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


Allows students to obtain a bachelor's degree while completing field experiences and 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.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Education & Human Development Campus: CU Denver Online Classroom: Online and on campus classes Recommended completion time: 4 years Credits required for completion: 120 Application deadline: Rolling decision

The Details

What you'll learn

Are you interested in pursuing a career in community-based early childhood education with ages birth through age five? If so, University of Colorado Denver’s four-year, 120-credit hour undergraduate Early Childhood Education program can take you to the next level. In this transfer friendly program, it’s very possible for you to obtain a bachelor’s degree while completing your field experiences and internships in your place of employment.

We prepare highly competent early childhood education professionals who are known for inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse public school or community-based early childhood education settings. Our program emphasizes family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and is inspired by the potential of all children and families.

At the University of Colorado Denver, you’ll learn from nationally and internationally recognized faculty members who emphasize inclusive, family-centered practices, culturally sustaining teaching and a curriculum that is inspired by the potential of all children and families. The school’s Dean, Rebecca Kantor, is a nationally recognized expert in the field who prioritizes excellent instruction, a solid commitment to full inclusion in the classroom and innovation. We are ranked as a top school according to U.S. News and World Report. Our graduates are known for thriving in inclusive, culturally and linguistically diverse ECE settings while engaging Colorado’s rapidly diversifying student and family 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 (although with one additional semester you can be licensed to teach.) We prepare highly competent educators, leaders and advocates with the knowledge and skills to identify strengths and develop the capacities of all children and their families.

Your studies will prepare you for the many possibilities within the early childhood education field now and in the future. 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 children with delays and/or disabilities. Our 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 and offers the option of obtaining an ECE coaching certificate.

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.

You may be starting college for the first time, transferring from another institution, or returning to the university setting after years away. Regardless, you’ll join a top education school with collaborative teams of dedicated teachers and award-winning faculty who will prepare you for success in any classroom anywhere.

Many schools promise a teacher residency, with experiential learning under a teacher mentor. Few can deliver one as well-supported and prepared as ours. Our strength in residency approach has informed our ability to bring the residency for this track to your place of employment. For more than 25 years, we have been working closely with area schools to create a proven residency program that supports your development as you work with teams of dedicated practicing teachers, teacher leaders and university faculty in the school. Further, because of our urban location and emphasis on teaching in diverse contexts, our graduates are ready to lead and make a difference in any ECE classroom.

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 teaching. 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.


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.

Admissions 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

For more information, please contact:

School of Education & Human Development
Office of Recruitment and Outreach