Most Affordable Online Child Development Degrees

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There are more than 60 million children in the United States, and each one grows up in a different and unique way.

These kids need educational, social, and parental mentors who can help them through the difficulties of growing up. This is why Child Development is such an important field.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Child Development Degrees

RankSchoolAverage Cost
1Southern Oregon University$8,939
2University of Alaska Fairbanks$9,097
3University of Texas of The Permian Basin$9,109
4University of Washington$10,068
5California State University-East Bay$10,758
6West Virginia University$10,814
7Northwestern State University of Louisiana$11,567
8University of Southern Mississippi$11,916
9Stephen F Austin State University$11,987
10Fort Hays State University$11,993
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What Is Child Development?

Child development is the study of how children grow physically, mentally, and socially throughout their childhood and adolescence. It also often involves the study of families, and how interactions with their kids affect a child’s growth.

How Much Money Can I Earn Working in Child Development?

Helping kids grow is noble work, but it’s also a good and stable job. There are already more than 62,000 Preschool and Childcare Center Directors employed throughout the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this number to grow by 11 percent over the next decade, which translates to another 7,000 new job openings in the coming years!

With college tuition increasing every year, finding an affordable education has become a priority. Many of the schools on this list appear on College Choice’s ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges.

Why Choose An Online Degree in Child Development?

Most children going through school today have lived with technology for the majority, if not all, of their lives. Engaging with classmates and curricula online gives teachers exposure to the important skills they will need to pass on to the next generation.

The flexibility also allows child development professionals to continue working or volunteering with kids throughout their program, or even to raise kids of their own! All in all, it is this flexibility that makes online programs so appealing to many students.

What Are the 25 Most Affordable Online Degrees in Child Development?

Most Affordable Online Degrees in Child Development Badge

College Choice considers a multitude of factors including institutional excellence, student satisfaction and return on investment to develop rankings.

Institutional excellence looks at stats such as graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios and endowment sizes to judge each school’s ability to follow through on providing an excellent education for each student. Student satisfaction measures how satisfied current and former students felt with the services and programs offered at each school.

And finally return on investment looks at the financial benefits students are likely to receive from the school’s education, weighed against the costs of attendance. In the end, we are confident that these are the 25 most affordable online child development degrees.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Southern Oregon University
    Location

    Ashland, OR

    Tuition

    $8939

    Overview

    Southern Oregon University is a public liberal arts college located in Ashland, OR. The school was formerly known as the Ashland College and Normal School, helping to educate Oregon public school teachers. They now have more than 220 academic staff members and a student body of around 6,200 students.

    Program Features

    Southern Oregon University offers a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences in Early Childhood Development. It is a 180-credit online degree program, which includes the completion of 60 upper division credits including EOD core courses and electives. Sample classes include: Special Studies: Children at Risk; Curriculum Design in Early Childhood; Assessment of Young Children Observation; and Evaluation of Teaching

    After finishing their upper division series of courses, students complete a capstone and portfolio requirement. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 for all Early Childhood Education upper division coursework.

    Notables

    Elective courses include options such as Curriculum for Talented Children, Child Abuse and Neglect, From At-Risk to Resiliency, or Child Abuse and Neglect. Southern Oregon has a Master in Education degree program, which graduates of the ECD program are eligible to apply to. This graduate degree can lead to an Oregon state teaching license.

  2. University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Location

    Fairbanks, AK

    Tuition

    $9097

    Overview

    University of Alaska Fairbanks is a public university located in Fairbanks, AK. The school is sometimes referred to as UAF or simply as Alaska. Alaska was originally named the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. UAF has almost 700 academic staff members and 10,500 total students, including a graduate population of around 1,200.

    Program Features

    The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a minor in Early Childhood Education. Students looking to complete the minor must take 18 total credits from within the specialization. These credits are broken down between: Introduction to Early Childhood Profession (3 credits); Child Development I or Child Development II (3 credits); and 12 Elective credits from within the selection of Early Childhood Education

    The dozen elective credits must also include a minimum of six credits from upper division Early Childhood Education credits and excludes both the Special Topics and Current Issue courses.

    Notables

    This minor can be combined with a major in Education. That Bachelor of Arts degree requires a total of 121-128 total credits. There is also an option for a post-baccalaureate secondary licensure program, which requires 31 credits. Students may pursue these various options based on their eventual career preferences.

  3. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $9109

    Overview

    The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, also referred to as UTPB, is a public university located in Odessa, TX. The school was opened in the 1970s, and has slowly expanded its offerings to include numerous undergraduate and graduate level programs. They have around 5,600 students currently enrolled, but have seen a large amount of growth recently due to a local oil boom.

    Program Features

    The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Family Studies. This degree is available fully online through Permian Basins REACH service and requires the completion of 120 total credits. Of these 120 credits, 37 must be taken in major, through courses such as: The Exceptional Child; Motor Development; Child Abuse and Neglect; Early Intervention; Collaborative Teaching; and Inclusive Practices

    Students complete their course of study through a 3-credit capstone course, also known as the Senior Seminar.

    Notables

    The degrees general education requirements may be fulfilled through community college coursework, or through online courses offered through other colleges. Those pursuing the Child and Family studies degree are eligible for online minors in Communications, Criminal Justice, History, and Management.

  4. University of Washington
    Location

    Bothell, WA

    Tuition

    $10068

    Overview

    The University of Washington is a public research university located in Seattle, WA. Also known as UW, the school is considered the flagship institution of the six public universities in the state of Washington. UW has a student population of around 46,000, including approximately 15,000 postgraduate students.

    Program Features

    Washington offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Family Studies. There are two different pathways that students typically pursue in this major. The ECFS Core Pathway is for those interested in professions beyond teaching, such as social work. There is also a Teaching and Licensure Option for those interested in pursuing a career in education. Elective courses for the teaching option include: Language Literacy in Preschool; Young Children's Mathematics/Science; Engaging Interactions/Environments; and Positive Behavioral Support in Early Childhood

    There are also opportunities for service and research experience, beginning in the Junior and Senior years.

    Notables

    Students pursuing the ECFS Core Pathway choose electives based on their professional plans for working with children and families. Elective options will be connected to other academic areas at the university outside of the early education curriculum. This option requires the completion of 30 elective credits, as compared to 32 for teaching.

  5. California State University, East Bay
    Location

    Hayward, CA

    Tuition

    $10758

    Overview

    California State University, East Bay is a public university located in Hayward, CA. The school is also referred to as Cal State East Bay and CSUEB. Cal State East Bay was founded in 1957, and has a student population of around 16,000, including 2,000 postgraduates. They have approximately 737 academic staff members and an endowment of just over $16 million.

    Program Features

    California State University, East Bay offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development, which includes an option for a Child Development concentration. This is a 180 unit program, which includes 80 unit within the major itself. Major classes include: Child Cognitive Development; Child Language Development; Mothers, Daughters, and Sons; and Theories of Childhood

    This program is available fully online, as well as through a hybrid option that combines online and in-person study. Students who graduate from the program pursue a wide range of careers, in subjects including anthropology, social work, medicine, and counseling.

    Notables

    The program is also offered through the schools P.A.C.E. (Program for Accelerated College Education) program. It is available on campus at both the Hayward and Concord campuses. There are also options for minors in Womens Studies and Human Development.

  6. West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $10814

    Overview

    West Virginia University is a public university located in Morgantown, WV. The school has secondary locations in Beckley and Keyser, as well as clinical campuses for their medical programs located in Charleston. Around 29,000 students attend the main campus, while another 3,000 students attend classes through the secondary locations. Their endowment is over $560 million.

    Program Features

    West Virginia offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Studies. This is a 120-credit-hour program, which includes general education, child development, and elective courses. This program is 100 percent online. Students must also complete nine credits of internship/field experience credit. Courses offered in the program include: Families Across the Life Span; Introduction to Parenting; Infant Development; and Child Development Practicum

    Students who graduate with this degree have pursued careers as elementary school teachers, child, family, and social care workers, and as secondary education teachers.

    Notables

    Applicants to the program should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The curriculum for this degree is modeled to include recent requirements for education set forth by West Virginia teaching agencies.

  7. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Tuition

    $11567

    Overview

    Northwestern State University of Louisiana is a public university located in Natchitoches, LA, along with other small campuses throughout Louisiana. NSU was founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School, which educated teachers and education professionals working in public and private schools. NSU has around 11,000 total students, and has the motto, Dedicated to One Goal. Yours.

    Program Features

    NSU offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies, with a concentration in Child Development and Family Relations. This is a fully-online program and requires completion of coursework in the following areas: Nutrition; Parenting Educational Psychology; and Early Childhood Education

    In addition to coursework, students must also complete 90 hours of observation in a licensed child-care center or elementary school during their junior year. They then complete 180 hours of on-the-job training during their senior year.

    Notables

    Northwestern State emphasizes that students pursuing this online program should be able to run and utilize basic applications, programs, and software on a computer. The independent nature of the program means it is best suited for students who can stay on a task without direct supervision. It is also important that students be able to self-assess their progress in a course.

  8. University of Southern Mississippi
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

    Tuition

    $11916

    Overview

    The University of Southern Mississippi, a public university in Hattiesburg, has served the state of Mississippi for more than a century. Founded in 1910 as Mississippi Normal College, it started out as a training and preparation institution for educators, but has since expanded its mandate to include many degrees and programs. Southern Miss, as it is often called, serves around 14,500 students, and has been designated as a High Research Activity university by the Carnegie Foundation.

    Program Features

    Southern Mississippi offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies. Students may choose a focus in either Family Relations or Child Development. Both programs are available fully online and include courses such as: The Family in Later Life; Child Development Methods and Materials; Personal and Family Fiscal Management; and Developmental Disabilities in Early Childhood

    Both of these programs are also available on-campus at the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg locations.

    Notables

    Students choosing to pursue the Family Relations emphases will generally take courses in subjects such as Psychology or Public Health. Students in the Child Development track will take courses more focused on literacy and experimental lab courses. The Child Development Practicum is also a nine credit-hour course, as compared to three for the Family Relation option.

  9. Stephen F. Austin State University
    Location

    Nacogdoches, TX

    Tuition

    $11987

    Overview

    Stephen F. Austin State University is a public university located in Nacogdoches, TX. Stephen F. Austin was founded in 1923 as a teachers college, preparing elementary and secondary teachers for jobs in education. The school has approximately 13,000 students, and an endowment of approximately $74.3 million.

    Program Features

    Stephen F. Austin offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Sciences, which can include an emphasis in Human Development and Family Studies. Students graduating from the program may pursue careers as child life specialists or adoption specialists. They gain important skills and knowledge from courses such as: Family Life Education; Leadership in Human Sciences; Parenting; Consumer Problems; and Family Development

    The program is offered through SFAs School of Human Sciences and is available fully online.

    Notables

    Students are allowed to transfer coursework from community or junior colleges. Students may transfer up to 66 credits towards their degree. Students may consult the schools online course equivalency guide to see how the courses a student takes will transfer at SFA. Students may also need this preliminary coursework to meet necessary program prerequisites.

  10. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $11993

    Overview

    Fort Hays State University, a public university in Hays, Kansas, serves about 11,000 students. It is Kansass third largest public university. Founded in 1902, it was initially part of the Kansas State Normal School, which provided teacher education to strengthen Kansass public school system. Today, it offers programs in many fields, including 60 that are part of its distance learning Virtual College.

    Program Features

    Fort Hays State offers an online Bachelor of General Studies degree. This degree has an available concentration in Child Development. This concentration is intended for online degree seekers, daycare providers, early childcare providers, and parents. Courses from within the concentration include: The Young Child; Diverse Learners; Human Growth Development; The Effective Classroom; and Educating Exceptional Students

    The concentration requires completion of 21 credit-hours. Other courses available in the program: Introduction to Instructional Technology and Programs, Procedures, and Issues in Special Education.

    Notables

    For admission to the university, students must complete the Kansas Qualified Admissions Pre-College Curriculum and have a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. They must also meet minimum SAT and ACT test score requirements. Transfer students should have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

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