In this article, we profile the 20 best online master’s in child development programs of 2020.

If you’re considering a child development degree, such as the online master’s in child development, plan on leveraging your career and earnings potential. This is an ideal degree for those with experience working with children who want to advance their career opportunities. Many master’s in child development online programs can be finished in two years or less and offer flexible classes that allow students to fulfill current career goals while earning their graduate degree.

20 Best Master’s in Child Development Online Programs Methodology

We reviewed approximately 55 colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered master’s in child development online degree or closely related programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (regional and/or national) and institution or program rankings with at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report. We then listed our selected programs according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our 20 best online master’s in childhood development programs of 2020.

#20 – Erikson Institute

Online Master’s in Child Development

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Erikson Institute - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
No GRE required for the online master’s in child development program at Erikson Institute.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,400

The Erikson Institute, ranked among the nation’s top health schools by U.S. News and World Report, offers an online master’s in child development degree. This 30-credit degree may be completed entirely online. Classes are taught by the same instructors who lead the on-campus program, however; the online program does not lead to child life licensure. The program is available for full-time and part-time completion. Enrolled as a part-time student means earning the degree in three years, while full-time students earn their degree in two years. Courses cover topics like administration of child life programs, cognitive development, and physical growth and development. Admission is easy and convenient. There is no GRE or prerequisite classes required. In fact, applicants need only have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have completed the online application.

#19 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Online Master’s in Psychology – Child and Adolescent

Chicago, Illinois

Website

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited! The Chicago School of Psychology offers online child development programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,934

Looking for quality online child development programs? The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online master’s in psychology with a child and adolescent concentration. The online program is available with full-time or part-time study options. Full-time enrollment yields a degree in one year, while part-time enrollment takes an additional year to complete. Courses available online cover a wide range of child and adolescent topics. These courses include evidence-based programs for children and adolescents, family systems and family therapy, and trauma and crisis intervention. Chicago School of Professional Psychology is fully accredited and ranked among top health and specialty schools in the US. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among top psychology institutions.

#18 – University of Minnesota

Online Master’s in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

University of Minnesota - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Study applied child and adolescent development online at University of Minnesota.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $19,221

University of Minnesota’s online master’s in child development is a fully online degree that consists of 32 credits. Enrolled students have the option of selecting one of the three available specialized tracks. These tracks allow students to tailor their degree toward an area of interest or to meet specific career goals. Tracks include: child life, individualized studies, and infant and early childhood mental health. For the child life track, courses cover topics like child life theory, developmental perspectives on illness and injury in healthcare, and therapeutic play for child life practice. UM ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 70th best national university and 118th best value school in the country.

#17 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Master’s in Psychology – Child & Adolescent Development

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Finish in as little as 15 months! The online master’s in child development program at SNHU!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,810

Designed to elevate your career and help improve the lives of children and adolescents, the master’s in child development online program at Southern New Hampshire University is accredited and affordable. The program may be completed in as little as 15 months by taking two courses per ten-week term. These courses cover topics like cognitive processes, developmental psychology, ethical practice in psychology, intervention strategies, measurement and assessment, and theories of personality. The program is open to students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology or closely related discipline. Prerequisite courses in psychology, statistics, and social science research methods are also required. SNHU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 92nd best regional university in the North.

#16 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology

La Jolla, California

Website

Northcentral University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Finish is less than 20 months! Northcentral University’s online master’s in child development.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,095

Northcentral University’s online master’s in child development program prepares students for work advocating for children, adolescents, and their families. Graduates of this program have gone on to establish careers as behavior analysts, clinical case managers, family or school social workers, and youth counselors. The program can be completed entirely online and requires 30 credits and ten courses. The recommended completion time for this degree is less than two years (20 months). At the culmination of the degree program, students have the option of completing a 100-hour internship working in the field. This option provides valuable work experience for the recent graduate. According to U.S. News and World Report, Northcentral is recognized among top national universities.

#15 – University of La Verne

Online Master’s in Child and Adolescent Development

La Verne, California

Website

University of La Verne - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Ranked with U.S. News! University of La Verne offers a master’s in child development online degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,436

The University of La Verne offers a master’s in child development online degree that can be applied to a wide variety of jobs. From teachers to youth advocates, preparation for different career paths starts with education. The online master’s in child and adolescent development program at La Verne consists of 33 units for the practitioner track and 39 units for the research track. Classes are delivered entirely online and cover topics like assessment in early childhood, cognition and brain development, developmental curriculum, educational psychology, and methods of research. University of La Verne ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. In fact, recent rankings include #132 in best national universities and #72 in best value schools.

#14 – University of Northern Colorado

Online Master’s in Special Education – Early Childhood

Greeley, Colorado

Website

University of Northern Colorado - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
36 credits and fully accredited! University of Northern Colorado’s online child development programs.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,894

Affordable online child development programs, such as the online master’s in special education – early childhood, are available from University of Northern Colorado. This 36-credit hour degree program offers a fully online format with classes taught by the same faculty who lead the on-campus program. Courses cover topics like assessment in IEP development, family and professional partnerships, and policy and advocacy in early childhood special education. This program takes two years, on average, to complete. The University of Northern Colorado ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 293rd-381st best national university. Also, the online master’s in special education programs ranks #16 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#13 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Family and Human Development

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Earn a master’s in family and human development online at ASU!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,608

Arizona State University’s online master’s in child development is a 30-credit degree offered by the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. This program consists of 10 classes that run 7.5 weeks in length. Courses cover topics such as diversity and society, leadership and social justice, marriage and family relationships, social statistics, and theoretical issues in child development. Successful applicants of the program have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.00 cumulative GPA. ASU ranks with all major publications. For this profile, we evaluated ASU’s rankings with U.S. News and World Report. The school’s rankings included #117 in best national universities.

#12 – University of North Dakota

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
UND offers online programs in early childhood education that appeal to those seeking online child development degrees.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,058

University of North Dakota offers online child development programs, including the online master’s in early childhood education. The program consists of 32 credits and completes in just over two years. Through online courses and a classroom practicum, students hone their skills and knowledge in three critical areas of early childhood education. These areas include community, culture, and family. The online graduate courses you will take while enrolled in this program include collaborative relationships, curricular foundations in early childhood education, language development and cognition in children, and play in development and early childhood education. UND ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Recent rankings include #263 in best national universities and #128 in top public schools.

#11 – Concordia University

Online Master’s in Education – Early Childhood Education

Mequon, Wisconsin

Website

Concordia University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
100% online child development programs – Concordia University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,172

Concordia University offers accredited online child development programs that emphasize education and early childhood education. The master’s in education and early childhood education program can be earned online. This program consists of 30 credits. Courses are taught by Concordia faculty and cover a wide range of topics applicable to the field of early childhood education and development. These courses include curriculum design development in early childhood education, development – appropriate assessment, educational research methods, and effective relationships with family and community. In addition to being accredited, Concordia ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university and 254th top performer on social mobility.

#10 – Grand Canyon University

Online Master’s in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
An affordable option for an online master’s in child development – Grand Canyon University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,074

For those seeking an affordable online master’s in child development program, Grand Canyon University offers a related degree. The online master’s in childhood and adolescence disorders offers Christian-focused curricula and content. Courses help develop students for careers as mental health counselors and advocates in a variety of settings. The current program course list covers topics like assessment of mental and emotional health status, childhood and adolescent trauma, clinical assessment, lifespan and development, and theories and models of counseling. All courses are delivered online and taught by GCU’s experienced faculty. GCU is accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, 2020 rankings for GCU include #293-#381 in best national universities.

#9 – University of Missouri

Online Master’s in Human Development and Family Science – Youth Development

Columbia, Missouri

Website

University of Missouri - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! University of Missouri’s online master’s in youth development.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,478

University of Missouri’s master’s in child development online degree program is delivered 100 percent online and designed for working students. Also, since the program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is a top choice for individuals seeking quality and reputable online master’s degrees in child development. The online master’s emphasizes family science and youth development. Courses are taught by the same faculty who instruct on campus. These courses cover topics like conceptual approaches to youth development, normative pathways to development, and youth and family cultural issues. In addition to accreditation, University of Missouri has received rankings from U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #139 in best national universities and #90 in best value schools.

#8 – University of South Florida

Online Master’s in Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health

Tampa, Florida

Website

University of South Florida - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited – the online child development programs at University of South Florida.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,428

One of the most affordable online child development programs on our list is the online master’s in child and adolescent behavioral health offered at University of South Florida. This fully online program is designed to prepare professionals to serve in family and youth organizations that strive to promote the well-being of children. A total of 39 credits are required to complete the degree. Courses cover topics like child and adolescent behavioral health policy, cultural competency in children’s mental health, and evaluation and research methods in community health. One advantage to the program is its flexibility. Students have the option of choosing a thesis completion pathway or non-thesis track. Also, USF ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#7 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online Master’s in Child and Family Sciences

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

University of Southern Mississippi - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Study child and family science online at University of Southern Mississippi.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,896

The University of Southern Mississippi offers accredited and affordable online child development programs, such as the online master’s in child and family sciences. This program is designed with working adults in mind. Flexible online classes combined with affordable tuition make this program a top choice for individuals seeking a graduate degree in child and family sciences. Some of the required courses include advanced family theories, adulthood and aging in the family system, critical issues in child development, family advocacy, and theories in child development. The program and school are also fully accredited. In addition, University of Southern Mississippi ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 293rd-381st best national university in the country.

#6 – Liberty University

Online M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Liberty University’s online childhood education degree is fully accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,333

Liberty University offers one of the only online child development programs on our list that yields an M.Ed. in early childhood education. This program is designed for teachers or individuals seeking a biblically-based program that emphasizes childhood education for young children. Featured courses, all delivered online, include advanced child development, current issues in early childhood education, instructional methods for behavior and learning, and leadership and supervision in education. The program consists of 36 credits and takes 1.5 years to complete. Liberty ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. In fact, rankings include #293-#381 in best national universities and #335 in top performers on social mobility.

#5 – University of North Carolina

Online M.Ed. in Birth-Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development

Greensboro, North Carolina

Website

University of North Carolina - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
UNCG offers online child development programs that are highly affordable!

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,200

For those seeking a master’s in child development online degree program that emphasizes birth to kindergarten interdisciplinary studies in education and development, University of North Carolina Greensboro offers such a program. This fully online M.Ed. is designed for students with initial licensure seeking early childhood leadership and advanced teaching licenses. To be admitted to the program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development or a closely related field and have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like advanced curriculum in early childhood education, and leadership and mentorship in educating young children. UNCG ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 272nd best national university and 135th top public school.

#4 – University of Colorado

Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Denver, Colorado

Website

University of Colorado - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News and World Report – University of Colorado’s online master’s in early childhood education.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,069

The University of Colorado offers a highly affordable program for those seeking online master’s in child development or closely related degrees. The ECE degree also offers an optional early childhood special education specialist licensure or endorsement that can be added onto the degree as a concentration. As a result, the program requirements range from 30 to 42 credits. All courses are delivered online and taught by the same UC professors who instruct on campus. These courses cover a variety of topics, including curriculum in early childhood education and language and literacy in young children. UC Denver is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #254 in best national universities and #123 in top public schools.

#3 – University of Nebraska

Online Master’s in Youth Development

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebraska - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
Earn an online master’s in youth development at University of Nebraska.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,575

The University of Nebraska’s online master’s in child development is both affordable and accredited. The online program prepares students to apply research and evaluation skills learned to agencies that support youth development and advocacy. Courses you will take cover topics like administration and program management, adolescents and their families, community youth development, foundations of youth development, youth policy, and youth professionals as consumers of research. All courses are delivered online and the program requires a total of 36 credits. In addition to being accredited, University of Nebraska ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, 2020 rankings include #139 in best national universities and #115 in best value schools.

#2 – Missouri State University

Online Master’s in Early Childhood and Family Development

Springfield, Missouri

Website

Missouri State University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
100 percent online coursework! Missouri State’s master’s in child development online program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,250

Missouri State University offers a master’s in child development online program that emphasizes early childhood and family development. The program is designed for students seeking careers in child care, higher education, local and government agencies, nonprofit agencies, private businesses, and public and private schools. All coursework is delivered 100 percent online with classes taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Courses cover topics like advanced human development studies, children and families in a diverse society, inquiry in early childhood and family development, and programming and policy issues for early childhood settings. Missouri State also ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #293-#381 in best national universities.

#1 – Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Online Master’s in Early Intervention and Child Development

Durant, Oklahoma

Website

Southeastern Oklahoma State University - 20 Best Online Master’s in Child Development Programs 2020
#1 most affordable online master’s in child development program – Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,022

The online master’s in child development program at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is our most affordable degree offered. The fully online program is open to students who want to serve young children as advocates and policy leaders in a variety of settings. Graduates of the online master’s in early intervention and child development will be trained to use scientific research and experience to serve this unique population. Courses cover topics like assessment and intervention for infants and children, positive behavior interventions and supports, research in EICD, and typical and atypical development in childhood and adolescence. SOSU, a fully accredited institution, has received rankings from U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent publication of Best Colleges ranks the school #87-#113 in best regional universities in the West.

BCO Staff
May 2020

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This concludes our list of 20 best online master’s in child development programs of 2020.