Some things to know if you’d like to pursue a career in teaching

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Teacher Education Programs at NYU Steinhardt

In the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development’s urban-focused teacher education programs, you can study how children’s minds develop while gaining invaluable experience in the country’s largest public school system. Here, you can choose from program options in early childhood education, middle and high school education, and specific subject instruction. Most of NYU’s teaching majors provide you with the certification you’ll need to teach in New York State. But all of them complement classroom learning with plenty of real-world experience through field observations, research, or student teaching in New York City and beyond.

If you’re interested in helping young learners grow, then choose: The BS in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (birth–grade 2)

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Babies and young children absorb information faster and more easily than during any other phase of life. So, of course, working with them can be incredibly rewarding! In this program you’ll learn how the stages of human development can vary from child to child. Additionally, you’ll find out how to provide the youngest learners with foundational skills they’ll need for success throughout their school years and beyond. Not only that, you’ll discover ways to cultivate rich learning environments for children of all ability levels. And through fieldwork in a variety of educational and community-based environments, you’ll work with every early-childhood age group.

This major prepares you for a career as a teacher, but you also can take advantage of other opportunities like becoming an after-school director, a children’s book editor, or even a social service agency caseworker.

Course Spotlight | Mathematics in Early Childhood Education
In this core requirement, you’ll gain a foundational understanding of how children develop early insights into mathematics. In particular, you’ll learn how to infuse mathematical concepts into areas of your curriculum and create adaptations for learners with diverse abilities.

“One of the most valuable resources I’ve relied on is my cohort, about 15 to 20 juniors and seniors who take courses together. We collaborate, have a supportive group chat, and rally together when we need to. Most importantly, we are a network of future educators.”
— Maggie Sonenshine, Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (birth–grade 2), 2024

If you’d like to focus on teaching children ages 6 through 11, then choose: The BS in Childhood Education/Childhood Special Education (grades 1–6)

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Between the ages of 6 and 11, children retain more knowledge and maintain a greater focus on activities while also acquiring the academic and social skills they’ll rely on for the rest of their lives. In this major you’ll gain the knowledge to help students reach their fullest potential. For example, you’ll learn about instructing foundational subjects like math, social studies, science, and language arts, as well as how to recognize when a child might benefit from early intervention. During your first two years, you’ll conduct fieldwork in general and special education in grades one through three, then four through six. In your junior and senior years, you’ll embark on student teaching at four different school sites under the supervision of your classroom teachers and a Steinhardt faculty member.

This degree is designed for students who want to become teachers, but can also launch a career like a children’s television producer, a curriculum specialist, or a school librarian.

Course Spotlight | Bilingual Multicultural Education: Theory and Practice
This core requirement explores how bilingual and multilingual experiences shape a student’s education. You’ll learn about theories, policies, and practices in US and global contexts. Furthermore, you’ll examine the different roles and responsibilities of educators and professionals who work with multilingual communities.

“I decided to come to NYU because of the diverse communities and peers I knew I would encounter on campus. Coming from a small suburban city, I always longed for an experience where I could meet and build relationships with people across the world, and NYU has been the perfect place for that.”
— Julie Park, Childhood Education/Childhood Special Education (grades 1–6), 2023

If you’re passionate about a particular subject and would enjoy teaching middle and high school students, then choose: The BS in Secondary Education (grades 7–12)

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While continuing to learn about the subject you love, prepare to inspire tomorrow’s scientists, political leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs. Most of NYU’s subject-specific teaching degrees qualify you to teach grades seven through 12. Some even prepare you to teach grades five and six. This degree provides a teaching specialization in English, World Languages, Mathematics, Science (biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics), or Social Sciences, or a minor in Computer Science Education.

You’ll spend your junior year observing students in New York City public school classrooms. Then in your senior year, you’ll develop your own teaching style in two semesters of student-teaching. Graduates also have the option to expand their career beyond the classroom through roles like a curriculum evaluator or subject specialist at a nonprofit. In addition, graduates could select a career like a journalist, a science illustrator, or even a zoo or museum instructor.

Course Spotlight | The Universe: Its Nature and History
If you choose to specialize in teaching earth science, this course requirement will give you a robust introduction to the nature and evolution of the universe. This course covers topics like the reason for the seasons and the Copernican Revolution to neutron stars and black holes.

“My advice is that if you have a passion for helping kids learn, then have confidence in your ability to grow and become a teacher. If becoming an educator is what you want, then don’t let other people deter you. Because who knows? Maybe you will be the change we need.”
— Jada Kristen Murphy, Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (birth–grade 2), 2024

If you want help improve educational structures or systems, then choose: The BA in Education Studies

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While Steinhardt’s other education-focused majors prepare you to teach in classroom settings, the Education Studies major takes a broader approach. You’ll examine the history of US education, explore issues like human rights activism and globalism, and discover some of the most recent innovations shaping education today.

Students in this major intern with local organizations and service-learning projects in schools across the city. This degree will prepare you to work in the classroom or take on roles like a school administrator, student counselor, or policy advocate. To illustrate, recent graduates have joined organizations like Amnesty International and UNICEF.

Course Spotlight | Power + Politics of Data
Learn how to collect, analyze, and share data to improve social impact. You’ll gain historical background on key issues like data privacy and online discrimination as well as learn how artificial intelligence and machine learning shape society.

“I am proud that at NYU Steinhardt I was able to not only strengthen my desire for equity, social justice, and community within the education field, but to also learn how to translate these values into actions.”
— Kira Santos, Childhood Education/Childhood Special Education (birth–grade 2), 2023

More Ways to Study Education

Teacher Education Abroad

Add international context to your teaching degree by spending a semester abroad. Both NYU Accra and NYU London offer the required Human Development course, which includes weekly observations in Ghanaian or British schools. You also have the option to spend a semester at one of NYU’s 10 other global academic sites, from Buenos Aires to Tel Aviv.

FYI! If you plan on becoming a teacher internationally or in a US state other than New York, NYU Steinhardt can help you navigate the certification process. Steinhardt’s certification officer will support you and help apply for the teaching certifications you’ll need to make it happen!

Dual-Degree Programs

With these options you earn both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. NYU College of Arts and Science students who enroll in these programs often receive scholarships toward graduate study at NYU Steinhardt.

  • BA in Education Studies/MA in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy
  • BA in Education Studies/MA in Education and Social Policy
  • BA in English/MAT in Teaching English: Transformational Teaching (grades 7–12)
  • BA in History/MAT in Teaching Social Studies: Transformational Teaching (grades 7–12)
  • BA in Mathematics/MAT in Teaching Mathematics: Transformational Teaching (grades 7–12)
Minor Programs

Pair any major with a minor in Teacher Education at NYU Steinhardt. This curriculum covers the study of education and human development from early childhood through adolescence.

Study Education at NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi’s social science division has a preprofessional program with electives that introduce students to the field of education. These courses tap into local institutions, organizations, and businesses, and are academically rigorous, considering questions like: Why do schools often sit at the center of controversies? Since the offerings are electives, you can build them into your major or expand them into a minor for a truly multidisciplinary foundation. Recent course offerings and the degree programs that incorporate them include:

  • Disability in a Global Context: Advancing Inclusion in the United Arab Emirates
    • Majors: Arab Crossroads Studies, Social Research and Public Policy
  • International Peacebuilding and the Role of Education
    • Majors: Political Science, Social Research and Public Policy
    • Minor: Peace Studies
Study Education at NYU Shanghai

At NYU Shanghai, choose a major you’re passionate about like Math or Humanities (history, literature, philosophy). Then, you can expand your teaching experience by volunteering. Take advantage of courses organized by the Office for Community Engaged Learning that have service-learning and research opportunities built into them. Below are a few options you might pursue:

  • Developmental Psychology
    • Opportunity: Observe and teach at Zhuyuan Kindergarten
  • Language and Power
    • Opportunity: Teach English to migrant children through the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Stepping Stones
  • Parenting and Culture
    • Opportunity: Observe, research, and teach at after-school programs hosted by the NGO Sunflower