Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Updated September 13, 2022

Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

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What Collegs Have The Best Early Childhood Education Programs?

Early childhood educators work with children, from infancy to grade school, sharing fundamental skills and knowledge.

Few occupations offer a greater opportunity to influence individuals and the world at large than jobs in education. Early childhood educators work with children, from infancy to grade school, sharing fundamental skills and knowledge in a number of areas: fine and gross motor skills, basic math, letters and reading, social studies, art and music. Teachers commit to a lifetime of learning, frequently participating in professional development, recertification procedures, and working with coworkers and parents to standardize and enhance learning opportunities for their students.

Early childhood educators may work in public schools, private schools, pre-schools and learning centers, or day care facilities. Entry-level requirements for employment typically include a bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Explore our rankings of 25 top schools below, which offer everything from an essential early childhood education degree to accelerated dual-degree bachelor's/master's programs to combination degrees in early childhood and special education.

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What are the best early childhood education degrees?

Ranking methodology is based on these primary factors: institutional excellence, student satisfaction, and student success (i.e., return on investment).

Institutional excellence is decided using the following types of data: graduation rate, institutional reputation, students' entering test scores, student-to-faculty ratio, and endowment size.

Student satisfaction is an total and weighting of student reviews found in various journalistic outlets and websites.

Return on investment is based on tuition costs, financial aid, average student indebtedness after graduating, and expected early career salary for grads. Data is taken from the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, Payscale, individual college websites, and US News & World Report.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of Georgia

  • Athens, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor of science in education in elementary education program at the University of Georgia, which offers 129 bachelor's degrees, helps degree-seekers reach their goals. The degree prepares students for entry-level roles in elementary education. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can also continue their education by applying to master's or doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational concepts and methods in elementary education. In addition to major coursework, undergraduates take general education classes that strengthen critical thinking skills. Declaring a minor or double majoring helps students stand out on the job market.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from strong college support when they enroll at the school. For example, career counselors meet with students to conduct career assessments and mock interviews.

University of Georgia at a glance:

Location: Athens, Georgia

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 45%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,790

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $28,830

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,790
Out-of-state
$28,830
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
45%
Students Enrolled
38,920
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor of arts in education in educational studies with a concentration in early childhood studies program at Arizona State University, a public institution, stands out for its quality. From its Downtown Phoenix campus, the school enrolls degree-seekers in on-campus and online programs. Undergraduates benefit from flexible program options, rigorous academics, and the school's support services.

The program incorporates early childhood education and general education courses in its curriculum. Humanities, math, and natural sciences courses, which make up the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. Graduates train for entry-level careers or further education by taking upper-division classes.

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 82%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 25

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,710

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $28,800

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $12,777

Graduation Rate: 58%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $42,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$28,800
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
11,420
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New York University enrolls undergraduates in 137 bachelor's programs, including its bachelor of science in early childhood education and early childhood special education program. Students gain the knowledge and skills required for diverse career paths in the program. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates for additional degrees, such as a master's or doctorate.

The bachelor's curriculum includes foundational and advanced courses in early childhood education. Undergraduates also gain communication, writing, and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Students can explore other academic and professional interests by declaring a minor or a second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates integrate into the larger campus community. For example, career counselors help students identify strengths and plan for the job market.

New York University at a glance:

Location: New York, New York

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 16%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $50,684

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $50,684

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,684
Out-of-state
$50,684
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
52,885
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Fort Myers, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public college, Florida Gulf Coast University offers a top-rated bachelor of arts in early childhood education. The school offers online classes and in-person classes located on its Fort Myers campus. The school's flexible course options, along with high academic standards, meet the needs of many undergraduates.

The bachelor of arts in early childhood education builds comprehensive skills and knowledge through both general education and major courses. Humanities, math, and natural sciences courses, which make up the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. Learners prepare for the workforce or further education by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Florida Gulf Coast University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 67%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 22-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 54

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,191

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $22,328

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $6,305

Graduation Rate: 50%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $36,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,191
Out-of-state
$22,328
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
14,977
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Mercer University

  • Macon, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Mercer University offers 74 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in education in early learning and development program that prioritizes flexibility. The degree prepares students for entry-level roles in early childhood education. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates can also pursue higher degrees to specialize their training.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces major principles and practices in early childhood education. Undergraduates also strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills during general education classes. Students can gain interdisciplinary training by choosing a minor or second major.

Student services support incoming degree candidates academically and socially. For example, career counselors connect students with job fairs and internship opportunities.

Mercer University at a Glance:

Location: Macon, Georgia

Type of School: Private

Admissions Rate: 74%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $25,528

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,528

Average Tuition
In-state
$25,528
Out-of-state
$25,528
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
8,740
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
26% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Indiana University-Bloomington

  • Bloomington, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Indiana University Bloomington offers 94 bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor of science in education in early childhood education program that stands out for its quality. The degree builds the knowledge and skills required for a variety of entry-level and mid-level careers. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates for additional degrees, such as a master's or doctorate.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational and advanced early childhood education topics. General education requirements also strengthen writing, communication, and critical thinking skills. Electives, minors, and double majors allow students to explore other academic and professional interests.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, financial aid counselors work closely with students to identify scholarship and grant opportunities.

Indiana University Bloomington at a Glance:

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 78%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,575

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $35,140

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,575
Out-of-state
$35,140
Retention Rate
90%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
43,260
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, the University of Florida offers a top-ranked bachelor of arts in early childhood education. The school offers online classes and in-person classes located on its Gainesville campus. Undergraduates benefit from comprehensive support services, including academic and career advising.

The curriculum combines upper-division classes with general education courses. Humanities, math, and natural sciences courses, which make up the general education curriculum, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills. Advanced courses cover theoretical and practical topics, preparing graduates for the workforce or a higher degree.

University of Florida at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 37%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 102

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,477

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $25,694

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $10,673

Graduation Rate: 88%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $47,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor of science in early childhood education program at Kennesaw State University is one of 90 total bachelor's programs. This degree incorporates knowledge and skills that prepare students for many career paths. After earning a bachelor's degree, some graduates also apply to master's programs to open up additional career opportunities.

The bachelor's curriculum covers introductory courses and advanced topics. In addition to major coursework, undergraduates build communication and critical thinking skills in general education courses. Electives, minors, and double majors allow students to explore other academic and professional interests.

Incoming degree candidates benefit from student services, which provide support for first-year learners. For example, career counselors recommend job training workshops and offer career assessments.

Kennesaw State University at a glance:

Location: Kennesaw, Georgia

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 75%

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,450

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $15,704

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
37,807
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor of science in early childhood development and education program at the University of Central Florida, a public institution, earns top marks. The school offers online classes and in-person classes located on its Orlando campus. Undergraduates benefit from flexible enrollment options, rigorous academics, and comprehensive college support services.

Majors graduate with a bachelor's degree after taking and general education courses in the program. Social science, humanities, and STEM classes complement the courses in the major. Learners prepare for the workforce or further education by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 44%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 30-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 88

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,478

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $19,810

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $9,728

Graduation Rate: 72%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $39,900

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
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

#10 Best Early Childhood Education Degrees

Georgia Gwinnett College

  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The bachelor of science in education degree at Georgia Gwinnett College, a public institution, ranks among the best programs of its kind. From its campus in Lawrenceville, the school enrolls degree-seekers in on-campus and online programs. Undergraduates benefit from flexible program options, rigorous academics, and the school's support services.

Majors complete a bachelor's degree from the program by taking general education and early childhood education courses. Classes in math, the humanities, and the natural sciences meet general education requirements. Within the major, learners take upper-division courses that provide an advanced understanding of the education field, preparing graduates for the job market.

Georgia Gwinnett College at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 94%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 16

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,214

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $12,000

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $5,749

Graduation Rate: 21%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $34,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,214
Out-of-state
$12,000
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
12,831
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
6% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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