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The Early Childhood Education concentration in DePaul's Ed.D. program recognizes the current shortage of highly trained early childhood professionals for colleges and universities at the national level.  The program focuses not only on analyzing theory and practice in early childhood education today, but also on the policy issues influencing the field of early childhood education. 

All the coursework in this program is designed based on best practice guidelines from a variety of leading national early childhood education professional and research organizations, such as National Association of Education of Young Children, Council for Exceptional Children and Zero to Three.  The program is rooted in applied child development as well as curricular theory that embraces the notion of learner self-efficacy, inquiry-based curricula, and partnerships with families.

Recognizing the need for hands-on training in research and higher academic teaching, part of the focus of this program is on mentoring doctoral candidates in acquiring these skills through two research and teaching internships prior to their dissertation work.  The program is designed to prepare early childhood professionals who might come from a variety of backgrounds such as teachers, leaders or administrators, professionals working in the early childhood or related fields, or instructors at the college level.


Superintendent Endorsement Option

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Early Childhood Education are also eligible for the Superintendent Endorsement program, which requires additional coursework, along with four quarter hours for the superintendent internship course. ISBE states the following guidelines:

Individuals seeking the Superintendent endorsement must possess:

  • a Master’s degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • proof of two years of teaching experience on a valid Illinois teaching license
  • proof of two years of full-time administrative experience on a valid administrative license with the general administrative endorsement
  • proof of passing the Basic Skills/TAP and Superintendent content-area tests.

Upon completion of the Superintendent program and the endorsement’s additional requirements, students must apply for the endorsement. Students are to work with the College of Education’s Licensure Officer when applying for the endorsement.

Teacher Leader Endorsement Option

To be eligible for the Teacher Leader endorsement program, students must possess:

  • a bachelor’s degree and master's degree from an accredited college or university,
  • a valid teaching license
  • at least two years of teaching experience
  • proof of passing the Basic Skills or Test of Academic Proficiency.

Principal Licensure

The principal licensure program at DePaul University is an approved Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) program.  It is a rigorous program preparing principals and assistant principals for work service in public and private schools in the state of Illinois.

To be eligible for the Principal Licensure program, students must possess:

  • a master’s degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA of 2.75 or higher at the undergraduate level and a 3.25 or higher at the graduate level.
  • a valid Illinois teaching license
  • at least two years of full-time successful teaching experience
  • proof of passing the basic skills or test of academic proficiency.


  • Early Childhood Education (degree only)
  • Early Childhood Education plus Superintendent Endorsement
  • Early Childhood Education plus Teacher Leader Endorsement
  • Early Childhood Education plus Principal Licensure
Degree Requirements 88 hours
   Total hours required    88 hours