Best Online Master’s In Child Development Degrees

Best Accredited Online Master's in Child and Adolescent Psychology Programs. Ranked by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality.

Best Online Master’s In Child Development Degrees

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Advocacy, education, and commitment to the welfare of children is what a Master's in Child Development stands for.

A Master's in Child Development is the ideal degree for those who already have experience with teaching or working with children.

A Master's not only increases salary and career opportunities, but also increases one’s chances of delving into deeper research relating to adolescent issues. In addition, an online degree is perfect for working professionals who may not have the time commitment of a traditional degree.

Many online Master's can be finished within two years, giving graduates a good time frame to adjust to a new career or higher position within their desired field.

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What kind of Child Development degree should you get?

There are many degrees within the field of adolescent care that are not directly titled “Child Development,” so it is important to have clear career goals before choosing a program.

For those that are interested in going into counseling, a psychology degree focusing on childhood behavior and development may be ideal. If you want to go into teaching, degrees with an emphasis on childhood program development are a good option.

In addition, if social work is an ideal career, many schools offer a Master's in Social Work with specializations in child development. For all of these paths, students should check to see if the program leads into a licensure program to practice within the state he/she wishes to work.

In addition, those who are already working professionals may wish to consider an online program instead of a traditional one that requires daily on-campus visits. Take a look at our ranking of the Top Online Universities to learn more about online education.

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

Those with a Master's can make significantly more than those with only a Bachelor's. For example, a director of an educational program or private school with a preschool can earn a beginning salary of $60,000 with a potential pay rise of up to $100,000 after many years of experience.

An early childhood special education teacher pays an average of $77,000 which can increase to almost $100,000 throughout the career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can expect a 7% job growth increase for preschool and childcare center directors and a 6% job growth increase for kindergarten and elementary school teachers between the years of 2014 and 2024.

What can you do with a Child Development degree?

There are a lot of versatility with a degree in Child Development, however many graduates go into a career involving advocacy or education surrounding childhood issues. Popular careers are counseling, teaching, program development, program advisor, social work, etc.

Some people may even be hired into healthcare programs involving childhood health or work in different governmental branches. More specific career paths are available for those who carry a specific license (ie. counseling, teaching, etc.) to practice.

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

Many Master's in Child Development require a Bachelor's in a relating field such as psychology, education, or another specific degree related to children or family development.

Those with an unrelated Bachelor's can still obtain this degree, provided that they take a few additional general education courses to gain a foundation in child development theories. No other specific admission tests are required for this major other than the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that most Master's programs require.

What are the best Master's in Child Development?

College Choice has ranked the Best Online Master's in Child Development degrees within the nation. Data was compiled from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDs database, Payscale, the U.S. News & World Report, and individual college websites.

Institutional excellence was ranked based on the college’s endowment, reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate, etc. Overall student success was ranked based on average amount of financial aid received, expected entering salary upon graduation, etc.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

#1

Walden University

School Information
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Graduation Rate 33%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

Walden University offers a top-ranked MS in developmental psychology with a child development specialization as one of its 39 master's degrees. The program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. At the school, programs offer flexible enrollment options that appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with other responsibilities.

The master's program uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes theoretical and practical approaches to child development. Students apply their training in internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which strengthen career-ready skills. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.

Walden University at a Glance:

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,039

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,039

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#2

Capella University

School Information
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

The child development master's program at Capella University, one of 76 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The MS in child and adolescent development incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for enrollees to fit classes into their schedule.

During the program, learners gain theoretical and practical knowledge through the rigorous child development curriculum. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Concentrations and electives let learners individualize the program based on their interests and professional goals.

Capella University at a Glance:

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

School Type: Private

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,767

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,767

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 100%

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#3

University of Minnesota

School Information
Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Admission Rate 57%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners seeking a graduate degree in child development can enroll in the applied child and adolescent development program at the University of Minnesota. The MA program helps graduate students gain specialized training to reach their career goals. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of child development through the program's challenging curriculum. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. A concentration also helps learners specialize their training and pursue child development-focused careers after completing the master's degree.

University of Minnesota at a Glance:

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 57%

Graduate Tuition In State: $17,580

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $27,204

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 81%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $9,544

Average Price After Aid: $17,279

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#4

Northcentral University

School Information
Location La Jolla, California
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

For students looking to advance their career, Northcentral University hosts a master's in child and adolescent developmental psychology. From its main campus in La Jolla, California, the private university offers graduate programs with several enrollment options, including online programs. In the child development program, the graduate-level curriculum encourages learners to strengthen their skills.

Master's candidates benefit from a generous selection of college resources and support services. For example, financial aid counselors connect students with grant and scholarship opportunities. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of career counseling, writing tutoring, and extensive library services.

Northcentral University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 26

Total Online Master's Programs: 26

Student-Faculty Ratio: 3-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $16,983

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $16,983

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#5

University of La Verne

School Information
Location La Verne, California
Admission Rate 55%
Graduation Rate 73%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students interested in advancing their career can earn their master's in child development at University of La Verne. The private university, located in La Verne, provides several enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online options designed for working professionals. During the master of science in child and adolescent development program, learners complete a rigorous curriculum that builds on their undergraduate training.

Master's candidates benefit from the university's support services, which include academic and career services. Financial aid advisors connect students with resources to pay for graduate school, while academic advisors recommend course selections. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of tutoring centers, library services, and service learning opportunities.

University of La Verne at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 21

Total Online Master's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 55%

Graduation Rate: 73%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,256

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,256

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $45,800

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#6

Southern New Hampshire University

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 44%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Southern New Hampshire University offers several career-focused graduate programs, including a master's in child psychology and development. From its main campus in Manchester, New Hampshire, the private university offers graduate programs with several enrollment options, including online programs. During the child development program, learners take their knowledge to the next level thanks to accessible graduate courses.

Master's candidates benefit from the university's support services, which include academic and career services. For example, academic advisors recommend course selections and connect students with tutoring services. Master's degree-seekers also take advantage of tutoring centers, library services, and service learning opportunities.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 33

Total Online Master's Programs: 22

Admission Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 44%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,810

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,810

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $43,300

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#7

University of Missouri

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master's in child development program at the University of Missouri stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The MA in psychology with an emphasis in child development and developmental psychology helps graduate students gain specialized training to reach their career goals. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

The master's curriculum uses theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of child development. Students strengthen their knowledge through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which also build valuable professional connections. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their education around particular fields.

University of Missouri at a Glance:

Location: Columbia, Missouri

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 81%

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,264

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,363

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 89%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,464

Average Price After Aid: $15,850

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#8

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

School Information
Location Lincoln, Nebraska

The master's in child development program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln appeals to students seeking career advancement. From its main campus in Lincoln, Nebraska, the public university offers graduate programs with several enrollment options, including online programs. In the child development and early childhood education program, learners strengthen their knowledge and skills through a rigorous curriculum.

College resources and support services help master's candidates get the most out of graduate school. Financial aid advisors recommend scholarships and grants, while academic advisors help with course selections. The university provides career advising, tutoring, and library services to master's degree-seekers.

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#9

Missouri State University

School Information
Location Springfield, Missouri
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master's in child development degree from Missouri State University helps graduates pursue advanced careers. From its Springfield campus, the public university meets the needs of diverse degree-seekers by offering flexible enrollment options. In the master's in early childhood and family development program, learners complete a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes advanced child development knowledge and skills.

Whether enrolled online or on campus, master's candidates can access a generous selection of college resources and support services. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of career counseling, writing tutoring, and extensive library services.

Missouri State University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 52

Total Online Master's Programs: 28

Admission Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 56%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 20-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,202

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,476

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $34,300

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#10

Michigan State University

School Information
Location East Lansing, Michigan
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 81%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Michigan State University offers a total of 126 master's degrees, including a top-ranked program in child development. The master's in child development program helps students grow their career opportunities and increase their earning potential. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help enrollees balance school with work or other responsibilities.

Learners take theoretical and practical child development classes to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Students apply their classroom knowledge through internships and hands-on learning opportunities, which also build professional connections. Learners meet with faculty advisors to choose electives and concentrations to individualize the child development degree.

Michigan State University at a Glance:

Location: East Lansing, Michigan

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 71%

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,858

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $37,056

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 70%

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $11,755

Average Price After Aid: $16,579

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