Most Affordable Online Child and Human Development Programs

January 8, 2021

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If you're passionate about pursuing a career in education, social work, community outreach, gerontology, counseling or foster care, a bachelor's in child and human development is what you'll need to launch your career. A human development degree will provide you with the knowledge and practical experience needed to understand psychology, sociology, and physical and learning development and disabilities in children and adults. The degree can be earned online in four years or less with accelerated learning opportunities. This makes it ideal for students who plan to maintain a full-time job and family life while earning the credentials necessary for career advancement.

As the cost of college tuition continues to rise, many students are concerned about being overburdened with debt upon graduation; an increasing number of students are now turning to online learning for the affordability and flexibility it offers. When searching for affordable online child and human development programs, however, it's important to note the difference between schools that are simply cheap up-front, and those that offer the greatest value on the whole.

What are the most affordable child and human development programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
2 Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO
3 California State University, East Bay Hayward, CA
4 Utah State University Logan, UT
5 Washington State University Pullman, WA
6 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
7 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
8 University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX
9 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
10 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

To help get you started in your search, has created a ranking of the most affordable online bachelor's in child development programs using its College Affordability Score. Weighing criteria such as graduation rates, student-to-teacher ratios, and financial aid opportunities available, our list determines schools that offer not only affordability, but academic excellence. Explore our ranking of the most affordable online bachelor's in child development programs, and get started on your degree today.

2020 Most Affordable Accredited Online Child and Human Development Programs

Appalachian State University View School Profile Boone, NC

Located in Boone, North Carolina, Appalachian serves over 19,000 students each year. The university offers an online bachelor's in child and human development. Designed for working professionals, this part-time program allows learners to keep their jobs and still graduate in four years.

The program delivers year-round coursework both asynchronously and synchronously. Required coursework includes infant/toddler curriculum, developmental/educational assessment, and administration in early childhood programs. The program culminates in a semester of student teaching.

All applicants must have at least 30 previous college credits. They must also have completed prerequisite courses. In addition to affordable tuition rates based on residency status, online students can access federal funding and institutional aid.

Colorado State University View School Profile Fort Collins, CO

CSU uses Canvas to deliver a comprehensive array of online certificates and degrees, including an online bachelor's in child and human development. Throughout an interdisciplinary curriculum, students learn how family, community, and society impact human growth.

Required courses include risk/resilience across the lifespan and adult development. Learners choose from five concentrations, which include pre-health professions and prevention/intervention sciences. Students can supplement their degree by pursuing a gerontology minor.

CSU offers fall, spring, and summer entry dates. While the minimum GPA requirement is 2.0, the university prefers applicants with a 2.5 GPA. The university grants transfer credits for prior college credits and relevant work experience.

California State University, East Bay View School Profile Hayward, CA

Cal State East Bay boasts one of the most diverse student populations in the contiguous United States. The university offers online degrees, including an online bachelor's in child and human development, through the Blackboard platform. This 120-credit program prepares graduates for entry-level careers in social work, healthcare, and human resource management.

Core courses include infant and toddler development; adolescence and emerging adulthood; and gender, race, and class in human development. Students also explore the theories and research methods related to cognition and social behavior.

Prospective students need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Cal State East Bay provides a variety of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships based on academic merit and degree field.

Utah State University View School Profile Logan, UT

A leader in distance learning, USU provides over 60 online certificates and degrees, including a bachelor of science in family life studies. By completing this 120-credit program, graduates are prepared for careers in social service agencies, crisis intervention programs, and residential treatment facilities.

The curriculum includes core courses like human sexuality, families and cultural diversity, and parenting and child guidance. Students can choose from two emphases: family relations and human development.

The program offers two start dates each year. First-year applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also score at least 17 on the ACT or 900 on the SAT (excluding the writing portion).

Washington State University View School Profile Pullman, WA

WSU offers more than 40 online programs through its Global Campus, including a bachelor's in child and human development. Students who enroll in this multidisciplinary program gain the skills needed to help diverse clients handle challenges across the lifespan.

Courses include family interactions, death and dying, and child assessment and evaluation. The program culminates in either field placement or a practicum in an early childhood program. Distance learners can supplement their degree with a certificate in gerontology or early childhood education.

First-year applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores. Applicants over the age of 25 must submit a professional resume documenting the last five years. WSU powers distance learning with the Blackboard Learn platform.

Eastern Washington University View School Profile Cheney, WA

EWU serves approximately 12,600 students annually, many of whom enroll online. The university's distance learning degrees include a bachelor of arts in children's studies that emphasizes a holistic examination of infants, toddlers, and teenagers. Students can complete all required coursework online or take some courses on EWU's campus in Cheney.

Required courses include the geography of childhood; statistics for the social sciences; and children's rights, laws, and ethics. All students pursue one of three focus areas: child life and death, child services, or child and family support.

In lieu of ACT or SAT scores, applicants may submit a recommendation letter from a current teacher or counselor. EWU also waives testing requirements for applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR

Based in Corvallis, Oregon State delivers over 70 online programs through the Canvas platform. Undergraduate students can earn an online bachelor of science in human development and family sciences. Throughout a curriculum that requires 180 quarter credits, students gain the skills needed to work as marriage and family counselors, adoption agency coordinators, and social workers.

Required courses cover topics like children and youth with disabilities, families and poverty, and human nutrition. Students also delve into public health issues like epidemics and policy setting. Learners can supplement their degree by completing a minor or second major in a related area like organizational leadership or healthcare management.

Distance learners can enroll in any of the university's four quarters. Oregon State prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university does not require standardized test scores for admission.

University of Texas of the Permian Basin View School Profile Odessa, TX

UTPB serves about 5,800 students each year. The university offers several distance learning degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in child and human development. This completion program allows students to take online courses at any school within the University of Texas System.

Required courses include child/adolescent psychology and social stratification. Students personalize the curriculum through advanced electives like family dysfunction and substance abuse, early intervention, and collaborative teaching and inclusive practices. Learners can expand their training by completing a family studies minor.

Applicants must already hold an associate degree in teaching and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

University of Massachusetts Amherst View School Profile Amherst, MA

Serving over 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the Bay State's flagship university. The university expands its considerable reach by offering several degrees through distance learning, including an online bachelor's degree in children's learning and development.

Delivered through UMass Amherst's University Without Walls, the program prioritizes flexibility above all else. To that end, learners can complete all coursework asynchronously, and incoming learners can bring up to 105 credits with them when they enroll. The university awards credit for prior college coursework, professional experience, and military experience.

All applicants must have at least 12 college credits earned with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Former UMass Amherst students do not need to meet that GPA threshold. Once accepted, all students pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.

Kansas State University View School Profile Manhattan, KS

Based in Manhattan, Kansas, K-State is one of the Sunflower State's two main universities. K-State serves over 20,000 students and offers several online programs, including an online bachelor's degree in early childhood education.

The 120-credit curriculum includes required courses in emergent literacy, behavior management, and language development. All students complete a four-part early childhood practicum in the field.

The program prepares graduates for licensure as early childhood educators in Kansas. The state of Kansas is a member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, so out-of-state students are generally also eligible for licensure in their home state.

K-State's early childhood education program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

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