Program Information

Help children with developmental delays, disabilities and special needs thrive.

Do you have a passion for helping families with young children with developmental delays, disabilities, and special needs? Turn your passion into your next career path with a degree from our Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program in the Department of Teaching and Learning Sciences.

Our program approaches the field of early childhood special education in an ecological, holistic, and developmental way. We focus on professional, ethical, research, and policy issues related to early childhood development, social-emotional early learning, and family support. Furthermore, we emphasize the unique learning needs of children through evidence-based practices. Through coursework and direct hands-on experience, you will learn how to design and implement high quality early learning environments, services, and supports that value the diverse needs of families and children with development delays, disabilities and special needs.

Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible for an Early Childhood Special Education Specialist Initial Teaching License or Endorsement from the Colorado Department of Education. To clarify, if you enter the program with a valid Colorado Teacher’s License, you will be eligible to apply for an Endorsement in Early Childhood Special Education Specialist. If you enter the program without a license, you will be eligible for an Initial Colorado Teacher’s License. The University of Denver has not yet determined whether the program meets licensure or endorsement requirements in a state other than Colorado or in any U.S. protectorates. If you want to pursue licensure or endorsement in a state other than Colorado, contact the state’s Board of Education to determine whether the program meets licensure or endorsement requirements.

This higher degree and endorsement provides broader opportunities for careers such as Early Interventionists for children birth to 3 years, Itinerant Early Childhood Special Education teachers in public and private preschool environments, or Child Find evaluation specialists and coordinators.

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.

Degree Programs

We offer two degree programs. Both of our programs use a family-centered approach, and give you the opportunity to work collaboratively with other professionals who serve families with children with disabilities and special needs.
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.
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.
Get a general overview of our degree programs.
Why Study at DU?

There are many reasons to study at the Morgridge College of Education. 100% of our admitted students receive financial aid. Our job placement rate for graduating students is outstanding. Our programs are exceptional and nationally recognized. Our faculty serve in a multitude of leadership positions within professional organizations and on editorial boards and are nationally recognized scholars. Beyond these reasons, you will find that there is no better place to live than Denver.

We offer substantial scholarships, including the Donne & Sue Fisher Scholarship, which fully funds two admitted ECSE master’s students. View scholarship guidelines or visit our Financial Aid page for more information.

Take the light rail directly from DU to downtown where you can enjoy amazing restaurants, sporting events, and nightlife or take a short drive west for spectacular mountain scenery and recreation. There are plenty of options to make your time at DU even more fulfilling.

NOTE: If you plan to attend the University of Denver with a student visaview important information about licensure.

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Student Showcase

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ECSE Students become involved in the community the moment they start their degree. Learn more…

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