Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Updated September 13, 2022

Are you ready to find your fit?

Do you love children and teaching? Looking to empower today’s youth? Check out the best online master’s in early childhood education!

People with an online master’s in early childhood education often work as elementary school teachers, learning mentors, social workers, special needs teachers, and more. If you already work in the field and are looking to further your studies, a flexible online degree may be the perfect option for you. More and more colleges are catering their programs to those who have jobs, family obligations, or just need flexibility. This is even more important and relevant to those in the field of Early Childhood Education.

What kind of early childhood education degree should you get?

Early childhood educators will always be needed; in every state, town, and city, there are kids who need to learn. It can be difficult to figure out what kind of degree you should get–should you attend online? Or on-campus? If you’re already working and flexibility is key for you, an online program may be your best bet.

Perhaps you need to further your studies but don’t have a lot of time or money to do so. Online schools might be your best option. For a look at other online education options, check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Graduate Schools.

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How much money do people make with an early childhood education degree?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics holds the median salary for preschool teachers at nearly $29,000, and the median salary of those working in elementary and primary schools at $55,490. This is a career that often allows frequent promotion and advancement.

People place a high value on quality early childhood education with certified staff. The number of new preschool students alone has risen by 43 percent according to the The Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2019, early childhood education is expected to have the highest job availability of any area of education, rising by 18 percent.

What are the requirements for a obtaining a master’s in early childhood education?

Each state has different requirements for working in early childhood education. Some careers require teaching licensure or special certifications, while others don’t. Our list will give you an understanding of which online programs provide endorsements (for specific age groups, special education students etc.) and which only amp up your early childhood education credentials and job options.

Most of the below programs are for those working professionals who are already in the field or those who already have a degree in the industry.

What are the best early childhood education degrees?

There are so many degrees in early childhood education out there - how do you choose the best? If you’re looking to earn an advanced degree with the flexibility to learn on your own time, these Online Early Childhood Education Master’s programs below are a great starting point. Our ranking methodology is based on three primary factors: institutional excellence, student satisfaction, and student success (or, return on investment).

Most Affordable Online Master's in Early Childhood Education Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Portland State University

  • Portland, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Portland State University offers early childhood education students an online master's degree in early childhood: inclusive education, which is a top-ranked program in its class. This degree provides learners with advanced knowledge and training required for many higher-level job opportunities in the field. The master's program prepares students for doctoral degrees and other terminal programs.

This program offers a format conducive to effective time-management that many learners need. Students may want an advanced degree but have other concerns such as caregiving and employment, and this flexible degree supports those endeavors. No matter if enrollees study remotely or on campus, they benefit from a supportive learning environment that includes faculty and community support.

For consideration, applicants usually need to have a bachelor's degree. Though some programs post different averages, the school accepts about 96% of all who apply. Popular funding streams for those who qualify include loans and scholarships, and tuition costs Oregon residents about $11,718 per year.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,462
Out-of-state
$21,528
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
25,321
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Capella University

  • Minneapolis, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Capella University is a private school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a strong catalog of academic programs and a learning experience tailored to meet students’ needs. The institution’s 76 master's degrees available from a distance help make the university a leader in online graduate education. One of these is the master's degree in early childhood education for graduate degree-seekers.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which offers graduate students the freedom to learn at their convenience. Caretakers, workers, and other busy enrollees appreciate the ability to schedule instruction and coursework in a way that works with their schedules. This online format allows faculty to seamlessly integrate academic rigor, advanced career preparation, and flexible scheduling.

The requisite background for entry into a master’s program usually involves a bachelor’s degree and other requirements. The department can tell you more about application requirements such as transcripts, interviews, and recommendation letters.

Average Tuition
In-state
$14,148
Out-of-state
$14,148
Retention Rate
40%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
37,859
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Arizona State University

  • Phoenix, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

At Arizona State University, prospective graduate students receive advanced preparation and degrees designed for busy learners. People who may have had challenges pursuing graduate school because of their hectic schedules can appreciate this program's flexibility.

Applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree in the same major or a related field. Candidates in the program engage in intensive coursework that prepares them for more advanced career opportunities than undergraduate degrees allow. Some degree recipients will continue on to earn a doctorate in this field.

Tuition differs depending on residency status, with residents of Arizona paying an average $11,720 per year in tuition and residents of other states paying $26,160. Paying for tuition is always a concern, and grants and scholarships are avenues for exploration. Loans may also be available as an option for many students.

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

#4 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of North Dakota is a public school in Grand Forks. The institution’s 28 master's degrees available from a distance help make the university a leader in online graduate education. One of these is the master's degree in early childhood education for learners interested in a career in the field.

Logistics is no barrier to earning this degree, which was designed with adaptability and flexibility in mind. Caretakers, workers, and other busy enrollees may find it easy to work this master’s degree into their schedules. Students receive the same advanced education as their on-campus peers in preparation for higher-level occupations.

While you can expect some variations, the rate of acceptance is 81% of applicants on average per year. It’s typical for degree-seekers to need a bachelor's in the major or a related one to apply to a master’s program. To learn more, contact the program about application requirements.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,212
Out-of-state
$14,371
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
13,581
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of Toledo

  • Toledo, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Without significantly interrupting their lives, graduate students can earn degrees at the University of Toledo, an institution that emphasizes flexibility and accessibility. The Toledo, Ohio, school offers an early childhood education degree among its 10 online master's degrees. This program accommodates degree-seekers' need for flexibility with a format that offers accessibility from any location.

While criteria may vary depending on the degree, a bachelor's is generally required to apply to a master's program. A bachelor's alone cannot provide the kind of advanced training students receive in a master’s program such as the M.Ed. in early childhood education program, and that is a key feature that attracts them. Degree recipients can pursue a Ph.D. program or other terminal degree.

Tuition differs depending on residency status, with residents of Ohio paying an average $14,047 per year in tuition, and residents of other states pay $24,649. Learners can contact the financial aid department to find out more about if they qualify for grants and scholarships. Students can also pay for a graduate degree with federal loans.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,449
Out-of-state
$17,809
Retention Rate
76%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
19,694
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of Colorado Denver

  • Denver, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Earning a graduate early childhood education degree is achievable at the University of Colorado Denver because of an institutional emphasis on flexibility. Remote learners can choose from 16 online master's degrees, including the master's degree in early childhood education, delivered from the Denver, Colorado, location. Full-time workers and others who want to earn a graduate degree but cannot relocate should consider this adaptable degree.

Application requirements include a bachelor’s degree in the same field or other criteria as stipulated on the program website. Students complete a rigorous MA in early childhood education curriculum that immerses them in advanced knowledge and field preparation that a bachelor’s alone cannot provide. The degree may satisfy the entry requirements for a Ph.D. program in this field.

Learners studying from within Colorado pay an average of $6,786 per year, or $22,590 if elsewhere. Many learners help foot the bill by securing grants and scholarships from the institution and outside sources. In addition to financial aid students don’t need to pay back, they may also want to consider federal or private loans.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,920
Out-of-state
$24,408
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
24,910
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Northern Arizona University

  • Flagstaff, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Northern Arizona University’s online graduate programs emphasize quality and affordability. One of these options is the master's degree in early childhood education for degree-holders with a bachelor’s in education or a related field. The graduate program provides advanced training in a format friendly to those who work or have to manage other obligations.

Early childhood education students enjoy a 19-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio in their classes. The biggest attraction is the educational attainment acquired when learners complete a rigorous curriculum delivered by early childhood education experts. This higher-level academic preparation is a prerequisite for career advancement or a doctoral program in this field and related ones.

Making tuition competitive is a school priority, and Arizona residents pay an average $10,305 per year, and out-of-state residents pay $19,522. If they qualify, degree-seekers can use grants and scholarships to help fund their master’s. There are also student loans available, an option taken up by about 42% of enrollees at this institution.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,018
Out-of-state
$16,613
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
30,733
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Mercer University

  • Macon, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Mercer University offers a number of graduate programs through its online platform. The is one of those degrees, designed for degree-holders with a bachelor’s in early childhood education or a related field. The degree provides the rigorous education expected from a graduate program, using a flexible online format.

The school has a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio that benefits students in the M.Ed. program. They acquire the advanced training employers want in potential hires knowledgeable about best practices. By far the biggest benefit of this master’s is preparation for career advancement in this field and related ones, along with the foundational knowledge for a Ph.D.

Tuition for both Georgia students and out-of-state learners is $15,422 per year. The financial aid department can explore aid opportunities with degree-seekers, and the funding options may include scholarships and grants.The comprehensive suite of financial aid options also include students loans, which about 57% of the school’s enrollees use to fund some or all of their education.

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

#9 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • Greensboro, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Prospective graduate students can earn an early childhood education degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, an institution known for developing flexible graduate programs. Among the academic programs available at the Greensboro, North Carolina, school are 16 online master's degrees, and the master's degree in birth-kindergarten education and development is a top-ranked option. This adaptable program makes graduate education accessible to degree-seekers with busy lives.

Applicants to master's degree programs typically need a bachelor's or the equivalent in the same or a similar field. What the M.Ed. in education and development program provides is advanced preparation through an intensive curriculum that may involve research opportunities and other hands-on experience. A Ph.D. is the next accomplishment for many holders with a master’s in their field.

Tuition differs depending on residency status, with residents of North Carolina paying an average $5,219 per year in tuition and residents of other states paying $18,937. If they qualify, learners can use grants and scholarships to help fund their education. Many students may also want to consider loans as an option to afford tuition.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,422
Out-of-state
$19,581
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
20,196
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degrees

Missouri State University

  • Springfield, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Missouri State University attracts graduate students who want extra flexibility to pursue degrees without significantly interrupting their lives. Though located in Springfield, Missouri, the school offers 28 online master's degree opportunities for remote learners, including the MS in early childhood and family development. This adaptable degree is ideal for full-time workers, caregivers, and others who want to pursue graduate education but need flexibility to do it.

Application requirements include a bachelor’s degree in the same field or other criteria as stipulated on the program website. What the program provides is advanced preparation through an intensive curriculum that may involve research opportunities and other hands-on experience. Degree recipients can pursue a Ph.D. program or other terminal degree.

Students can expect to pay $5,202 per year in tuition if they reside in Missouri and $10,476 if they are from out of state. Learners can use resources from the financial aid department to determine if they qualify for financial aid like grants and scholarships. Many students use loans to help pay for the program's tuition.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,540
Out-of-state
$14,850
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
23,453
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
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