Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

If you love children, consider turning your passion into a profession with one of the best bachelor's degrees in child development.

Updated September 20, 2022

Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Are you ready to find your fit?

If you love children, consider turning your passion into a profession with one of the best bachelor's degrees in child development.

In these programs, you'll build expertise on the physical, cognitive, social, emotional, moral, and language development of children. You'll also learn about working with children with special needs and from diverse backgrounds. This knowledge allows you to reach and teach the whole child. You'll become a professional who focuses not just on academics, but on social and emotional development too.

After graduating from these programs, you will have the ability to conduct research, design programs, and provide services that positively impact child development. This can lead to a career in education, public policy, social services, counseling, and more.

What kind of Bachelor's in Child Development degree should you get?

Many child development programs offer concentrations or specializations. If you want to direct a daycare or preschool program, become an educator, or work in social services, there's most likely a concentration for you. If you aren't sure about your career goals, you can pursue a more general child development degree.

Another factor to consider is if you want to attend classes on campus or online. There are benefits to each delivery method. The on-campus programs on this list offer face-to-face interaction and a more traditional college experience.

However, online coursework provides flexibility and convenience. While earning an online degree, you can work at your own pace, on your own time. If online classes appeal to you, check out our list of the Best Online Child Development Degrees.

mini icon

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

How much money do people make with a Bachelor's in Child Development degree?

Your salary will depend on what career you choose to pursue. Below, we'll look at the median salary for several potential child development careers. All salary data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Preschool/Childcare Center Director- $46,890
  • Social Worker- $47,980
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers- $56,900
  • Child Life Specialist- $60,380

These careers are all projected to grow as fast or faster than average in the next 10 years. Social worker jobs, for example, are expected to grow by 16 percent, which is much faster than average.

With a master's degree, you can qualify for higher level positions with higher salaries. Of course, earning your bachelor's degree is a required first step.

What can you do with a Bachelor's degree in Child Development?

A bachelor's degree in Child Development can prepare you to work as a teacher, childcare worker, preschool director, child life specialist, behavioral health specialist, or social worker. You can work in private, public, or even government positions interacting with children. You may also develop community and family programs that benefit child development.

In addition, you can pursue graduate work in human development, psychology, education, or public policy. A bachelor's degree in Child Development can open a wide variety of possibilities.

What are the requirements for a Bachelor's degree in Child Development?

To apply for a child development bachelor's degree program, you'll need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some programs will require a certain GPA or test scores. You may be expected to submit letters of recommendation and a personal statement or essay.

Like other bachelor's degree programs, these programs require at least 120 credit hours. In most cases, students must complete hands-on experience in the field. This can include an internship or practicum, and you may be expected to complete independent research.

What are the best Bachelor's in Child Development degrees?

This guide is a list of the best bachelor's degrees in Child Development. To determine which programs are the best, we evaluate factors including school reputation, tuition, and overall return on investment. The programs on this list will provide high-quality education at reasonable prices, setting you up for career success.

To inform our rankings, we gather data only from trusted sources like:

  • Princeton Review
  • U.S. News and World Report
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • Official college and university websites

If you're seeking a rewarding career in child development, these programs will help you achieve your goals.

Best Child Development Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Vanderbilt University

  • Nashville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Vanderbilt University, a private institution, offers a top-ranking child development program. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from flexible enrollment options, rigorous academics, and comprehensive college support services.

The bachelor's in child development program strengthens in-demand skills through general education and major courses. Courses in math, the humanities, and the natural sciences meet general education requirements. Upper-division child development classes explore theoretical and practical issues in the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles or further education.

Vanderbilt University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 9%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 74

Undergrad Tuition In State: $50,800

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $50,800

Graduation Rate: 93%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $61,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,800
Out-of-state
$50,800
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
9%
Students Enrolled
13,131
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Tufts University

  • Medford, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The BA in child study and human development program at Tufts University, which offers 72 bachelor's degrees, helps degree-seekers reach their goals. Students gain the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths in the child development program. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates also continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational and advanced child development topics. General education courses emphasize in-demand skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Students gain interdisciplinary skills by declaring a minor or second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates make connections on campus and thrive in their program. For example, career counselors help students identify strengths and plan for the job market.

Tufts University at a Glance:

Location: Medford, Massachusetts

Type of School: Private

Admission Rate: 15%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $57,324

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $57,324

Average Tuition
In-state
$57,324
Out-of-state
$57,324
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
15%
Students Enrolled
11,878
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Clemson University

  • Clemson, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in early childhood education program at Clemson University, a public institution, stands out for its quality. The school, located in Clemson, South Carolina, offers both in-person and online classes. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and comprehensive college support services.

Majors take courses in the program and general education classes to earn a bachelor's degree. Social sciences, STEM, and humanities classes meet the general education graduation requirements. Graduates prepare for entry-level roles or further education in advanced courses, which cover theoretical and practical issues in the field.

Clemson University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 51%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 78

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $14,118

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $37,110

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $9,672

Graduation Rate: 84%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $48,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,118
Out-of-state
$37,110
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
51%
Students Enrolled
25,822
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

University of La Verne

  • La Verne, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of La Verne, a private institution, enrolls learners in its top-ranked child development program. From its campus in La Verne, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and comprehensive college support services.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after completing child development courses in the bachelor's in child development program, along with general education requirements. The general education curriculum includes classes in the humanities, mathematics, and communication. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of child development, preparing graduates for the job market.

University of La Verne at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 55%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 56

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $43,440

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $43,440

Graduation Rate: 73%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $45,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$43,440
Out-of-state
$43,440
Retention Rate
82%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
7,396
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#5 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University enrolls undergraduates in 78 bachelor's programs, including its early childhood development program. The degree prepares students for a variety of career paths in many different industries. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in early childhood development. General education requirements also strengthen writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Students complement their major by selecting a minor or double majoring.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, academic advisors work with students to transfer credits into the school and select courses.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Location: Miami, Florida

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 58%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,721

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $16,529

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Birmingham, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in early childhood and elementary education degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a public institution, stands out for its academic quality. From its campus in Birmingham, Alabama, the school enrolls degree-seekers in on-campus and online programs. Undergraduates benefit from flexible course options and rigorous academic standards.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after completing early childhood and elementary education courses in the program, along with general education requirements. Courses in math, the humanities, and the natural sciences meet general education requirements. Upper-division classes explore theoretical and practical issues in the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles or further education.

University of Alabama at Birmingham at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 74%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 51

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $8,568

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $20,400

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $7,605

Graduation Rate: 63%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $39,400

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,568
Out-of-state
$20,400
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
22,080
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Michigan State University

  • East Lansing, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Michigan State University offers a bachelor's degree in child development as one of its 119 bachelor's programs. The child development degree prepares students for a variety of career paths in many different industries. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates also pursue higher degrees to specialize their training.

The bachelor's curriculum trains learners in foundational child development knowledge and practices. Undergraduates also gain communication, writing, and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Minors and double majors allow students to explore their other academic and professional interests.

The school's student services provide support for incoming degree candidates. For example, career counselors connect students with job fairs and internship opportunities.

Michigan State University at a Glance:

Location: East Lansing, Michigan

Type of School: Public

Admission Rate: 71%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,555

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $40,384

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,555
Out-of-state
$40,384
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
71%
Students Enrolled
49,809
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Berea College

  • Berea, KY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The child and family studies program at Berea College, a private institution, stands out for its quality. Located in Berea, Kentucky, the school offers both in-person and online enrollment options. Undergraduates benefit from comprehensive support services, including academic and career advising.

The BA in child and family studies program incorporates general education and major courses to build in-demand knowledge and skills. The general education curriculum strengthens communication and critical thinking skills through coursework in diverse academic fields. Advanced courses cover theoretical and practical subjects, training graduates for entry-level careers or further education.

Berea College at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 30%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 44

Undergrad Tuition In State: $44,100

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $44,100

Graduation Rate: 68%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $27,100

Average Tuition
In-state
$44,100
Out-of-state
$44,100
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
30%
Students Enrolled
1,688
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Howard University

  • Washington, DC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The child development program at Howard University, a private institution, enrolls degree-seekers with flexible options. Degree-seekers choose from in-person classes offered on the Washington campus and online classes. Flexible course options, rigorous academics, and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

The bachelor's degree in human development curriculum combines upper-division child development classes with general education courses. STEM, social science, and humanities classes make up the general education curriculum. Graduates train for entry-level careers or further education by taking upper-division child development classes.

Howard University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 36%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 10-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 87

Undergrad Tuition In State: $24,966

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $24,966

Graduation Rate: 65%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $39,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$24,966
Out-of-state
$24,966
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
36%
Students Enrolled
9,399
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
11% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Western Michigan University

  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in child development and services at Western Michigan University, a public institution, stands out for its academic quality. Degree-seekers choose from in-person classes offered on the Kalamazoo campus and online classes. The school sets high academic standards while offering flexible course options.

Majors take courses in child development and general education classes to earn a bachelor's degree. Social science, humanities, and STEM classes complement the courses in the child development major. Graduates prepare for the workforce or a further degree by taking advanced child development courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Western Michigan University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 80%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 163

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $12,094

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,118

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,448

Graduation Rate: 57%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $35,300

Average Tuition
In-state
$12,094
Out-of-state
$15,118
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
21,470
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Grand Canyon University

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The early childhood education program, one of 62 bachelor's programs at Grand Canyon University, offers a flexible route to a college degree. This degree builds broad knowledge and skills that prepare students for entry- and mid-level careers. Graduates can also pursue a master's degree or a doctorate, which can open up additional career paths.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational concepts and methods in early childhood education. In addition to major coursework, undergraduates take general education classes that strengthen critical thinking skills. Students can explore other interests by declaring a complementary minor or second major.

Student services help incoming degree candidates transition into the school's community. For example, career counselors recommend job training workshops and offer career assessments.

Grand Canyon University at a Glance:

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 77%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 38

Undergrad Tuition In State: $16,419

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $16,419

Average Tuition
In-state
$16,419
Out-of-state
$16,419
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
96,211
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#12 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The early childhood education program at Fort Hays State University, a public institution, stands out for its quality. Located in Hays, Kansas, the school serves students of all backgrounds through campus and online courses. Undergraduates participate in rigorous academic programs and benefit from comprehensive support services.

The early childhood education program requires general education and major courses that build key knowledge and skills. The general education curriculum includes classes in the humanities, mathematics, and communication. Graduates prepare for entry-level roles or further education in advanced courses, which cover theoretical and practical issues in the field.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 91%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 18-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 52

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,990

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $14,070

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $5,162

Graduation Rate: 43%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $36,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Post University

  • Waterbury, CT
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Post University offers a bachelor's in child studies as one of its 21 bachelor's programs. With a child development degree, students pursue entry-level careers in diverse industries. Graduates also apply to master's programs, which open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces key child development topics and principles. General education requirements also strengthen writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Minors and double majors allow students to explore their other academic and professional interests.

Student services help incoming degree candidates transition into the school's community. For example, career counselors help students identify strengths and plan for the job market.

Post University at a Glance:

Location: Waterbury, Connecticut

Type of School: Private

Admission Rate: 97%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 17

Undergrad Tuition In State: $15,258

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,258

Average Tuition
In-state
$15,258
Out-of-state
$15,258
Retention Rate
45%
Admission Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
10,642
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#14 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Siena Heights University

  • Adrian, MI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Siena Heights University enrolls learners in 112 bachelor's programs, including an early childhood education degree. Students enter the workforce prepared for diverse career paths with their degree. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates also continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum includes foundational and advanced courses in early childhood education. Undergraduates complete general education courses that strengthen communication, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students gain a well-rounded education by declaring a minor or second major.

Incoming degree candidates receive strong support from the school's student services. Financial aid counselors work with students to determine the best sources of educational funding, including grants, scholarships, and loans.

Siena Heights University at a Glance:

Location: Adrian, Michigan

Type of School: Private

Admission Rate: 73%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 39

Undergrad Tuition In State: $26,558

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $26,558

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,558
Out-of-state
$26,558
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
73%
Students Enrolled
2,337
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 Best Bachelor’s In Child Development Degrees

Washington State University

  • Pullman, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Washington State University, a public institution, offers a top-ranking early childhood education program. From its campus in Pullman, Washington, the school offers flexible enrollment options, including online classes. Undergraduates benefit from varied course options and rigorous academic standards.

Majors earn a bachelor's degree after completing early childhood education courses in the program along with general education requirements. Courses in math, the humanities, and the natural sciences meet general education requirements. Upper-division classes cover theoretical and practical topics, preparing graduates for entry-level careers or further education.

Washington State University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 76%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 151

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 20

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,953

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $24,531

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,011

Graduation Rate: 60%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $44,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,953
Out-of-state
$24,531
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
31,607
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.