Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Special Education Specialist (License)

MA License

Prepares individuals who wish to support early childhood special education teachers or teach young children (infants, toddler, and early elementary) with developmental disabilities, while partnering with their families and communities. This program is offered in on-campus, hybrid, or fully online formats.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Education & Human Development Campus: CU Denver Online Classroom: Online and on campus classes Recommended completion time: 3 to 4 years Credits required for completion: 42 Application deadline: Rolling decision

The Details

What you'll learn

University of Colorado Denver’s MA in Early Childhood Education with an Early Childhood Special Education Specialist license prepares individuals who wish to support early childhood special teachers or teach young children with developmental disabilities while partnering with their families and communities. This program is offered on-campus, hybrid or fully online. If you are interested in teaching infants, toddlers and students in the early grades in elementary school, this is the program for you. The program emphasizes inclusive, family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and a curriculum that is inspired by the potential of all children and families.

MA plus ECSE licensure students work closely with our faculty members to fuel their professional goals and may choose from two areas of emphasis:

  • Teaching and learning in diverse and inclusive classrooms
  • Leadership and administration of diverse and inclusive programs

We prepare highly competent professionals who are leaders and advocates known for embracing the whole child in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

Our highly ranked and flexible ECE programs of study feature personalized support that will reach you wherever you are – throughout Colorado or around the world. Our master’s plus ECSE licensure students learn how to use evidence-based strategies that enhance the learning outcomes of young children. Students receive specialized training in instruction, assessment, family involvement and positive behavior support

The School of Education & Human Development is regularly ranked as a top graduate school and “best online” experiences by U.S. News & World Report. Your “high-tech and high-touch” experience in online courses includes: 24/7 technical support, faculty video-coaching and conferencing/advising and small group learning in both real-time as well as your own time.

CU Denver is committed to increasing the number of highly qualified and well-compensated early professionals in the field. We offer ECE scholarships and vast learning and development opportunities to support early childhood teachers and leaders.

Graduates of this program have fulfilled all the requirements for the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) license to teach children, birth through age eight, and the Colorado Human Services director qualification requirements to manage and direct early childhood public and private programs. 

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

The School of Education & Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver attracts students who are passionate about careers in education. We match their passion with an education that is rooted in diversity, technology, proven approaches and real-world practice. That’s why our graduates are prepared to make immediate and life-long impacts on people, communities and the world.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines

The following deadlines are firm, early submissions are encouraged.

Fall Semester: June 1

Spring Semester: November 1

Summer Semester: April 1

Application Requirements

  • 3 recommendation letters
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • If applying for an endorsement, proof of teaching license or special services license is required
  • Resume/CV
  • Written Statement: Describe your interest in the program, your special strengths, and the goals you hope to achieve through your work in the program
  • $50.00 application fee
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)
  • Admissions Interview: An interview may be required as part of the admissions process. If so, applicants will be contacted with more details.

For more information, email or call 303-315-6300.

Additional Requirements

Our program was created for individuals who wish to understand the latest research and practices in early childhood special education. We encourage you to apply at least four months in advance or as early as possible prior to the start of the semester for which you are seeking admission. We strive to provide rolling decisions and will communicate admissions decisions within two weeks of submitting a complete application.

Our next fully online cohort will be offered in the Fall semester of 2020. Our on-campus and hybrid programs begin each term.

Our commitment to early childhood professionals compels us to participate in efforts to elevate the profession and seek out scholarships and partnerships for academic support and job placement. The scholarships include the Early Childhood Education Scholarship Fund (up to $10K awarded to two recipients per academic year and the William Goodwin Scholarship (up to $500 awarded per semester). We have additional scholarships that are open to all students, regardless of major. You will be considered for all available scholarships at the time of admission.