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

    $$$$$

    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
  2. 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.

  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
    Location

    Fairbanks, AK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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) 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.

  • University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  • University of Washington
    Location

    Bothell, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 Childrens Mathematics Science Engaging Interactions Environments 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.

  • California State University, East Bay
    Location

    Hayward, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

  • West Virginia University
    Location

    Morgantown, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

  • University of Southern Mississippi
    Location

    Hattiesburg, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

  • Stephen F. Austin State University
    Location

    Nacogdoches, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

  • Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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 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.

    Graduates from the program go on to careers as victim advocates, court designated specialists, and after school teachers.

    Notables

    Students may transfer up to 90 credit-hours towards this degree. At least 30 credit-hours must be earned at EKU. The program also offers a certificate in Early Childhood Director. There is also a certificate program available in Infant-Toddler Care Education. Both of these certificate programs are offered online.

    Concentrations are intended to help support students eventual career goals. Students will generally complete an option-specific internship towards the end of their course of study.

    Notables

    Child Life and Health is intended for students who intend to pursue graduate work in medical fields relating to children. The Child Services option is intended for students planning on pursuing a career that involves children at the agency level. And finally the Child and Family Support option is for those who wish to help children and families access learning opportunities and case management services.

    Students are required to complete 45 hours of upper division courses and maintain a major and cumulative GPA of no less than 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

    Notables

    Students who have graduated from the ASU program have gone on to pursue jobs as an Advocate, Compliance Manager, High School Teacher, or Logistics Manager. Admissions standard specifics vary between freshman, transfer, and international students. Some programs may also have additional requirements or prerequisites for admission.

    The course is administered by the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education Human Services. Students complete a capstone courses at the end of the program, which may be specialized to fit an area of interest related to family life.

    Notables

    The school may charge differential tuition for certain courses, meaning students would pay an added cost per credit for courses in the program. Students have pursued careers in some of the following areas: Head Start programs, Parent education programs, and long-term care facilities.

    Students complete the program with an Early Childhood Practicum. Students may also take specialty classes such as Teaching Movement Skills to Children.

    Notables

    To be admitted students must have completed 60 hours or their associates degree, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Graduates from the program have gone on to work for Head Start programs or as childcare directors. Students have also found opportunities as early learning coaches and at child safety non-profits and agencies.

    The program is intended for students who plan on pursuing careers as child care center directors, child care providers, or preschool teachers.

    Notables

    Students applying to the program must either submit high school transcripts or GED scores. Undergraduates transferring from a two-year college may transfer up to 60 credits towards their degree. Students coming from a separate, four-year school may transfer up to 90 credits towards degree completion.

    Fifty-six credits of the program come from core classes within the major. Students are also allowed to take six elective credits from outside the major.

    Notables

    Stout offers consistent program courses through the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. There are Adult Student Service Coordinators and Distance Librarians available to offer support for online students. And students who bring transfer credit to the program find the process generous and efficient.

    Students take 43 credit-hours within the major, while also completing general education requirements in subjects such as introductory composition.

    Notables

    Students have the option of observing and participating in CMUs Child Development and Learning Laboratory. The lab is an on-campus preschool program for three- and four-years-olds, which give students first hand experience working with young children.

    The program takes four years with a full-time course load, but some students prefer part-time if they are concurrently employed. Fulfilling this degree completes one of the steps for becoming a certified life care specialist.

    Notables

    The school prepares students to enter one of two job fields from within the Child Development sphere. Direct Service to Children and Families leads into professions such as community service worker or parent educator. Support Service to Children and Families leads to jobs such as child care center director or hospital-related services.

    The program focuses on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development patterns that affect childhood learning. It also includes targeted preparation for the Early Childhood teacher certification exam.

    Notables

    The program is available online, but maybe also be pursued on campus. Students studying on campus can work at the Christine DeVitt and Helen DeVitt Jones Child Development Research Center on campus. There is also a Head Start program centered at Texas Tech, which provides a unique chance for working with a diverse group of toddlers and infants.

    Students who have graduated from the program have found jobs as curriculum specialists, athletic coaches, day care administrators, and day care administrators.

    Notables

    Students in the program create a portfolio of evidence of increasing skill. This helps students to showcase the skills that theyve learned throughout the program, and is highly useful when trying to secure employment after graduation. Networking opportunities through the program include the Student Education Association, Bigs on Campus, and Kappa Delta Pi.

    Students interested in the other end of the aging process sometimes choose to add a minor in gerontology. Gerontology is the study of the biological, social, and psychology processes and effects of aging, especially in older persons.

    Notables

    Colorado State offers the choice of pursuing Director Qualifications for early childhood centers as part of the program. Students work with their advisor to plan for electives that will help students meet state requirements for qualification. Graduates are also in a good position to become Certified Family Life Educators.

    Graduates from the program have pursued careers at employers such as child-care centers, preschools, YMCAs, and senior centers.

    Notables

    Students in this program are also eligible to earn a certification in gerontology or early childhood education. These certifications are only available for students who are in-state Washington residents. Washington State University is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    To complete this course of study, students will register for a College of Education capstone course.

    Notables

    Students may transfer in with up to 90 credits towards the degree. Ashford also offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in similar subjects, such as Education Studies and Early Childhood Education. Students may be required to complete introductory courses to become familiar with the online classroom setting.

    Students also learn how to work with students who have exceptionalities, and how to lesson plan for and best support the growth of these students.

    Notables

    This degree will help prepare graduates to take the Multiple Subjects Teaching credential exam. Those looking to teach below the second grade level will need to take at least 24 units of early childhood classes, as well as six units of special education courses. Tuition includes an iPad used to enhance students learning and communication.

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