state exams, completed course of study and established field experience are eligible for Fordham University’s endorsement for New York state initial certification in their program area. Read more about certification procedures.

Pass rates for Fordham’s initial teacher education graduates on the NYSTCE Teacher exams have been over 95% each year.

Programs are open to all who qualify; however, only U.S. citizens or international students who possess a U.S. Green Card or H1-B visa may be recommended for New York State teacher certification. 


GSE Admissions
Phone: 212-636-6400

Program Contacts
Marilyn Bisberg, MS Early Childhood Special Education
Dr. Chun Zhang, PhD