What Are the Top Schools for a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development?

Learn about three top schools for earning a bachelor's degree in child development. Find out about the national rankings, degree offerings and resources used to select these schools. Schools offering Child & Adolescent Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Choose a Child Development School

Students can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in child development at many top universities throughout the United States. When researching child development programs, consider schools that include hands-on experience and/or opportunities for research. Universities with on-campus child development centers or ties to such centers in the community can offer students valuable learning experiences.

Three Top Child Development Schools

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

At Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Child Development or an interdisciplinary B.S. in Child Studies. The department also offers a 5-year combined bachelor's in child development and Master of Science in Nursing. Honors students studying child development can gain experience by participating with faculty in research studies. Vanderbilt University was ranked #14 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report as of 2019.

While studying at Vanderbilt, you could earn these degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science in Child Development or Child Studies

University of Georgia in Athens

In 2019, University of Georgia was ranked #46 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. This university confers a B.S. in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis in child life. This program is a joint program between the Department of Human Development and Family Science and the Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU).

Students spend the first three years of the program completing academic requirements and then spend the last year gaining experience through clinical work and courses at GHSU. Students at the University of Georgia have the opportunity to observe or work with children at the on-campus Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center.

At the University of Georgia, these degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with Child Life emphasis

Michigan State University in East Lansing

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University (MSU) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development program that can be completed with a concentration in elementary education-teacher certification or preschool teaching. MSU also offers a bachelor's degree in human development and family studies that can be completed as a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science.

MSU's social sciences department manages several community inclusion projects and a child development clinic where students can gain hands-on experience working with children and families. This university was ranked #85 among national universities in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report.

At Michigan State University, you could pursue these degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Child Development
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies

Other Schools with Child Development Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Appalachian State University 4-year, Public Boone, NC$7,000
Bowling Green State University 4-year, Public Bowling Green, OH$11,000
Concordia University 4-year, Private Saint Paul, MN$22,000
East Carolina University 4-year, Public Greenville, NC$7,000
Henderson State University 4-year, Public Arkadelphia, AR$8,500
Missouri Baptist University 4-year, Private Saint Louis, MO$27,000
Texas Tech University 4-year, Public Lubbock, TX$9,000
Tufts University 4-year, Private Medford, MA$56,000
University of Alaska 4-year, Public Fairbanks, AK$7,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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