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    24 Best Child Psychology Master’s Programs

    December 15, 2022 | bestvalue

    Master's in Child Psychology
    Best master's in child psychology programs badge

    These days, people who wish to go back to school are spoiled by choice. There are so many programs and so many schools! How do you know which one is right for you? The number of colleges with high-quality programs can often be overwhelming. We are here to help.

    Are you thinking about going back to school for a master’s in child psychology? Psychology is currently one of the fastest-growing fields, and there are several different areas to study. Whether you want to attend classes in person or online, are looking for scholarships, or need to attend part-time, our list of child psychology graduate programs will have options that appeal to you.

    Best Colleges for Child Psychology

    Rank School Location
    1University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
    3New York UniversityNew York City, New York
    4University of South FloridaTampa, Florida
    5University of CincinnatiCincinnati, Ohio

    The programs listed below all include an option for a Master’s in Child Psychology, also known as developmental psychology. If you need help finding which program is right for you, consult our list of the best colleges for child psychology below. You can also check out our child and adolescent psychology careers page.

    1

    University of Minnesota

    • Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Graduation Rate: 78%

    At the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Child Development, students can earn degrees online or in person. Programs offered include M.Ed in Early Childhood Education and an online MA in Applied Child and Adolescent Development.

    School Overview

    • 100% of graduate students in early childhood education teach at the Lab School.
    • Boasts the number one developmental psychology program in the nation.
    • $1,465 per graduate credit hour.
    Visit School Website
    2

    University of Pennsylvania

    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 95%

    Located in thriving Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania offers students a chance to study in one of the leading institutes in Developmental Psychology. Nine faculty members alone are researching and teaching in this field.

    School Overview

    • Past graduates have gone to work in the Federal Government, School for Advanced Research, and have received funding through the National Science Foundation.
    • APA accredited.
    • Graduate Tuition: $607 per credit hour.
    Visit School Website
    3

    New York University

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 85%

    New York University’s MA in Psychology allows students to pursue a number of paths through their studies, including social psychology and clinical psychology.

    School Overview

    • Small class sizes; on average a 15-to-1 student to teacher ratio.
    • Majority of students are employed full or part-time within the field while studying.
    • Courses available in Child Development, Theories of Personality, and Cognitive Psychology.
    • $1,795 per credit hour.
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    4

    University of South Florida

    • Tampa, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 69%

    Choose from any number of in-person or online programs when you apply to the University of South Florida. Students can earn a Master of Science degree fully online in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health (CABH).

    School Overview

    • Focus areas include: Developmental Disabilities, Leadership. Research & Evaluation, and Youth & Behavioral Health.
    • Attend part-time or full-time, whichever fits your schedule best.
    • Per credit hour tuition: $347.83
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    5

    University of Cincinnati

    • Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 66%

    The program at the University of Cincinnati offers a degree in School Psychology, with an emphasis on advocating for children. This program is regularly ranked as one of the top in the nation.

    School Overview

    • 100% of admitted students received tuition scholarships or a graduate assistantship.
    • 100% placement in paid internships
    • 100% pass rate on national licensing exams.
    • Graduate tuition per credit hour: $3896.
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    6

    CUNY City College

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 46%

    CUNY City College offers a wide-ranging curriculum for prospective students to explore. Students can choose a thesis option (31 credits) or non-thesis (40 credits).

    School Overview

    • Seminars have an average of 15-25 students.
    • CUNY boasts an impressive history of job placement across a wide sample of fields, including doctoral work.
    • $855 per credit hour
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    7

    University of Connecticut

    • Mansfield, Connecticut
    • Graduation Rate: 82%

    UConn boasts over 50 faculty in their psychology department. Students can earn a Masters degree in Educational Psychology with several different emphases to choose from. Concentrations include: Cognition, Instruction, and Teaching; School Psychology, and Special Education.

    School Overview

    • UConn is one of the top 25 public universities in the nation.
    • Accredited through the National Association of School Psychologists.
    Visit School Website
    8

    University of Washington

    • Seattle, Washington
    • Graduation Rate: 84%

    With a beautiful campus located in Seattle, the University of Washington offers a Master of Arts in Child & Adolescent Psychology: Prevention and treatment. Students are expected to earn 48 credit hours in order to graduate. One-time tuition scholarships available to those who qualify.

    School Overview

    • $740 per credit hour.
    • Courses offered year round.
    • Students can take classes on Child and Adolescent Psychology, Social & Emotional Development, and Approaches to Child & Adolescent Treatment.
    • $940per credit hour.
    Visit School Website
    9

    University of Maryland

    • College Park, Maryland
    • Graduation Rate: 85%

    At the University of Maryland, students will complete a 72-hour masters program to earn a degree in Developmental Psychology. Students spend the first two years completing coursework and a further two completing their field, taking elective courses to better fit their professional interests.

    School Overview

    • Course options include: Advanced Development Psychology, Peer-Culture and Group Processes, and Introduction to Cognitive Sciences.
    • $731 per credit hour.
    • Students to complete a research project and/or a comprehensive examination.
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    10

    Vanderbilt University

    • Nashville, Tennessee
    • Graduation Rate: 92%

    Situated in Nashville, Vanderbilt University offers an M.Ed. in Child Studies, overseen by the Department of Psychology and Human Development. The program requires 36 credit hours of study. There are two tracks — an Applied Professional Track, if you plan to work directly with children and families, and a Clinical and Developmental Research Track, if you plan to apply to a doctoral degree program later. Both tracks prepare you to work as a practitioner or researcher with expertise in skillfully applying developmental research to real-world problems.

    School Overview

    • Cohorts and class sizes are small.
    • Course requirements are flexible and designed to meet the needs of each individual student.
    • 90 percent of graduates were employed or attending graduate school four months after graduation.
    • Offers admission in Spring and Summer.
    • $2,087 per credit hour.
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    11

    University of Nebraska

    • Omaha, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 44%

    This program offers both thesis and non-thesis options for students wanting to study developmental psychology. Course options include: Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development, and Language Development.

    School Overview

    • 31-37 credit hours depending on choice of track.
    • $341 per credit hour.
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    12

    University of North Carolina

    • Greensboro, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 54%

    This program is designed to be completed by full-time students over 2-3 years. Students begin in the fall of every year (no spring admissions). Students finish their degree by completing a thesis.

    School Overview

    • $299.95 per credit hour
    • Courses include Developmental Psych, research practicums, and research methods.
    • Funding available for those who qualify.
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    13

    Chestnut Hill College

    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 96%

    Chestnut Hill is a small school with a strong Masters program in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. The program requires 60 credit hours of study. Some students may receive graduate assistantships upon acceptance in order to defray costs.

    School Overview

    • $745 per credit hour.
    • Concentrations in Child and Adolescent Therapy, including specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
    • Accredited through the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council.
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    14

    Montclair State University

    • Montclair, New Jersey
    • Graduation Rate: 65%

    Students can earn an MA in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Child/Adolescent Psychology in two years at Montclair State. Applicants must have earned a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA in order to apply.

    School Overview

    • 36 credit hours required for completion of degree.
    • Courses offered in Family Systems and Therapy, Developmental Psychology, and Cognitive Assessment.
    • $700 per credit hour.
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    15

    Duquesne University

    • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 78%

    Duquesne offers a MS Ed. degree in Child Psychology. Students can earn licensure through this program under the State of Pennsylvania. The university offers graduate assistantships and discounted tuition for active K-12 teachers.

    School Overview

    • 30 credit hours to obtain degree.
    • Possibility of transitioning into doctoral study at Duquesne.
    • $1,756 per credit hour.
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    16

    Florida Atlantic University

    • Boca Raton, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 54%

    The Department at FAU boasts over 95% placement of its MA graduates into Ph.D programs following graduation. The MA program is mentor-based, allowing for individualized attention for each student.

    School Overview

    • 36 credit hours
    • Full-time completion should take 2-3 years.
    • $303.71
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    17

    Texas Christian University

    • Fort Worth, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 77%

    For potential students interested in the correlation between childhood and trauma, TCU has a program tailored for your interests. Their MS program in Developmental Trauma spans 36 credit hours. Campus located in bustling Fort Worth, Texas.

    School Overview

    • Courses include: Theories of Development, Vulnerable Child I&II, and Regression Analysis.
    • $1,790 per credit hour.
    • Scholarships and aide available to those who qualify.
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    18

    Northcentral University

    • San Diego, California
    • Graduation Rate: 30%

    For those of you looking to further your education online, check out Northcentral University. 30 credit hours are required to graduate. Because of this, you can be finished with school in as little as 16 months! Admissions offered on rolling bases.

    School Overview

    • Experience a classroom of one! Online learning provides a tailor-made experience for students.
    • Graduates have gone on to different jobs, including Mental Health educators, Behavior Analysts, and Social/Human Services Manager.
    • $889 per credit hour.
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    19

    William Carey University

    • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 75%

    William Carey offers a Child and Adolescent Counseling Concentration in Counseling Psychology. This small college brings a quality graduate education combined with small student to teacher rations.

    School Overview

    • Course options include: Child Psychotherapy, Counseling Children and Adolescents, and Practicum in Counseling.
    • 60 semester hours required.
    • $430 per credit hour.
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    20

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

    • Chicago, Illinois

    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is unique in that it offers an education to students across seven different campuses located across the United States. Earn a MA in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent Concentration all online! The best part is, you can be done in up to a year.

    School Overview

    • 36 credit hours required.
    • Can go full-time or part-time.
    • $1,1,98 per credit hour.
    Visit School Website
    21

    Arizona State University

    • Tempe, Arizona
    • Graduation Rate: 67%

    Another online option for the busiest of us who cannot leave home or stop working. Featured courses include Quantitative Analysis and Research Methods. Concentrations include developmental psychology. Taught by leading faculty members.

    School Overview

    • 36 credit hours (12 classes)
    • 8 weeks per class.
    • Cost: $543 per credit hour.
    Visit School Website
    22

    Pepperdine University

    • Malibu, California
    • Graduation Rate: 87%

    This Masters program offers in-person and on-line options for all kinds of students. Curriculum ranges from 36-48 credit hours, depending on your concentration. Students admitted for both fall and spring terms.

    School Overview

    • $1,320 per credit hour.
    • Courses include Clinical Interventions with Children and Adolescents, Individual and Family Treatment of Substance Abuse.
    • Financial aid available to those who qualify.
    Visit School Website
    23

    University of Denver

    • Denver, Colorado
    • Graduation Rate: 79%

    University of Denver is home to several different programs, including Counseling Psychology, a Masters in School Psychology, and Early Childhood Special Education. This program lasts 47 credit hours. It can take as short as one year to complete.

    School Overview

    • Located in scenic Denver.
    • $2,152 per credit hour.
    • Options to apply credit to Ph.D
    Visit School Website
    24

    Liberty University

    • Lynchburg, Virginia
    • Graduation Rate: 34%

    The Liberty University Masters in Psychology offers flexibility for those wanting to earn their graduate degree online. Enrollment available for both fall and spring semesters. Students can even transfer up to 50% of their required credits into Liberty from another program. Classes are 100% online and last 8 weeks.

    School Overview

    • 36 credit hours
    • Average time to completion: 1.5 years.
    • $565 per credit hour.
    Visit School Website

    We do not use sponsored school rankings when preparing our lists. Those lists are always marked “Sponsored” so they can be clearly identified.  Instead, our methodology took into account several factors, including tuition cost, total student enrollment, and application acceptance rank. Other factors, such as availability of departmental funding, accreditation, and placement were also considered when compiling this list. Throughout this process, we strive to be accurate and representative of the options available to students.

    Why Get a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology?

    It’s possible to embark on a career in psychology without an advanced degree, but there are distinct advantages to continuing your education. Earning a master’s degree in child psychology can help boost your knowledge and qualifications in the field, both of which can open doors to exciting and fulfilling career paths.

    Job Opportunities

    Psychologists work in a variety of industries, and many roles require students to have at least a master’s degree. If you hope to work as a school psychologist, for example, you will need to first complete a child psychology master’s program.

    Skill Development

    Students who pursue a master’s in child psychology have the opportunity to develop vital skills for their future careers. These include research, counseling, and assessment.

    Career Advancement

    If you are already working in the field of child psychology and hope to advance your career, a master’s degree may be the solution. With an advanced degree, you can pursue licensure or apply to a doctoral program so that you can engage in clinical work.

    What Can You Do with a Master’s in Child Psychology?

    Government agencies, public and private schools, and universities all hire psychology professionals to offer support and counseling to children and adolescents. After earning your degree, there are a number of career paths that you might choose to pursue.

    School Psychologist

    School psychologists play an integral role in the education system. They help students develop academic, behavioral, and social skills so that they can succeed and overcome challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for school psychologists was $78,780 as of May 2021.

    School Counselor

    Like school psychologists, school counselors help students navigate their academic experiences. They offer guidance on difficult topics like bullying and domestic difficulties. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for a school counselor in 2021 was $60,510.

    Psychologist

    In addition to schools, some child psychologists work for government agencies or in private practice. They might engage directly with clients or conduct research in the field. Data from the BLS shows that the median annual salary for a psychologist in 2021 was $81,040.

    Family Therapist

    Marriage and family therapists work not only with children but also with their parents, in an attempt to help resolve household conflicts and develop treatment plans for mental health struggles. As of 2021, the median annual salary for a family therapist was $49,880, according to the BLS.

    Postsecondary Teacher

    Although students have to complete a doctoral degree to become college professors, they can work as lecturers or instructors in postsecondary schools with a master’s degree. In these positions, psychology professionals teach students who are new to the field. According to the BLS, the median salary for a postsecondary psychology teacher is $77,860 a year.

    What Is the Salary for a Master’s in Child Psychology?

    Graduates of child psychology master’s programs earn above-average salaries. However, there are a number of variables at play, including the type of employer, years of experience, and location. According to Payscale, the median annual salary for a Master of Developmental and Child Psychology degree holder is $52,000.

    What Are the Requirements for a Child Psychology Master’s Program?

    Every school has its own specific requirements to enroll in a child psychology master’s program, and it’s important to follow their guidelines closely. In general, you can expect these programs to have admissions criteria like:

    • A bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field
    • A minimum GPA demonstrated by the submission of official undergraduate transcripts
    • Letters of recommendation from former instructors or supervisors who are knowledgeable about your skills and abilities
    • Acceptable scores from the GRE
    • A personal statement describing your interest in the program and identifying your future goals

    If your bachelor’s degree is not closely related to psychology, you may be able to prove that you’re prepared for an advanced program by showing that you have completed course prerequisites in the field.

    What Courses Are Included in a Master’s in Child Psychology?

    No two master’s in child psychology programs are exactly the same. However, there are some courses that are common to many programs, including:

    • Developmental Psychology: Courses in developmental psychology focus on human growth and development from infancy through adolescence, and students learn how to identify and address issues with abnormal development.
    • Cognitive Processes: In this class, students learn about processes like memory, perception, attention, and problem-solving.
    • Social Psychology: Students in this course learn about the theories and principles underlying social psychology, including relationships and social attitudes.
    • Ethics and Law in Psychology: Abiding by ethical procedures is essential when working with children, so many programs require students to study ethics and laws related to the area of psychology.
    • Measurement and Assessment: Students in this course discover different forms of assessment and measurement as well as how to analyze results.
    • Multicultural Issues in Psychology: Culture has an enormous influence on human behavior, and students in this course learn how factors like ethnicity and socioeconomic status can affect child psychology.

    In order to graduate with a master’s in child psychology, you may also have to complete a capstone project, thesis, internship, or some combination of the three.

    What Is Child Psychology Licensure?

    Some careers in child psychology have other requirements in addition to an advanced degree. In order to become a school psychologist, for example, you might need to obtain licensure by meeting requirements such as:

    • Earning a master’s degree
    • Passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)
    • Completing an internship

    The steps to becoming a licensed clinical child psychologist are quite similar, but states generally require that professionals earn a doctoral degree in addition to a master’s. Some states also have jurisprudence exams, which include questions about state laws and regulations.

    While earning a master’s degree in child psychology in and of itself will not be enough to gain licensure, many programs are designed to help students prepare for the EPPP. They also often include internship programs to help satisfy state requirements.

    What Additional Education Opportunities Are Available Following a Master’s in Child Psychology?

    Completing a master’s degree is an excellent foundation for students who hope to earn a doctoral degree in child psychology. In most cases, graduates of these programs who want to earn additional credentials move on to one of two programs.

    Ph.D. in Child Psychology

    Students with an interest in research may benefit from earning a Ph.D. in Child Psychology. This can serve as excellent preparation for academic positions at universities, which often involve a combination of teaching and intensive research in the field.

    Psy.D. in Psychology

    If you would prefer to work directly with patients in a clinical setting, a Psy.D. may be a better fit. Some schools offer Psy.D. programs with a concentration in child psychology, which can help you become better qualified to offer counseling services to patients in mental health facilities, schools, or private practice.

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