Early Childhood Special Education

Shaping Ethical and Compassionate Special Educators at the University of Denver

Do you want to help children with special needs thrive? You can, by earning your graduate certificate or master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) at a top-ranked college. At the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education (MCE), we’re proud to offer the Early Childhood Special Education graduate program on campus or 100% online, giving you flexible access to a transformative educational experience.

Quick Facts

  • Quick Completion: Finish your master’s degree in as little as 24 months or your graduate certificate in as little as 12 months.
  • Career Potential: 100% of our ECSE M.A. grads are employed within 6 months.
  • Affordable: On average, students pay $30,000 for their master’s. Scholarships available! Visit Tools for Tomorrow's Teachers for more financial resources.

Our Programs

MCE’s graduate education experience empowers educators to better serve young children with special needs through evidence-based interventions and assessments. You’ll gain the skills needed to make a real difference — and now, you can gain those skills by completing your graduate credentials entirely online! You can expect:

  • Flexibility: We’ll meet you where you are, catering to your career aspirations, interests, and schedule.
  • Real-World Experience: Immerse yourself in early childhood special education with relevant field experiences in your own community.
  • Mentorship: Receive an individualized experience with faculty mentors you can trust and peers you can learn from.
  • Preparation: You’ll be prepared to apply for licensure to work with young children with disabilities and special needs.

With curriculum based on licensing and national standards, and field experiences bridging theory to practice, you’ll be prepared to make an immediate impact in the classroom starting on day one. Work with faculty to be intentional about your learning journey, connecting your interests with licensing and endorsement standards along the way.

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    Master of Arts in Early Childhood Special Education

    Pursue licensure to work with young children aged birth to eight years in a variety of settings and collaborative teams.

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    Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Special Education

    Develop knowledge and practical skills to work successfully with inclusive Early Childhood Education programs within public schools, private programs and community agencies.


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What to Expect

Skills You’ll Learn

  • Facilitation of evidence-based interventions, assessment administration, and report writing
  • How to use a family-centered approach to intervention for children and families
  • Design and implement high-quality early learning environments based on universal design for young children with special needs

While you build competency in legal issues, leadership, telehealth, and assessment, you will also find ways to optimize social-emotional, cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes for children with special needs.

Gain Eligibility or Endorsement

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible for an Early Childhood Special Education Specialist Initial Teaching License or Endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education.

Career Paths

Colorado is ranked third by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the highest concentration of ECSE jobs in preschools. Teach in a preschool or take your skills outside of the classroom to work as an early interventionist (for children aged birth to three years), early childhood systems specialist, or a Child Find evaluation specialist or coordinator.