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Best Child Development Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about top-ranked schools, program descriptions and degree options in child development. Read on to decide if one of these child development programs is right for you.

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School Overviews

The psychological and biological changes humans experience from birth through adolescence are studied in child development programs. Many child development programs start at the graduate level; however, undergraduate programs are also available. Take a look below at some great schools offering child development programs. Both of these profiled schools offer child development programs at multiple degree levels. National ranking organizations also look favorably on these schools. Michigan State University also has specialized facilities for child development learning.

Best Child Development Programs in the Country

1. Michigan State University in East Lansing

Michigan State University (MSU) was listed by The Princeton Review as one of the top 100 national universities in 2011 ( The Human Development and Family Studies School has had child development laboratories available to the Lansing community for over 80 years.

The university offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in child development, as well as minors or specializations related to teaching. Students learn to work with early elementary or pre-primary age children. Some sample classes from the curriculum at MSU include children interaction, youth and family, children in groups and conception through early childhood.

2. New York University in New York, NY

Rated 33rd on the 2011 list of best national universities by U.S. News & World Report, New York University (NYU) also has a global presence with facilities in Abu Dhabi, London and Shanghai. NYU comprises 18 academic schools and is one of the largest universities in the United States.

At the bachelor's degree level, students interested in child development can pursue the pre-social work major, while the Master of Social Work in Child Development degree program is available for graduate students. The curriculum for these programs covers topics such as social environment, human behavior, ethnocultural issues, personality development and pathways of development.

List of Schools with Excellent Child Development Programs

School Name DistinctionsLocation
Michigan State University Offers research-oriented master's degree program intended for students planning to continue to Ph.D. program and professionally focused master's program for practitioners East Lansing, MI
New York University Hosts the Child and Family Policy Center New York, NY
Nova Southeastern University Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in child development is available online Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ohio University-Main Campus Offers an A.A.S. in Child Development Athens, OH
Texas Tech University The school's Child Development Research Center (CDRC) provides hands-on learning and research opportunities for students Lubbock, TX
University of Georgia The school's Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center earned a State of Georgia Quality Care for Children award in 2013 Athens, GA
University of North Carolina at Greensboro The Human Development and Family Studies Department runs seven programs and centers Greensboro, NC
University of North Texas Hosts a child development lab that functions as a preschool and provides classroom and observation areas for grad student practicums and learning under supervision Denton, TX
West Virginia University Offers programs in child development at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels Morgantown, WV
Western Michigan University The B.S. in Child and Family Development program is available online, with limited campus meetings Kalamazoo, MI
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