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

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Classroom 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 childcare, schools, and community settings for children birth to age eight and their educators.

Application​ deadlines

December 1

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 are 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
  • Become data savvy for strategic planning and decision-making
  • Culminate the program with a doctoral research project dissertation.

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 & 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 a combination of on-campus, hybrid, remote, and online courses.

Every student must be available to attend on-campus courses each semester.

The curriculum includes the following elements:

  • 12 hours in EdD core courses within equity, leadership and learning core areas (four 3-credit courses)
  • Nine hours in the research core (three 3-credit courses)
  • 12 hours in the concentration areas (four 3-credit courses)
  • Six hours of elective courses (two 3-credit courses)
  • 15 hours in seminars and the completion of a doctoral research project

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. The EdD program has been designed to enable students to complete program requirements in three or five years.

Sample Courses

  • EDFN 7410 - Power and Privilege: The Social Construction of Difference 3 credits
  • EDUC 7100 - Leadership in Education 3 credits
  • EDUC 7230 - Organizational Performance In Educational Contexts 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 or 5 Years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity, Early Childhood Education concentration, is a three or five-year program, designed for working professionals, with the following application requirements:

  • Minimum requirements for ECE concentration:
    • 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.
  • Written Statement of Purpose that includes the following information:
    • A brief summary of your educational and leadership experiences, including your values related to leadership and equity.
    • A brief summary of your current professional role and responsibilities and how you use research and data to inform planning and decision making.
    • Your purpose in pursuing the EdD, intentions for applying the skills and knowledge gained from the EdD degree, and future career goals.
  • Resume/CV: Applicants for this concentration must have a minimum of five years of experience in an educational P-20 or community-based context.
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can best speak to your leadership, professional accomplishments, academic skills, and career goals.
  • Official Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • After the initial review of application materials, faculty will contact applicants to schedule individual interviews.
  • At the discretion of the faculty, applicants may also be asked to complete an academic writing task as part of the admissions process.

Register for an application support session

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.