35 Best Online Bachelor’s in Child Development

Do you want to have a positive impact on the future leaders of the world? You'll have to start at the roots – the children of today! A bachelor's degree in child development is ideal for not only professional educators but for those who work in government agencies and nonprofit organizations as well. In fact, popular careers for folks with a child development degree include counseling, social work, teaching, and more. Many of the below programs require applicants to have prior work experience or some coursework completed in a related field.

Childcare workers can expect to earn nearly $23,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earning a bachelor's degree is a great stepping stone to advanced learning which will increase your salary potential. Here are a few other annual salary estimates, as cited by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Preschool and Childcare Center Director: $46,890
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers: $56,900
  • Special Education Teacher: $58,980

Jobs for educators are expected to grow from now until 2026, so start your bachelor's degree program today!

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the Best Online Bachelor's in Child Development, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

25% – Student Satisfaction

30% – Earning Potential

15% – Retention Data

20% – Affordability

10% – Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.

 

#35 Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, California

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Development
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Score: 65.27
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Development at Fresno Pacific University can be completed entirely online. This program is technology-focused and all online students receive an iPad to further enhance their learning and communication. The university admits students into this program twice each year. Applicants should have already completed at least two years of post-secondary education with a 2.4 minimum GPA. Required courses in this 120-unit program may include Human Diversity and Relations, Children's Play and Learning Theory, Math and Science for Young Children, and more. Depending on your course of study, you may be able to complete this program in just 18 months.
Tuition: $18,245

 

#34 Indiana Institute of Technology

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Bachelor of Science in Child Development
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Score: 65.35
Indiana Institute of Technology's College of Professional Studies now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. This 120-credit program is ideal for those who wish to a pursue careers as a preschool teacher, teaching assistant, or social services worker. Required courses may include Child Psychology Theory and Applications, Advanced Abnormal Psychology, Human Growth and Development, and more. Indiana Tech offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid packages for eligible students. Indiana Institute of Technology is ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $19,861

 

#33 Central Methodist University

Fayette, Missouri

Bachelor of Science in Child Development
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Score: 66.58
The Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development at Central Methodist University can be completed entirely online. Required courses in this 120-credit program may include Children's Literature, Classroom Organization and Curricular Design, Psychology of the Exceptional Child, and more. Additionally, all undergraduate students must choose between completing an Early Childhood Experience Capstone or a Child Development Internship. Applicants should have at least a 2.5 GPA. Central Methodist University has been ranked among the nation's Best Value Schools and Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $21,184

 

#32 Hope International University

Fullerton, California

Bachelor of Science in Human Development
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Score: 70.83
Hope International University now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development that can be completed entirely online. Students may choose from one of the following concentrations: Community Mental Health and Counseling or Family Studies. Students with a Family Studies specialization will be prepared for careers as elementary school teachers, adoption caseworkers, and other professions in youth services. Required courses may include Parent Child Relations, A Foundation for Ethics, Childhood Development, and more. Hope International University has been ranked among the nation's Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $20,087

 

#31 Southern Oregon University

Ashland, Oregon

Bachelor of Arts (or Science) in Early Childhood Development
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Score: 73.12
Southern Oregon University's School of Education now offers an online bachelor's degree completion program in Early Childhood Development. This degree is ideal for those who have already completed two years of college coursework. Unique from other universities, this program may be completed as a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Required courses in this 180-credit program may include Assessment of Young Children, Observation and Evaluation of Teaching, Early Language and Literacy Development, and more. Additionally, all students must complete a six-credit capstone, as well as portfolio requirements. This program is a great stepping stone for those who wish to eventually pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching.
Tuition: $8,939

 

#30 University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development
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Score: 73.78
The Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development at the University of West Alabama is a non-certification degree program. Students can complete this 123-credit program completely online in just 3-4 years. The university offers a generous transfer credit policy as well. Required courses within the major may include The Importance of Play, Technology and Education, Behavior Management in the Classroom, and more. Each course is just eight weeks long. Prospective students should note that the university is unable to accept applications from those who reside in California or Massachusetts. The University of West Alabama has been ranked among the nation's Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $13,545

 

#29 Union Institute & University

Cincinnati, Ohio

Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Development
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Score: 74.09
Undergraduate students at Union Institute & University can now pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development. This 120-credit program is offered completely online in both part-time and full-time formats. Required courses may include Transforming Learning Standards into Achievement, The Art and Science of Assessing Children and Families, Professional Practices, and more. Classes start every eight weeks and students may transfer up to 90 semester hours into the program. Graduates of this program often pursue careers as preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, childcare workers, and more. Financial aid is available to eligible students.
Tuition: $22,464

 

#28 Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches, Texas

Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences
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Score: 76.09
The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Sciences with an emphasis in Human Development and Family Studies offered by Stephen F. Austin State University can be completed entirely online. This is a degree completion program so applicants should have already earned prior college credit. SFASU allows students to transfer in no more than 66 hours from a community or junior college. Required courses may include Family Life Education, Leadership in Human Sciences, Infant Growth and Development, and more. Stephen F. Austin State University has been ranked among the nation's Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $11,987

 

#27 University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Development
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Score: 76.76
Undergraduate students at the University of North Florida can pursue a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Development entirely online. This is a non-teacher certification program. Required courses may include Teaching the Whole Child, Wellness and Movement for Young Child, Methods of Conceptual Teaching, and more. Additionally, all students must complete an Early Childhood Development Practicum. Applicants must already have 60 credit hours as well as a GPA of no less than 2.5. Graduates of this program have found success in the early childhood sector, including jobs as childcare directors, early learning coaches, and more.
Tuition: $13,484

 

#26 Brandman University

Irvine, California

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education
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Score: 77.02
Brandman UniversityBrandman University's Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education prepares students to support the development of young children up to the age of 8. This comprehensive program includes fieldwork and two practicums. Required courses may include Teaching in a Diverse Society, Child Growth and Development, Dual Language Learners and Their Families, and more. All students must complete a minimum of 120 semester units to earn their degree. Online students learn from the same professors who teach those on-campus. Brandman University has been ranked among the nation's Most Innovative Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: Not Reported to NCES

 

#25 Post University

Waterbury, Connecticut

Bachelor of Science in Child Studies
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Score: 77.48
The Bachelor of Science degree in Child Studies at Post University prepares students to support the development of children from birth through eight years old. Required courses in this 120-credit program may include Children's Literature and Language Arts, Learning Theory, Teaching the Exceptional Learners, and more. Additionally, this program also requires a practicum and a capstone field placement. Prospective students should note that this program does not lead to the teacher certification/ licensure necessary to teach in public schools. Post University has been ranked among the nation's Best Regional Universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $19,044

 

#24 Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education
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Score: 77.56
The 120-credit Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education at Liberty University can be completed entirely online. Offered through the School of Education, required courses may include Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Childhood, Exceptional Child, and more. Each course is just eight weeks long and the degree can be completed in just 3.5 years. What makes Liberty so unique from other universities is that up to 75 percent of your total degree credits can be transferred in. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. Graduates of this program have gone on to work as tutors, teachers, and more.
Tuition: $24,794

 

#23 North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science
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Score: 79.12
The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Science at North Dakota State University is offered entirely online. Required courses may include Child Development, Adolescent Development, Children, Families and Public Policy, and more. All students must complete 122 credits to earn their degree. Undergraduates may choose to complete a special concentration in Child and Adolescent Development as well. All students must also complete a five-credit internship within their local community. With a full time course load, students can complete this program in four years. NDSU offers scholarships and financial aid packages to eligible students.
Tuition: $14,581

 

#22 Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Development and Learning
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Score: 79.78
Central Michigan University's Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Development and Learning can be completed entirely online. This 124-credit program may require courses including Early Childhood Development, Developmental Assessment of Children, Best Practices in Early Childhood Settings, and more. Additionally, all students must complete a capstone in Lead Teaching in Early Childhood. Applicants should have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 or a GED. This major is ideal for those who plan on working in non-elementary early childhood settings such as child care centers, preschools, and more.
Tuition: $14,275

 

#21 Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Professional Education
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Score: 80.07
Through its Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies, Western Michigan University offers an online BS degree in Early Childhood Professional Education. Required courses may include subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. In fact, all students are required to minor in at least two of these core subjects. Additionally, all students are required to complete a full-semester internship and a half-semester pre-internship. This program leads to Michigan K-8 certification and an Early Childhood General and Special Endorsement as well. Graduates of this program typically find careers as educational administrators, curriculum specialists, teachers, and more.
Tuition: $15,489

 

#20 University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

Bachelor of Arts in Early Care and Education
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Score: 80.81
Undergraduate students at the University of Washington can now pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Care and Education entirely online. Applicants should note that this is a degree completion program and you must have at least 70 transferable quarter units. All courses in this program are offered through UW's College of Education and are taught online using a group-based asynchronous model. The university offers a new cohort program each fall. The University of Washington has been ranked among the nation's Best Value Schools, Most Innovative Schools, and Top Public Schools.
Tuition: $10,068

 

#19 Concordia University, Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Bachelor of Arts in Child Development
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Score: 81.47
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development at Concordia University, Saint Paul is a 120-credit program that can be completed online. Required courses may include Child Social and Emotional Growth, Ethics in Early Childhood, Human Diversity and Relations, and more. Additionally, all students must complete fieldwork in a licensed child care or early childhood learning center. Graduates of this program often work in the community child education sector, social work and child life specialist areas. Concordia University, Saint Paul has been ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $19,499

 

#18 Utah State University

Logan, Utah

Bachelor's degree in Family Life Studies
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Score: 82.70
Utah State University's Bachelor's degree in Family Life Studies is offered entirely online. This 120-credit program is offered through the university's Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Undergraduates must complete an emphasis in either Human Development or Family Relations. Required courses may include Parenting and Child Guidance, Family Crises and Interventions, Methods for Family Life Educators, and more. Online students have access to a plethora of resources, including e-tutoring, career services, IT remote help, testing services, and more. Utah State University has been ranked among the nation's Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $13,037

 

#17 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Bachelor of Arts in Children's Learning and Development
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Score: 82.73
Through the University of Massachusetts Amherst's University Without Walls, undergraduate students can now pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Children's Learning and Development. This program is extremely flexible. Students can bring in or earn up to 105 credits for prior coursework and prior learning, as well as for past work and life experience. The best part is that you can finish this degree online without ever having to step foot on campus. Students may apply for either fall or spring admission. At this time, students who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, or Oregon cannot apply to this program.
Tuition: $20,093

 

#16 Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Bachelor of General Studies in Child Development
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Score: 82.81
Fort Hays State University now offers a 120-credit online Bachelor of General Studies degree with a concentration in Child Development. This program is ideal for early child care providers, parents, day care providers, and those in related fields. Required courses may include The Young Child, Educating Exceptional Students, Human Growth and Development, and more. Students in this program are not required to take modern language or mathematics courses. Unlike with other universities, there is no time limit for completing this degree. Additionally, undergraduate students are allowed to transfer in up to 64 hours from a two-year school.
Tuition: $11,993

 

#15 Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies
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Score: 82.87
Undergraduate students at Northwestern State University of Louisiana can now earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies. This program can be completed entirely online. Required courses may include Child Development and Guidance, The Child's Environment, Developmental Psychology, and more. Students in this program may choose one of the following areas of concentration: Child Development and Family Relations, Consumer Services, or Advocacy and Intervention. Each concentration has different requirements. Child and Family Studies students must also complete an approved minor to earn their degree. Many undergraduates choose to minor in Social Science.
Tuition: $11,567

#14 University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education
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Score: 83.55
The University of Alaska Fairbanks' Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education is a 60-credit program. Required courses may include Safe, Healthy Learning Environments, Inclusion of Children with Special Needs, Positive Social and Emotional Development, and more. Additionally, all students must complete a practicum to earn their degree. Students attending full-time can complete this program in just two years, but many online students attend part-time. This degree is ideal for those looking to earn a basis for further education in this field. Most online courses are asynchronous and can be completed from any location.
Tuition: $9,097

 

#13 Penn State World Campus

Centre County, Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
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Score: 84.36
Penn State World CampusThe online Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State World Campus requires students to complete 120 credits. Required courses may include Infant and Child Development, Developmental Transition to Adulthood, Values and Ethics in Health and Human Development Professions, and more. While this is an online degree, all students must complete an internship at a human service organization in their community. Online courses at Penn State World Campus provide students the flexibility and convenience to study on their own schedules. Penn State World Campus is ranked among the Top 10 Best Online Bachelor's Programs in the nation.
Tuition: $23,129

 

#12 The University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies
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Score: 84.70
The Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi can be completed entirely online. Students must choose from one of two areas of emphasis: Child Development or Family Relations. Students choosing child development will take literacy courses and more experiential lab courses, including a 9-credit hour practicum. Students choosing to emphasize in family relations will take more psychology or public health courses, as well as a 3-credit hour practicum. Required courses may include Child Development, Personal Development and Interpersonal Relationships, Child Development Methods and Materials, and more. Graduates of this program often go on to work as licensed preschool and kindergarten teachers, program evaluators, and technical assistant specialists.
Tuition: $11,916

 

#11 University of Wisconsin-Stout

Menomonie, Wisconsin

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
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Score: 84.78
The University of Wisconsin-Stout now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies. This program is ideal for those hoping to work in human service agencies, rehabilitation centers, childcare facilities, and related fields. Required courses may include Dynamics of Family Development, Healthy Couple Relationships, Abnormal Psychology, and more. Courses are offered during the spring, summer, and fall semesters. UW-Stout also offers a variety of support services, including Adult Student Services Coordinators and Distance Librarians. Graduates of this program will be qualified to apply for Certified Family Life Educator designation via an Abbreviated Application process.
Tuition: $14,038

 

#10 Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Bachelor of Science in Early Child Care
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Score: 85.19
The Bachelor of Science degree in Early Child Care at Texas Tech University is a 120-credit program offered entirely online. Prospective students should note this is a non-teaching certification program. Required courses may include Child Guidance and Classroom Environments, Health, Safety, and Nutrition, Technology and Young Children, and more. All students must complete a capstone experience as well. The format of online courses at Texas Tech is flexible and convenient. You'll participate in interactive learning experiences, such as e-mail, online chats, and threaded discussions. Texas Tech University has been ranked among the nation's Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $15,235

 

#9 Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

Bachelor's degree in Human Development
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Score: 87.01
Washington State University now offers an online degree in Human Development for undergraduates. Required courses may include Lifespan Development, Family Systems, Family Stress and Coping, and more. All students must also complete a practicum, and a field placement may be required as well. Students in this program may also pursue a certificate in either gerontology or early childhood education. However, the early childhood education certificate is only available for Washington state residents. Washington State University has been ranked among the nation's Best Value Schools, Top Public Schools, and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $17,815

 

#8 University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Sciences, Early Childhood Education
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Score: 87.16
The University of Alabama now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Environmental Sciences, Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Early Child Development. This is an entirely online, 120-credit program. Required courses may include Educational Statistics, Parent and Family Development, Child Centers and Programs, and more. The University of Alabama accepts applications on a rolling basis. Admitted students may transfer no more than 60 hours into this program. While this is an online program, all students will be required to complete a six-credit internship as well. This university has been ranked among the nation's Best Value Schools and Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $20,133

 

#7 Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies
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Score: 87.61
Colorado State University Top Online Bachelor's in FinanceThe Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University can be completed entirely online. Undergraduate students must choose to specialize in one or two of the following areas: Early Childhood Professions, Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions, Pre-health Professions, Prevention and Intervention Sciences, and Human Development and Family Studies. You may also pursue a minor in Gerontology. Required courses in this 120-credit program may include Individual and Family Development, Infant and Child Development in Context, and more. All students will also participate in a hands-on field experience as part of this program.
Tuition: $16,232

 

#6 Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Bachelor in Child Development
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Score: 88.40
Through its College of Public Health and Human Services, Oregon State University now offers a Bachelor degree in Child Development. Undergraduate students must complete 180 hours to earn their degree. Required courses may include Families and Poverty, Family Studies, Infant and Child Development, and more. Students may also earn a double degree in Human Development and Family Sciences and Education. By doing so, you can earn licensure at both the elementary school and pre-kindergarten levels. Oregon State University has been ranked among the nation's Best Value Schools, Most Innovative Schools, and Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $19,484

 

#5 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies
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Score: 89.01
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin now offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Family Studies. This program requires students to choose from one of the following minors: Communications, Criminal Justice, History, or Management. Required courses may include Social Stratification, Language Development in the Young Child, The Exceptional Child, and more. All undergraduates must also complete a capstone course that provides an in-depth examination of a controversial issue in psychology or in child & family studies. This university has been ranked among the nation's Top Public Schools and Best Regional Universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $9,109

 

#4 California State University, East Bay

Hayward, California

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development
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Score: 89.15
Undergraduate students at California State University, East Bay can now pursue an online Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development. Students may choose from one of the following three areas of specialization: Early Childhood Development, Adult Development and Gerontology, or Women's Development. This online program is made up of 80 units and is only for those students entering their third year. Required courses may include Theories of Human Development, Social and Cultural Dynamics of Human Development, Lifespan Social and Emotional Development, and more. All students must complete a senior capstone course as well.
Tuition: $10,758

 

#3 Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies
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Score: 90.28
The Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies at Eastern Kentucky University now offers a specialization in Child Development. This is an entirely online, 120-credit program. EKU accepts up to 90 hours of transfer credit towards undergraduate degree programs. Required courses may include Early Childhood Literacy, Program Planning for Preschool Children, Diversity Awareness for Professional Practice, and more. Each course in this program is just eight weeks long. As an online student, you will learn from the same qualified professors who teach on-campus. EKU has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the best universities offering online degrees.
Tuition: $12,255

 

#2 West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Studies
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Score: 94.34
West Virginia University now offers an online Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Studies. Undergraduate students may choose from a non-certification track in Child Development or a Preschool Education Birth-4 track with Pre-K certification. Required courses may include Child Care Center Administration, Early Socio-Emotional Growth, Literacy and the Young Child, and more. All courses in this program can be completed online except for the CPR/First Aid and field experience. However, these can be completed in your home location with no need to visit campus. All students must complete at least 120 credits to graduate.
Tuition: $10,814

 

#1 Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development
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Score: 100
Undergraduates at Arizona State University can now earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Human Development entirely online. Offered through ASU's School of Social and Family Dynamics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, this 120-credit program is made up of 40 classes. Each class is just 7.5 weeks long. Required courses may include Family Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, Literacy and Critical Inquiry, Personal Growth in Human Relationships, and more. Applicants should have a high school GPA of at least 3.0. Arizona State University has been ranked the #1 Most Innovative School in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
Tuition: $13,007