Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Early Childhood Education

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Clasroom Type: Online and on campus classes

Designed to prepare highly competent professionals to become leaders and advocates for all children and their families from an equity and inclusive excellence perspective. Graduates lead system and policy development in inclusive, culturally, and linguistically diverse child care, school, and community settings for children birth to age eight, their families, and their educators.

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver

What you'll learn

Are you passionate about the lives of young children, infants to age eight and their families? Are you an advocate for better work lives for early childhood education teachers? If you're ready to pursue your doctorate in order to join leadership discussions and take action at the highest level possible, CU Denver's Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity with a concentration in early childhood /early childhood special education is designed for you.

The EdD concentration will prepare you to:

  • Understand the complex, contemporary issues and practices in the field of inclusive early childhood education
  • Advocate for all children with diverse abilities and their families, providing leadership to improve outcomes
  • Act effectively as district administrators, agency directors and advocates for policy equity and change in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse ECE settings
  • Learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach to ECE (key members of the School of Education and Human Development faculty, including Dean Kantor, have been working with Italian educators and Reggio Emilia experts for over 20 years. Together, we have formed a unique partnership that fuels our professional development work.)
  • Become data savvy for strategic planning and decision-making
  • Collaborate with fellow EdD students on a dissertation-in-practice.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as an early childhood special education/early childhood education leader. The university and school are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, CU Denver's School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


The 54-credit program begins each summer.

The curriculum includes:

  • 18 hours in EdD core courses:
    • Six credit hours equity core (two three-credit courses)
    • Six credit hours leadership and organizational performance core (two three-credit courses)
    • Six credit hours learning core (two three-credit courses)
  • Nine hours in the research core (three three-credit courses)
  • 12 hours in one of seven Concentration Areas (four three-credit hour blocks)
  • 15 hours in completion of a culminating Doctoral Research Project (includes one hour of mandatory design workshop experiences, second fall semester)

All courses and experiences strive to expose students to context-specific best practices, interdisciplinary connections, and applied research in an environment that stresses the application of theory to practice. Course assignments focus on problem-solving experiences.

The EdD program has been designed to enable students to complete program requirements in three years, or five years for those taking one class per semester.

Recommended Completion Time:3 or 5 Years

Required Credits for Completion:54 Credits

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.

Summer Semester: December 1

Application Requirements

  • Minimum requirements:
    • Master's degree in education or related field from a regionally accredited University. Students without appropriate master's level course work in P-20 or community-based education fields may be required to complete additional course work.
    • 3.2 GPA in graduate-level course work recommended
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your experience, accomplishments and potential in your area of study and/or in a doctoral program.
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • If applying for an endorsement or license, a copy of your Teaching License is required
  • Resume/CV: Applicants must have and show a minimum of five years of experience in an educational P-20 or community-based context
  • Statement of Purpose, no more than five pages in length, and provides an integrated essay discussing the following:
    • Experience in the area of study
    • Reasons for interest in the degree
    • General area of research/practice interest
    • Post-completion plans (career interests)
  • If you are applying to the Higher Education Concentration please follow the prompt below:
    • The Statement of Purpose is five to seven pages in length, detailing your professional background, relevant personal interests, commitment to access and educational equity, and short- and long-term professional goals. Please discuss your assessment of the three most critical issues for higher education leaders and how you wish to contribute to meeting these challenges. Illustrate how your commitment is demonstrated in your past experiences and how this educational journey, shared with doctoral student colleagues, will enhance your ability to contribute in the future. Further, demonstrate in your Statement of Purpose that you have the written communication skills to successfully obtain the degree of Doctor of Education.
  • Two Artifacts
    • An artifact provides evidence of your accomplishments and capabilities for doctoral study. When selecting an artifact, consider what you want to showcase in your application about your experience. Select something that reflects your skills and knowledge.
    • Artifacts commonly included in applications for the education doctorate include master’s theses, capstone project write-ups, a course paper or technical report; a product from a program or event that you were instrumental in creating or conducting; a link to a blog post, website, or video that you created or participated meaningfully in developing; and so on.
    • Please select and upload two artifacts, one that represents your academic experience and abilities and one that reflects your professional experience or interest in your area of study. With each artifact, include a brief description of what the artifact is and the context in which it was created, what role you played in artifact’s creation, and why you selected it to share with the admissions team.
  • $50.00 application fee
  • Admissions Interview: An interview may be required as part of the admissions process. If so, applicants will be contacted with more details.
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)
For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.

Application​ deadlines

December 1