2023 Best Master’s in Child Development
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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.
Do you want to acquire a master’s degree in child development, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in child development programs.
What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Situated along the banks of the Mississippi in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota is a highly rated national research institution. The school has graduate programs through several highly acclaimed graduate colleges. And UMN’s top-rated College of Education is home to the Institute of Child Development, which is recognized as a premier center for child study and research. The institute has
has an MEd degree and initial licensure in early childhood education. The coursework centers on child development theory, research, and developmentally appropriate methodology, preparing graduates to teach learners in their early years. With a strong emphasis on individual and diverse learners, participants in the program will be equipped with instructional strategies to help learners succeed. Classes consist of:
- Learning, Cognition, and Assessment
- Social and Logical Foundations of Early Childhood Education
- Reading Instruction in the Elementary Grades
This MEd in early childhood education is a 57- to 60-credit-degree program offered as a collaboration between the Institute of Child Development and The Department of Classes and Instruction. Along with required classwork, learners get a strong experiential base via clinical experiences in the Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School and local urban and suburban public schools.
SUNY University at Albany is a public, nationally rated, holistic research institution. The University features highly rated programs in several areas along with a very diverse learner body. The University at Albany’s School of Education has a TEAC-sanctioned master of science in early childhood education, which leads to a New York professional teacher licensure in early childhood (B-2). The degree program is intended to foster pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills, and students learn to document and examine learner outcomes—along with their teaching.
This MS in early childhood education is a 30-credit degree program comprised of 27 credits of required classwork, one elective, and a final culminating project. This degree program is available on campus or entirely online. The licensure choice for this degree is an endorsed teacher preparation degree program with the New York State Education Department; however, the program does not lead to a literacy specialist licensure.
UAB’s School of Education has a master of education in early childhood education that readies learners for an advanced career as preschool, kindergarten, or elementary school teachers. Learners get a robust pedagogical foundation, including child development, developmental reading, primary math methods, and classroom management. This MEd in early childhood education (ECE) is a 30-credit degree program comprised of required classwork, electives, and a required practicum experience in an ECE classroom. UAB has Saturday and summer classes along with online classes to accommodate working learners. To be admitted to the degree program, learners must hold a valid Alabama bachelor’s level professional educator certificate in early childhood.
Kennesaw State University is a sizeable state institution and a member of the University System of Georgia. The school is home to a vibrant and diverse campus culture and nationally rated programs. Kennesaw delivers its programs via 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, including the Bagwell College of Education. The College of Education has an NCATE-sanctioned master of education in elementary and early childhood education. This degree program will deepen learners’ comprehension of the ECE field and improve their practice.
This MEd in elementary and early childhood education is a 36-credit degree program comprised of required classes, endorsement electives, and a capstone class. The degree program is cohort-based and takes four semesters to finish, beginning in the summer semester and ending the following summer. KSU designed the degree program with teachers’ busy schedules in mind; it is available entirely online.
The University of Dayton is a private, religious, national research institution and the second largest privately run institution in Ohio. The School of Education has a master of science (MS) in transdisciplinary early childhood education. Graduates are qualified for the Early Childhood License, Early Intervention Specialist License, Early Intervention Certificate, and/or Pre-K Special Needs Endorsement. The MS in transdisciplinary early childhood education is a (minimum) 30-credit degree program comprised of required classes, electives, and an internship in an inclusive early childhood educational setting. The degree program is available on campus or online and is delivered in a cohort format. This means that learners work via required classes as a group—beginning in the summer term.
The University of La Verne is a nationally ranked private, nonprofit institution, which offers professional preparation with a liberal arts grounding. The LaFetra College of Education has high-quality programs that help teachers develop the skills they need to have a positive impact in the classroom. La Verne University has a master of science in child development that equips child development professionals with the necessary skills to better the lives of children. The coursework blends hypothetical concepts with real-life knowledge, including real-life teaching experiences. Graduates are ready to assume leadership positions in the child development field.
This MS in child development is a 33-credit degree program comprised of nine credits of core classes, 18 credits in the concentration area, and six credits of graduate seminars and a culminating project. This degree will enable a learner to qualify to teach in a California community college. And because classes are offered on campus and online, learners have the choice of taking face-to-face classes, online classes, or a combination of the two.
Brenau University is a pioneering, private, four-year institution, which places emphasis on the integration of professional preparation with a foundational liberal arts education. Brenau’s College of Education has an NCATE-sanctioned master of arts in teaching with a concentration in early childhood education. This is an initial licensure degree program for individuals who have finished a bachelor’s degree in any field. The holistic coursework covers pedagogical theory and methods along with extensive clinical practice to ensure that teachers are job-ready on graduation. This MAT degree in early childhood education is a 54–57 credit degree program. The coursework is comprised of seven professional development classes, nine methods and content classes, and either student teaching or an internship experience. The degree program is available online or on campus in Gainesville, Augusta, North Atlanta/Norcross, and South Atlanta/Fairburn.
Biola University’s School of Education has a master of arts in teaching with a concentration in early childhood education for people who wish to work in the public or private system. The concentration offers a foundation in the developmental, social, academic, cultural, and spiritual needs of young children. Graduates of Biola’s early childhood degree program are eligible to apply for a Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
This MA in teaching, early childhood (EC) degree program is a 30-credit degree program comprised of 14 credits of core classes, 18 credits in the EC concentration, and a capstone project. All learners finish a practicum as an essential part of the coursework, and the entire degree program can be finished in as few as 18 months. Biola’s Teacher Preparation Program is sanctioned by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and by the Association of Christian Schools International.
The University of South Florida has a reasonably priced CAEP-sanctioned master of education in early childhood education. The objective of USF’s early childhood coursework is to develop knowledgeable, responsible, and pioneering professionals committed to creative, dynamic classrooms. The degree program has a social justice orientation, embracing diversity in all its forms. This MEd in early childhood education is a 33-credit degree program comprised of ECE core classes, classes in a chosen focus area, and a holistic exam.
This degree is not an initial teacher licensure degree but is intended to advance early childhood education professionals’ knowledge and skills. For learners who don’t have an academic background in ECE, USF has prerequisite classes to get them ready for the degree program.
Northern Arizona University is a sizeable public research institution, which prides itself on its many learner-centered programs—along with a commitment to research, public service, and creative endeavors. NAU is also home to a nationally rated School of Education that has cooperative, rigorous programs in several areas, including early childhood education. The university has a CAEP-sanctioned master of education in early childhood education, which adheres to the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Learners get the latest in child development concepts and developmentally effective teaching and learning methods. Graduates will be ready for an advanced career working with pre-school and primary-level children.
This MEd degree in early childhood education is a 30-credit degree program comprised of 12 credits of core classes and 18 credits in the chosen emphasis area. NAU’s degree program has received national recognition from the NAEYC, guaranteeing a solid grounding in child development. And if learners need added flexibility, NAU’s degree program is available on the Flagstaff and Yuma campuses, and it can be completed online (or in a blended format).
Mercer University is a nationally rated institution, which The Princeton Review has rated as among the top 15 percent of all colleges and institutions. Mercer has earned national recognition from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its commitment to community engagement. Mercer has a master of arts in teaching (MAT) in early childhood education intended for people who hold a bachelor’s degree (in any area) and are seeking initial licensure at the master’s level. Learners obtain a holistic study of the focused skills and knowledge needed to teach and support young children in grades Pre-K through five.
Mercer University’s MAT in early childhood education is a holistic 49-credit degree program that covers the full spectrum of pedagogical theory, coursework planning, and teaching specific content areas. All teachers participate in extensive field experiences—a mentored practicum, and either student teaching or an internship. The degree program is offered at Mercer’s Atlanta campus and Henry County Regional Academic Center on a full-time or part-time basis.
Erikson Institute has a master of science in child development that will equip learners to serve the complex needs of children and their families. Learners discover how children develop and the complex contextual factors that shape development—along with specific developmental domains, including physical/motor, cognitive, social, emotional, and communicative/language.
Erikson Institute’s MS in child development is a 38-credit degree program comprised of 28 credits of classwork and 10 credits of internships, externships, and integrative seminars. The degree program is authorized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It is excellent preparation for professional or leadership positions in the full range of subjects and systems that serve children and families. These consist of care and education, social service, mental health, policymaking and analysis, healthcare, and the arts.
Concordia University at Chicago is a private, Lutheran-associated liberal arts college and a member of the 10-school Concordia University System. The university has high-quality graduate education programs on campus and online and endeavors to equip learners to lead with integrity, competence, and compassion. Concordia University at Chicago has a master of arts in early childhood education. Learners receive a firm foundation in child development concepts and an understanding of how these concepts play out in different educational settings. This MA in early childhood education is a 30-credit degree program available on campus and online.
Albany State University is a historically Black institution (HBCU) and a member of the University System of Georgia. Albany State University’s College of Education has a CAEP-sanctioned master of education in early childhood education (ECE) that leads to T-5 licensure in ECE. Graduates are ready to teach children in grades pre-K through grade five, along with being ready for leadership positions in ECE. The coursework stresses reflective transformation, cultural responsiveness, and technological competence.
This MEd in early childhood education is a 36-credit degree program which has expertise in coursework development, supervision, and research in early childhood education. To be admitted to Albany State’s degree program, learners either need to have a bachelor’s degree in ECE (or the equivalent) or take additional undergraduate classes before beginning the MEd degree program. This is a reasonably priced, sanctioned degree program.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is rated among the top 150 regional schools in the South. It is home to the NCATE-sanctioned Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development, which has a strong emphasis on teaching, research, and service. The university has the only NCATE-sanctioned master of education in early childhood education in the state of Louisiana. The early childhood education degree program at NSU is endorsed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which stresses a broad foundational knowledge of child development.
This MEd in early childhood education is a 36-credit degree program comprised of 11 required classes and a practicum experience. Learners also finish a thesis as an essential part of the degree program. The program that builds on content that certified teachers mastered at the undergraduate level, and for admission to the master’s degree program, candidates will need a valid teaching certificate. This is a reasonably priced, sanctioned degree program.