Is working with young children, families and communities during this critically important stage of development a passion of yours? If so, CU Denver’s Early Childhood Education program can take you to the next level no matter where you are now. We prepare highly competent professionals who are leaders and advocates known for embracing the whole child in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse settings.
Courses are filled with real-world assignments and experiences that prepare our graduates to be responsive and innovative early childhood educators who practice within settings that include all children (infancy through age eight) and families.
Our program emphasizes family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and is inspired by the potential of all children and families.
Our flexible online MA in Early Childhood Education accepts students every term (fall, spring, summer) and features personalized support for every student. As innovators of digital teaching and learning, our online programs are highly ranked and in great demand.
CU Denver is committed to putting highly qualified and well-compensated early childhood professionals in the field.
CU Denver offers scholarships and vast learning and development opportunities to support early childhood teachers and leaders.
Classroom Type: On campus
Prepares candidates to be leaders, policymakers, policy advisors and analysts, faculty members, and researchers who successfully shape, direct, implement, and evaluate early childhood services, infrastructure, and policy and contribute to the scholarly knowledge that undergirds the discipline. Graduates will enter a growing and dynamic field with burgeoning research about the critical years in children's brain development, learning, and health. This concentration holds institutional and system reform as its unit of change and equity in opportunity and outcomes as the purpose for change.
Interest Categories: Education & Counseling Public Administration & Policy
Campus: CU Denver
Given its unprecedented growth over the past five decades, the early childhood field logically has focused most of its efforts on program expansion and on the provision of high-quality services for young children. Although there is increasing attention to enhancing equity, most work in the field concentrates on practice improvement, typically pedagogical in nature, either for children or by the workforce. CU Denver’s Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) with a concentration in Early Childhood Policy tilts this focus. It acknowledges the importance of pedagogy but suggests that without explicit and specialized attention to policy, it will be difficult for the field to achieve quality, equity, and scale. The concentration holds institutional and system reform as its units of change.
Students in this concentration will:
PhD student funding may be available for this concentration. The financial support we provide our PhD students is often tied to federal and state funding decisions. Typically, students are admitted into this program through funds associated with scholarships, internships, funded grant projects, teaching assistant opportunities and/or a mix thereof. Student funding support varies based on funding streams. Students can elect to self-pay and thus, self-support.
You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a faculty member or researcher. 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 & 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.
Recommended Completion Time:4 to 8 years
Required Credits for Completion:75
The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.
Fall Semester: January 10*
*Extended deadline for Fall 2022 only
The core course rotation begins every fall. We encourage students to review the concentration area choices on our website and contact one or more of the faculty associated with that concentration area for an appointment prior to submitting their application. This ensures the students have an opportunity to discuss their research area of interest, as well as introduce themselves to the faculty. Also, the financial support we provide our PhD students is often tied to federal and state funding decisions, so meeting with a faculty member will let you know if any funding opportunities will be available in the upcoming year.
As part of gaining admission to the PhD program, students are paired with a doctoral faculty advisor/mentor. The doctoral faculty may request a personal interview to complement the information provided in the application materials.