Jan 31, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Early Childhood Education Major, B.A.

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Department of Special Education, Early Childhood and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education  

School of Education  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Major is designed to prepare students to become highly effective and culturally responsive teachers, coaches, advocates, and policy makers who promote quality care and education for young children, birth through age eight. ECE students take classes and participate in field experiences that support the knowledge, understandings, and competencies established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to ensure successful work with children in inclusive classrooms and diverse settings. 

The Early Childhood Education Major offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with two concentration options leading to licensure or early learning specialization. Students graduating from MSU Denver with a BA degree in Early Childhood Education will meet current Director Qualifications for a Large Childcare Center.

Early Childhood Education Concentrations 

  • Licensure: Early Childhood Educator: This option is specifically designed for those students who seek to become Colorado Department of Education (CDE) licensed teachers of children, birth through age eight. Licensure path culminates in either a 12 credit one semester student teaching experience (ECE 4390) or a 16 credit two semester residency consisting of both ECE 4415 in fall and ECE 4425 in spring.  
  • Early Learning Specialization: This option is specifically for those students who seek to become 1) early childhood teachers, directors, and coaches in centers, districts, and non-profit agencies that require Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) credentials but do not require CDE teacher licensure; OR 2) licensing specialists, family advocates, quality improvement raters, and policy experts for young children and families; OR 3) candidates who choose to pursue advanced studies in early childhood education, special education, social work, educational policy, child development, or other related fields.

Student Outcomes

The Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) ECE degree provides a strong foundation in:

  • young children’s development and learning; 
  • observation, documentation and assessment; 
  • effective teacher research; 
  • preparation to teach literacy, math, science, social studies; 
  • meaningful curriculum design; 
  • differentiation for all learners, including children with special needs, cultural and linguistic differences, and socio-economic inequality; 
  • trauma-informed and social justice pedagogy; 
  • developmentally effective approaches; 
  • building family and community relationships; and 
  • becoming an early childhood professional.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is not required for this program.  
  • Please note: The majority of preschool and primary clinical experience hours occur in the mornings and afternoons in designated classrooms supervised by licensed teachers. Some courses require ECE students to work with children in unsupervised situations that may take place in the evenings or weekends.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences.

Multicultural Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Multicultural Graduation Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the Multicultural Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement.  

Additional Courses for the Early Learning Specialization: 18 credits

  • Electives: 18 credits
    • Early Learning concentration students should consult with an ECE advisor on specific coursework for the 18 elective hours.

Senior Experience: 3-16 credits


*The following two courses can be taken as a combined alternative to ECE 4390. Please speak with an advisor about this option.

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
Multicultural Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Major Courses 63 credits
Additional Teacher Licensure Requirements (choose this or Early Learning Specialization) 16 credits
Additional Requirements for the Early Learning Specialization (choose this or Teacher Licensure) 18 credits
Senior Experience 3-16 credits
Unrestricted Electives 0-3 credits
Total for the Early Childhood Education Major, B.A. Minimum of 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and Multicultural requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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