Students in a classroom sitting in a half-circle formation.

Most education classes are seminar classes with fewer than 25 students!

There are 12 education programs at NYU. Which one is the best for you? Let’s deep dive into the differences so we can figure it out!

Which Education Program Is the Best for Me?

I didn’t truly grasp the abundance of education programs at NYU until I started filling out my application. As I waited for my admissions decision, I started to wonder if I had applied to the right program. A month and a half later, I received admission to NYU for my preferred program. Thankfully, it ended up being the best fit for me. Are you also having trouble figuring out which education program is right for you? If so, I hope this article gives you some clarity!

Ask Yourself: Teaching or Not Teaching?

First, ask yourself if you would like your program to lead to a teaching degree. This question may be easy for some to answer but hard for others. At NYU, education programs vary. For example, some will take you inside the classroom and others extend beyond it. Thus, answering this question is key to helping you narrow down your options.

Yes! I Want to Teach

Interested in pursuing teaching? Great! Here is a breakdown of all the programs that lead to a teaching degree:

Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education (BS)

This program prepares students who aspire to be early childhood educators to work with students from birth through second grade. Prior to graduation, students must engage in student teaching, which provides them with valuable fieldwork experience. What’s more, throughout this period, they can delve into the intricacies of lesson planning, identify their unique teaching styles, and connect with experienced mentors in the field. Are you interested in learning more about the student teaching experience? Then read “A Day in the Life of an NYU Student Teacher” by Admissions Ambassador Maggie.

I opted for teacher education at NYU because of the exceptional student teaching experiences it offers. One of the placements guarantees exposure to a school where over 50 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The chance to teach in diverse institutions with varying student and faculty demographics is truly unmatched.

—Mia H. (Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education ’26)

An NYU student interacting with children during their student teaching experience.
Student teaching in New York City.
Childhood Education/Childhood Special Education (BS)

Interested in working with students in the first through sixth grades? The Childhood Education/Childhood Special Education program not only emphasizes human development but also underscores the significance of a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum. Many of the professors in this program are adjunct professors, graduate students, or PhD candidates. Therefore, they teach at NYU part time and bring valuable outside work experience to the classroom. In addition, this program provides students with a pathway to explore research opportunities and gain experience in diverse educational settings.

Students and professors mingling at NYU.
I love getting to know my professors and the work they do outside of NYU.
Secondary Education (BS)

The Secondary Education program focuses on seventh through 12th grades. What’s more, majors of this program are asked to pick a subject-specific teaching degree. The options include:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics)
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages

Students in this program, like in all other teaching programs at NYU, are placed in the New York City school system to teach their specific subjects. Immersion among the diverse populations of New York City offers unique advantages for student teachers. Students not only have the opportunity to teach in various private and public schools but also interact with a wide range of students due to the naturally diverse student demographic in the city.

A student interacting with the youth during a student teaching experience.
A student interacting with a youth during student teaching.
Students working together at a table.
A classroom space at NYU for student teachers.
A classroom space at NYU for student teachers.

Nonteaching-Degree Programs

Interested in nonteaching career paths in education? The Education Studies program just might be the right fit for you!

Education Studies (BA)

Education Studies is a nonteaching-degree program that caters to students interested in the policy and administrative aspects of education. I’ve encountered many peers in this program who also aspire to attend law school or venture into the corporate world, aiming to become consultants in the field of education.

Areas of Specialization 

Education studies students declare an area of specialization in the following categories:

  • Global education
  • Education and society
  • Impact and entrepreneurship

Students take a total of four additional courses that satisfy their specific specialization. Some courses include Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the New Immigration, Education and Social Entrepreneurship, and Presenting and Visualizing Education Data.

A student conducts a presentation on education technology.
Anyone interested in education technology?
Student presents interventions in education for large organizations.
Or maybe education consulting?

I am interested in the intersection between disciplinary policies in schools and the school-to-prison pipeline; so how the education system can either act as a protective or risk factor for students’ exposure to the juvenile justice system.

—Elena P. (Education Studies ’24)

Students gathered together for a meeting.
Education Studies Student Committee meeting!

Still Not Sure?

Choosing your major might feel overwhelming. But don’t worry! Remember, committing to a specific program now doesn’t mean you’re locked in forever. I’ve known numerous individuals who initially entered a teaching program but later switched to a nonteaching one and vice versa. You can always request a transfer.

No matter which education program you ultimately select at NYU, you’ll have the most enlightening classroom experiences. I hope this article has helped you figure out which program aligns best with your interests! If you’re eager to learn more, read “Change Lives, Shape Minds, Mold Futures: Become a Teacher.” It delves deeper into the education offerings at NYU.

Sabrina Hsu (she/her) is a Senior from Taipei, Taiwan studying Education Studies specializing in Entrepreneurship with a minor in Public Policy and Management. She is interested in the realm of higher education and college access. Outside of the Admissions Ambassador program, she is a Resident Assistant (RA), Wasserman Career Ambassador, Give Where You Live service cohort leader, and the Founder and President of Women Founders at NYU. She has studied abroad at NYU Madrid and will be studying abroad at NYU Buenos Aires. In her downtime, you can find her playing Sudoku, attempting to cook, or playing with her turtles.