Online Bachelor's Degree Completion for Early Childhood Education

Bachelor of Arts Degree with Preparation for Initial Teacher Licensure and ECE (Ages Birth-8) Endorsement

The Early Childhood Bachelor of Arts – Licensure: Early Childhood Education (Ages Birth-8) program is focused on teaching children from birth through age 8. You will gain the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to be successful in a variety of early childhood settings.


Attend an Information Meeting!

A program representative will share information about the program and answer any questions you have.

Please register for the following online (Zoom) session.

In This Program You Will...

  • Connect theory, research and practical information through meaningful and authentic coursework and field experiences.
  • Acquire a strong foundation of child development knowledge to inform you as you make decisions for each child.
  • Be led by dedicated early childhood professors who are actively involved in teaching and research.
  • Benefit from extensive field-based learning opportunities that provide valuable classroom experience in both birth-5 and K-3 settings.

Career Options

Many graduates of this bachelor's degree with licensure program choose to teach in public schools (grades K-3). But this program also prepares graduates to teach in pre-K settings and to direct early childhood centers.

The program is designed to align with Colorado requirements for this field. This degree leads to eligibility for Colorado teacher licensure with an Early Childhood Education (Ages 0-8) endorsement and for Colorado early childhood director qualification. Students from other states should check their state endorsement requirements to ensure that this program meets those stipulations or can be gained via reciprocity.

Graduates who attain Colorado teacher licensure are also eligible for the added K-6 Elementary Education endorsement after taking and successfully passing an Elementary Content Exam.

Common employment for program graduates:

  • K-3 classrooms in public and private schools
  • Pre-schools
  • Childcare centers (including as Directors, Assistant Directors and Owners)
  • County agencies
  • Head Start programs
  • Montessori schools (with additional training)

A Program Designed for Adult Learners

This online bachelor's degree completion program is designed for busy adults of any age who need to fit their college completion into busy lives, no matter where they live.

  • Open Entry: You can begin the program any term (Fall, Spring or various Summer sessions).
  • Flexible Program Design: we provide pathways and support for those who already have an Early Childhood coursework background, or those who are just getting started with this major and career path.
  • Quality Brought to You Online: This Bachelor of Arts degree is the same as our on-campus program. Courses are taught by the same faculty scholars who teach on campus.
  • The Best Teacher Preparation: UNC is the premier teacher preparation university in Colorado. Graduates of UNC teaching programs are highly regarded by employers in our region. You'll make a difference in the lives of your students, and establish a career in a field that is in high demand.

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

Flexible Online/Distance Degree Completion

This program is designed for flexibility and accessibility. The time to completion (graduation) will vary based on the amount of early childhood and other college credit you have when you begin the program, but most students will be able to graduate in two to four years if attending full-time.

You will have full flexibility to complete the program at your own pace, taking as many courses per term as you choose, but please note the following:

  • Full-time enrollment (12 hours or more during each term) increases the amount of federal financial aid for which you may qualify.
  • The amount of time it takes you to complete the program will be determined by whether or not you take all (or just some) of the ECE coursework that is recommended for you each term.

Common Student Scenarios

  • If you have an associate degree in Early Childhood Education (or a significant amount of previous ECE coursework) you may be able to complete this online program with little or no additional transfer coursework.
  • If you are new to Early Childhood Education but do have some earned college credit you can begin this program any time, though you may need to pursue some initial ECE coursework for transfer.
  • For clarification, please see the Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) section below and the Prerequisite/Co-Requisite Courses section in the Eligibility & Transfer Credit tab.

Online Course Tutorial

If you do not have recent experience taking classes online, you will have the chance to complete our online course tutorial. This tutorial will help you learn our Canvas course platform, and prepare you to succeed in your online courses!

Courses Available Year-Round

Fall and Spring Terms: Primarily Major Coursework

During fall and spring terms, you will complete 16-week online courses that fulfill Required Major and Early Childhood PTEP requirements of the degree.

Summer Term: LAC and Electives

Summer term is a great time to take any online LAC or elective courses you may need to fulfill UNC graduation requirements. You can take these courses any term, but we recommend summer term because Early Childhood courses are not available in the summer at this time. Using summer term for LACs and electives allows you to take as many online major/PTEP courses as you are comfortable with each fall and spring.

Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Required Major/Early Childhood PTEP (90 Credit Hours)

  • There are 90 combined Required Major and Early Childhood PTEP credit hours. For full required coursework details, see the official program listing in the UNC Undergraduate Catalog. Please review both the Program Overview and Degree Requirements tabs.
  • UNC offers 72 credit hours of the major/PTEP coursework online. See the Prerequisite/Co-Requisite Courses section of the Eligibility & Transfer Credit tab for more information.
  • For an example of upcoming courses, visit the Current Students page for this program.

Additional Credits Required for UNC Graduation

  • 120 or 121 total credit hours are required for graduation from this UNC program. For full program requirement details, see the official program listing in the UNC Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Many of these credits may come from the courses you transfer as you apply. See the Eligibility & Transfer Credit tab for details about transferring your previous college credit.
Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC) Coursework

UNC's Liberal Arts Curriculum provides students with a grounding in the liberal arts that is infused with critical and creative inquiry, and which also satisfies the six general education areas required for undergraduate degree programs at all public higher education institutions in the state of Colorado.

Many of these courses will potentially be fulfilled from your transferred credit.

View the current LAC requirements and policies. Course requirements by category (with links to list of eligible courses)  are available at the bottom of the page.

Please note additional LAC stipulations for this program: certain courses are recommended for this program for some of the LAC categories; those courses may fulfill both LAC and major requirements. You can see the list of these courses in the Liberal Arts Curriculum section of the Degree Requirements (See the Undergraduate Catalog links above).

Waiver of Liberal Arts Curriculum Requirements

Individuals with an Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, or a Bachelor’s degree (regardless of date of completion) from a regionally accredited institution will have their Liberal Arts Curriculum requirements waived. See the Undergraduate Catalog for more information about LAC waiver and transfer evaluation policies.

Elective Credits

Because this program features in-depth study in the field of Early Childhood Education and preparation for teacher licensure, you may not need any additional elective courses beyond the courses that fulfill LAC requirements. But if you do need any elective courses, there are a wide range of undergraduate courses offered online at UNC.

Taking LAC or Elective Courses Online

Some options if you need this additional coursework:

  • The UNC Course Search – use the "Go to schedule of classes" button (many LAC course offerings are during Summer sessions; UNC does not currently have online LAC courses in the following subjects: Math, and Science with lab).
  • You can also search for online courses at Colorado Community Colleges Online or peruse options at any community college, particularly one near you (tuition is often lower for local residents).

— Jump Back "Up" to the Program Information Tabs 

Get Started/Apply

Additional Resources

Related Programs