Best Child Development Programs: List of Top Schools

Jan 03, 2020

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

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  • 0:05 School Overviews
  • 0:46 Michigan State University
  • 1:36 New York University
  • 2:16 Nova Southeastern University
  • 2:58 Top Child Development Programs

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School Overviews

Students can find a range of schools that offer studies in child development across the country. Many schools will offer either an undergraduate-level program, a graduate-level program, or both. There are a range of top schools, many of which can be found across the country and are distinguished in their own way.

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. The schools we'll profile offer child development programs at multiple degree levels and were mentioned in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top development programs.

Michigan State University in East Lansing

Michigan State University offers a research-oriented master's degree program intended for students planning to continue to the Ph.D. program and professionally-focused master's program for practitioners. In 2019, The Princeton Review listed Michigan State University (MSU) as one of the best Midwestern universities. U.S. News & World Report tied MSU at #84 on its list of best national universities. 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.

New York University in New York, NY

New York University hosts the Child and Family Policy Center. Rated 29th on the 2020 list of best national universities by U.S. News & World Report, New York University (NYU) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in child development. 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.

NSU in Fort Lauderdale, FL

At Nova Southeastern University, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education with a concentration in child development is available online. Tied at #246 on U.S. News & World Report's ranking of national universities, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) offers an undergraduate program in the field of child development. The B.S. in Early Childhood Development allows students access to NSU's Mailman Segal Center for Human Development, one of the best early childhood resources in the country. Students study area such as parenting, literacy, and psychosocial development and benefit from both the school's research and community resources.

Top Child Development Programs

Let's explore the top child development programs offered at some of the country's other schools:

School Name Location Distinctions
Ohio University - Main Campus Athens, OH Offers an Associate of Applied Science in Child Development
Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Has a competitive research center; the school's Child Development Research Center (CDRC) provides hands-on learning and research opportunities for students
University of Georgia Athens, GA The school's Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center earned a State of Georgia Quality Care for Children award
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC Allows students access to the Human Development and Family Studies Department; the department runs nine programs and centers in Greensboro
University of North Texas Denton, TX Hosts a child development lab that functions as a preschool and provides classroom and observation areas for grad student practicums and learning under supervision
West Virginia University Morgantown, WV Offers programs in child development at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree levels
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI Offers a B.S. in Child and Family Development; it is available online, with limited campus meetings

To study child development at either the undergraduate or graduate level, students can find programs at top-ranking schools such as Michigan State University, New York University, or Nova Southeastern University, with many other strong options across the country also available.

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