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Best 15 Masters in Child Development Programs in 2021

February 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Child Development
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Many schools around the country are ideal for earning a Masters in Child Development. If you have a passion for helping children and you want to pursue it this is a degree that will help you do that. 

Why Earn A Masters in Child Development?

One of the reasons why people choose to earn a Masters in Child Development is because of all the career possibilities it opens up. Some common careers of those who hold this degree include teaching positions in preschool and elementary school classrooms, daycare management and education, private daycare, and curriculum, or child education specialist. 

Top 5 Masters in Child Development Programs

RankSchoolLocation
1University of MinnesotaMinneapolis, Minnesota
2University of La VerneLa Verne, California
3Erikson InstituteChicago, Illinois
4Concordia University ChicagoRiver Forest, Illinois
5University of Colorado DenverDenver, Colorado

In the U.S. the demand for qualified child development professionals is rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, there will be a 25% growth in the industry by 2030. This is much higher than the national average for other industries. Specifically, pre-school professionals are a growing need for each of America’s 50 states. The growth is almost even in every state, making this a very promising industry. 

Best 15 Best Masters in Child Development Programs

1

University of Minnesota

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Points: 80

At the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, the Institute of Child Development offers a Master’s degree program. Students enrolled in this program earn a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. This licenses them to teach children up to the third grade at an elementary school in Minnesota.

In order to gain valuable experience, students are required to teach at the school’s Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School, which serves as a preschool for the campus. When it comes to time spent in the classroom, Masters in Child Development students are taught a developmental theory-based curriculum.

School Overview

Tuition: $7,320 per semester
Credit Hours: 40
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2

University of La Verne

  • La Verne, California
  • Points: 80

At the University of La Verne, students can earn a Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Development. Students can choose from one of two tracks; practitioner, or research. They also choose whether they want their concentration to be early childhood or adolescence. This program is ideal for students who want to work in positions such as the director of a childcare center, a youth advocate, or even a children’s television producer. The program also offers a lot of flexibility, making it ideal for working adults. Students can take courses at their own pace, and they can choose whether they want to take classes online, or on campus once the campus reopens (as all classes are currently being taught online due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

School Overview

Tuition: $7,556 per semester
Credit Hours: 39
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3

Erikson Institute

  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Points: 80

The Erikson Institute offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Child Development. In total, students have a choice of seven different concentrations, some of which are Child Life, Children with Special Needs, Child and Family Policy, and Infancy and Administration.

In order to graduate with this degree, students must complete a two-semester long internship. Some of the internships are with businesses such as the Chicago Zoological Society, Children’s Museum of Oak Lawn, the Garfield Park Conservatory, and Metropolitan Family Services.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,782 per semester
Credit Hours: 38
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4

Concordia University Chicago

  • River Forest, Illinois
  • Points: 80

Concordia University Chicago offers a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program teaches students how to work with children up to the eighth-grade level. It is suitable for anyone who wants to work in public policy or administration, or as an advocacy specialist or early childhood education teacher.

School Overview

Tuition: $16,330 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
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5

University of Colorado Denver

  • Denver, Colorado
  • Points: 100

At the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development students can complete the Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education program. It teaches students how to interact with not only children but also with their families. Those who graduate from this program often work for not only early childhood educational institutes but also family support and early intervention programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $4,325 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
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6

Pacific Oaks College

  • Pasadena, California
  • Points: 90

Students at Pacific Oaks College can earn a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. They can also choose to focus their education on the Trauma Studies Specialization. Either way, this program teaches students to recognize the typical and not so typical developmental milestones in a child’s life. It also emphasizes as much real-world experience as possible throughout the course of the program.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,362 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
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7

Mercy College

  • Dobbs Ferry, New York
  • Points: 80

At Mercy College, students can earn a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education.: Birth-Grade 2. Students can also choose to earn extra certifications. These prepare them to teach students up to the sixth-grade level, with the option of also learning to teach students with disabilities.

Most students that complete this degree go on to work in a daycare setting, or teach preschool or kindergarten.

School Overview

Tuition: $9,038 per semester
Credit Hours: 39
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8

Albany State University

  • Albany, Georgia
  • Points: 70

Students at Albany State University can earn a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed for those who want to teach in a preschool. It prepares them to become curriculum development leaders and to work in research and supervision.

School Overview

Tuition: $20,583 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
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9

New York University

  • New York City, New York
  • Points: 60

Those enrolled in NYU can pursue a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, Birth-Grade 2. The program puts students in elementary school classrooms, but also in Head Start centers and preschools. Requirements include student teaching and fieldwork, with every class being closely associated with one or the other. Students that complete this program often go on to work as program directors in special education and early childhood educational institutions.

School Overview

Tuition: $21,000 per semester
Credit Hours: 45
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10

California State University

  • Sacramento, California
  • Points: 100

California State University, Sacramento offers a Master of Arts in Child Development through its College of Education. Developmental theory and research are the program’s main focus. In order to graduate, students choose a thesis or project.

Students that graduate with this degree often go on to work in community agencies, as well as program administration, social work, and even teach in community colleges.

School Overview

Tuition: $4,426 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
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11

Tufts University

  • Somerville, Massachusetts
  • Points: 80

At the Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences, students can complete a Master of Arts degree through the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. Upon completion of the first semester of study, students can choose to pursue a thesis or applied track. Alternately, they can choose to pursue a concentration in 21st Century Literacies: Media and Technology, or Clinical-Development Health and Psychology.

Students who have completed this degree have gone on to work as early intervention program Developmental Specialists, public school Curriculum Specialists, and even after-school program Technology Consultants.

School Overview

Credit Hours: 30
Tuition: $21,428 per semester
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12

San Diego State University

  • San Diego, California
  • Points: 80

Students at San Diego State University can study in the Department of Child & Family Development to earn a Master of Science in Child Development. The program focuses specifically on children’s emotional and social development. Emphasis is placed on parent-child intergenerational relationships, family processes, and intervention.

In order to complete their degree students can pass an exam, submit a thesis, or complete a project that they designed. The thesis and project choices are recommended for students who want to go on to earn a Ph.D. degree in the field. After graduation, many students of this program go on to work in family service agencies and planning clinics.

School Overview

Tuition: $3,168 per semester
Credit Hours: 32
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13

Mills College

  • Oakland, California
  • Points: 70

At Mills College, students can earn a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education. This degree is pursued by those who want to teach or work in administration for child development programs and elementary schools. Students can choose to pursue an early childhood education credential or a credential that prepares them to teach kindergarten through eighth grade.

During their studies, students teach for an entire school year at the Mills College Children’s School. This is a laboratory school on the campus of Mills College.

School Overview

Tuition: $1,144 per semester
Credit Hours: 39
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14

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Points: 70

At Vanderbilt University students enroll in the Peabody College to earn a Master of Education in Child Studies. The program is run by the Department of Psychology and Human Development. Students have two track options to choose from. If they want to go on to work with children they choose the Applied Professional Track. But if they want to go on to earn a Ph.D. they choose the Clinical and Developmental Research Track. Either way, they complete hands-on work that includes children along with their families.

School Overview

Tuition: $18,225 per semester
Credit Hours: 36
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15

University of Delaware

  • Newark, Delaware
  • Points: 80

Students at the University of Delaware can earn a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Development and Programming. The unique curriculum focuses on how to utilize programming to teach special needs students. To complete their degree students must also gain hands-on experience in schools and early childhood programs.

The uniqueness of this program is that when students graduate from it they receive both a Leadership in Early Childhood Education Certificate and Human Services along with their Master’s in Early Childhood Development.

School Overview

Tuition: $14,235 per semester
Credit Hours: 30
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If you are still wondering which school is the best choice, our degree finder will help you make the decision. 

How We Rank Schools

We take the tuition per semester rate for each school, based on in-state residency. and assign it a score of up to 50 points, with 50 being the most affordable tuition. We also take the credit hours each program requires and assign it up to 50 points, based on the programs that require the fewest number of credits. By adding these two numbers together, we get the ranking for each school. 

We only want to include the correct information in our guides. If you work for one of the schools we have listed and you believe we gave it an incorrect ranking, please contact us. We will be happy to fix our mistake. 

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