Bachelor of Arts in Education and Human Development, Early Childhood Education

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: BA

Classroom Type: Online and on campus classes

Obtain a bachelor's degree while completing field experiences/internships in place of employment. Graduates become professionals who create inclusive, culturally, and linguistically diverse public school or community-based early childhood education settings, emphasizing family-centered practices.

Application​ deadlines

Rolling decision

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver Online

What Students Learn

Students in this program strive for a career in community-based ECE. This four-year, 120-credit hour Early Childhood Education program can take student's skills to the next level.

The program prepares competent early childhood education professionals. Graduates work within culturally and linguistically diverse public school or community-based early childhood education settings. The program emphasizes family-centered practices, and culturally sustaining teaching. The curriculum is centered around maximizing the potential of all children and families.

At CU Denver, students learn from internationally recognized faculty members. The program's faculty emphasizes inclusive, family-centered practices,  and culturally sustaining teaching. The program is ranked as a top school according to U.S. News and World Report. Graduates thrive in inclusive and diverse ECE settings while engaging Colorado’s diversifying population. This path prepares individuals who wish to teach, direct, and coach in centers, districts, and nonprofit agencies that require Colorado Department of Human Services credentials but do not require a Colorado department of education teacher licensure. However, with one additional semester students can be licensed to teach. The program prepares competent educators, leaders, and advocates with the knowledge to identify strengths and develop the capacities of all children and their families.

Students' studies will prepare them for the many possibilities within the early childhood education field. Courses are filled with real-world assignments and experiences that prepare graduates to be responsive and innovative early childhood educators. Graduates practice within settings that include children with delays and/or disabilities. Early childhood professional students have the opportunity to specialize in one of two paths:

  • Teaching: This strand ensures that students can return for one additional semester to fulfill Colorado licensure requirement for ECE.
  • Leading: This strand is ideal for students who have prior teaching experience. It offers the option of obtaining an ECE coaching certificate.

CU Denver is committed to increasing the number of qualified and well-compensated early professionals. The program offers ECE scholarships. Additionally, vast learning and development opportunities are available.

Students may be starting college for the first time, transferring from another institution, or returning to the university setting after years away. Regardless, students join a top education school with collaborative teams of dedicated teachers and award-winning faculty.

Many schools promise a teacher residency, with experiential learning under a teacher mentor. Few can deliver one as well-supported and prepared. The program’s strength in residency approach has informed the program’s ability to bring the residency for this track to student’s place of employment.  For more than 30 years, the program has been working with area schools to create a proven residency program. This partnership supports students' as they work with teams of practicing teachers, leaders, and faculty. Further, because of CU Denver's urban location and emphasis on teaching in diverse contexts, graduates are ready to lead and make a difference in any ECE classroom.

ECE Educator Scholarships

ECE Educator Scholarships, administered by the Colorado Department of Higher Education in collaboration with Colorado Department of Early Childhood, are designed for early childhood education students living in Colorado who are pursuing dedicated coursework, certificates and degrees up to a master’s degree. Awards vary dependent upon credit hours of enrollment and program. All eligible students receive some funding. Learn more at

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

SEHD attracts students who are passionate about careers in teaching. The program matches their passion with an education that is rooted in diversity, technology, proven approaches, and real-world practice. That’s why graduates are prepared to make immediate and life-long impacts on people, communities, and the world.


To earn this 120 credit hour BA in Education and Human Development: Birth – Age 5 Early Childhood Professional (non-licensure), students must satisfy all requirements in each of the three areas below. Students should declare their intent to pursue Early Childhood Education with their academic advisor as early as possible to avoid taking classes that do not count toward the degree or licensure.

Sample Courses

  • ECED 2000 - Early Childhood Education as a Profession 3 credits
  • ECED 4060 - Working with Families, Professionals, and Communities 3 credits
  • ECED 4102 - Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum Methods and Techniques 3 credits
  • EDFN 1000 - Equality, Rights & Education 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:4 years

Required Credits for Completion:120

Admission Requirements

Our program seeks individuals who wish to teach as a career. We accept  applications from incoming first-year students, current students at CU Denver, students transferring from community colleges or four-year institutions, individuals who are working as paraprofessionals, assistant teachers or developmental intervention assistants.

This program has rolling admissions, applications close per semester as follows:

  • Spring: Dec. 31
  • Summer: May 31
  • Fall: July 31

Application Support

Our friends at TEACH Colorado have free tools and resources to make applying to our program—and becoming a classroom teacher—easier! Create an account today and immediately access:

  • An interactive application checklist to keep you on track.
  • $100 fee reimbursement towards application and testing expenses.
  • 1-on-1 expert advice for any question along the way.
  • How-to guides for eligibility, applications, testing and finances.
  • A chance to win a $1,000 scholarship toward tuition.

Sign up today!

For more information, please contact:

School of Education & Human Development
Office of Recruitment and Outreach

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