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Best 15 Online Master’s in Child Development in 2021

March 28, 2021 | Staff Writers

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1. University of South Florida

Many Florida-based schools finish at the top of our lists due to their affordable tuition, and the University of South Florida is no exception. Of course, its online Master’s in Child Development is also top-notch. USF’s program is technically a Master’s in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health.

  • Tuition per year: $6,410 in-state; $17,324 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 69%

2. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is often overshadowed by the flagship University of North Carolina, but UNC Greensboro does have a higher-rated child development program. Its Master’s in Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development offers concentrations in Early Childhood Leadership & Advanced Teaching Licensure or Early Childhood Leadership & Program Administration.

  • Tuition per year: $7,403 in-state; $22,562 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 54%

3. University of Nebraska

The University of Nebraska offers the top child development program in the Midwest. It offers an innovative online Master’s in Youth Development. This program requires 36 credits of coursework.

  • Tuition per year: $9,522 in-state; $25,828 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 67%

4. University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi may not be the most well-known institution on this list, but it does have a highly-rated child development program. Its Master’s in Child and Family Studies requires 37 credits of coursework. There are thesis and non-thesis options available.

  • Tuition per year: $8,896 in-state; $10,896 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 57%

5. West Virginia University

West Virginia University is known for being one of the best universities in the region, and its child development program is one of its leading programs. This program can be completed entirely online. It offers students a well-rounded education in the field.

  • Tuition per year: $8,976 in-state; $25,320 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 56%

6. State University of New York at Albany

The State University of New York at Albany offers the top child development program of any university in the system. SUNY Albany offers two relevant programs: a Master’s in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Childhood Education. Both of these programs lead to teacher certifications.

  • Tuition per year: $10,176 in-state; $27,766 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 66%

7. University of Missouri

The University of Missouri is well-known for its education programs, including its graduate child development program. The institution offers a Master’s in Human Development and Family Science with a specialization in Youth Development. This 36-credit program can be completed in as little as two years.

  • Tuition per year: $10,477 in-state; $28,348 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 68%

8. Stephen F. Austin State University

Stephen F. Austin State University offers the best child development program in Texas. It offers an online Master of Education in Early Childhood. This program prepares students to teach students from birth to eight years old.

  • Tuition per year: $8,844 in-state; $18,972 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 42%

If you’re looking for the best online Master’s in Child Development, you can find the right program on our site.

9. Northern Colorado University

Northern Colorado University boasts a unique and innovative graduate child development program. Its Master’s in Special Education: Early Childhood trains special education teachers to help children at a younger age than most special education training programs. This degree can be completed in only two years.

  • Tuition per year: $9,987 in-state; $22,245 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 48%

10. Michigan State University

Michigan State University is known as one of the top public institutions in the country, and its graduate child development program is one of the reasons why. Its Master’s in Child Development offers students plenty of hands-on experience. The school even has its own Childhood Development Laboratory for students to gain experience.

  • Tuition per year: $14,460 in-state; $39,766 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 78%

11. University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is another top public university with a leading child development program. It offers a Master’s in Applied Child and Adolescent Development. Students can learn and intern in the school’s leading Institute of Child Development.

  • Tuition per year: $15,027 in-state; $33,325 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 78%

12. Winthrop University

Winthrop University is one of the lesser-known South Carolina public universities, but it does have an excellent graduate child development program. This program is a Master’s in Social Work that offers students the opportunity to concentrate on childhood development by taking electives in this area. This program can be completed in less than two years.

  • Tuition per year: $15,806 in-state; $30,136 non-resident
  • Graduation rate: 58%

13. Northcentral University

Northcentral University is the first private institution on our list. It offers an online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Psychology. This 30-credit program can include an optional 100-hour internship.

  • Tuition per year: $14,210
  • Graduation rate: 30%

14. Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online Master’s in Psychology with a Child and Adolescent specialization. This program can be completed in as little as one year. Students complete a research project instead of a thesis.

  • Tuition per year: $21,564
  • Graduation rate: 69%

15. Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University is a small Catholic institution with a notable graduate child development program. Its Master’s in Education-Special Education leads to teaching certification so graduates can begin educating children quickly. This program can be completed in two years.

  • Tuition per year: $29,190
  • Graduation rate: 65%

Our Ranking Methodology

Our rankings are determined by ratings from our formula. We evaluated each school with our formula by using two statistics per school: yearly tuition rate and graduation rate. For the public institutions (which generally have different resident and non-resident tuition rates), we only looked at the resident tuition rate. We took the relevant tuition rate and added a multiplier that is equivalent to the percentage of students who enrolled and failed to graduate. This gives us the school’s rating. Example: ABC Tech Institute has a yearly tuition rate of $30,000 and a graduation rate of 90%. Its rating would be 33,000 (30,000 x 110%). Lower ratings are good when using our formula.

Students searching for the perfect online Master’s in Child Development can find a selection of programs on our site.

If you’re a representative from one of the institutions mentioned in this piece, you can contact us to ask questions or request corrections.

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