Most Affordable Online Child and Human Development Programs

An online degree in child and human development prepares you for a variety of social service careers. Learn more about common career paths for this major.

portrait of Jenika McCrayer
by Jenika McCrayer

Updated June 15, 2022

Reviewed by Megan Pietrucha, Psy.D.

Our Review Network

BestColleges is committed to delivering content that is objective and accurate. We have built a network of industry professionals across healthcare and education to review our content and ensure we are providing the best information to our readers.

With their first-hand industry experience, our reviewers provide an extra step in our editing process. These experts:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Our growing Review Network currently consists of professionals in fields like business, nursing, social work, and other subject-specific industries; professionals in higher education areas such as college counseling and financial aid; and anti-bias reviewers.

Reviewers typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for BestColleges as a side project. Our reviewers are members of the Red Ventures Education Freelance Review Network and are paid for their contributions.

See a full list of our Review Network contributors.

Edited by Colin Weickmann
Share this Article

Child and human development is a science that seeks to understand what biological and sociological circumstances impact people from birth to adulthood.

Completing an online bachelor's degree in child and human development online takes many students around four years, or the same amount of time it would take to complete it in a traditional setting. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the average cost to attend a four-year college program was $15,000-$50,000 per year as of 2019-20, depending on your living arrangement and type of institution.

www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

A graduate with a degree in child and human development will be well suited for a variety of careers including social work, teaching, and nonprofit management. Typical salary ranges depend on what careers graduates choose, but the average salary for a graduate in child and human development was around $63,000 as of March 2022, according to Payscale.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Programs

Is a bachelor's in child and human development worth it?

An affordable online bachelor's degree in child and human development can provide a fulfilling career. This degree will also set you up for a graduate degree in other humanities subjects.

Students with this degree are suitable for jobs in healthcare, social work, nonprofit, and the private sector. This online degree is worth it for those who are interested in working with individuals, families, or communities.

What can I do with a bachelor's in child and human development?

A bachelor's in child and human development prepares students to work in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of individuals and populations. Graduates will be prepared to pursue career paths in education, government, and counseling fields. You may be qualified to work as a community health worker, a community manager, a social worker, or an educator.

Additionally, many students go on to pursue graduate degrees in social work, education, and counseling.

Are child and human development majors in demand?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that over 60% of graduates with a social service degree (such as child and human development) had a job that required at least a bachelor's degree.

Demand may vary based on what age group or demographic you choose to concentrate on, and some career fields have a higher demand than others. But overall, students in this field will gain real-life skills and knowledge in their programs that can be used for a variety of jobs.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in child and human development?

Some career paths make more money than others, but a bachelor's in child and human development prepares you for a variety of careers.

The BLS reports that community health workers made a median annual salary of $48,140 as of May 2020, and social and community managers made a median salary of $69,600 that same year. The average salary for a graduate in child and human development was around $63,000 as of March 2022, according to Payscale.

Salary potential for this degree also depends on years of experience and education level. Those who go on to pursue a graduate degree may be able to make more money.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in child and human development?

Someone with a bachelor's in child and human development would find the highest paying jobs in the healthcare sector. The BLS reports that the median salary for healthcare workers was $63,000 in 2019.

Graduates may be able to make more money if they choose to obtain a graduate degree or move into management roles. However, in general, the types of jobs this degree prepares graduates for are not particularly high-paying.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Cost?

The costs of an online bachelor's in child and human development vary based on the type of school you choose.

Those seeking to obtain an online bachelor's in child development online can expect to pay an average of $9,400 in tuition and fees per year for a public, nonprofit school, according to NCES data from 2019-20. Those attending a private, nonprofit school paid around $36,700 per year in tuition and fees as of 2019-20.

While online programs may be cheaper than on-campus programs, there are other costs associated with online learning to consider, such as technology costs.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Program?

An online bachelor's degree in child and human development can be either a bachelor of arts (BA) degree or a bachelor of science (BS) degree. Which degree type is offered will depend on the school. Which one is right for you will depend in part on what careers you wish to pursue.

This major is a good fit for compassionate people with strong leadership skills. Those interested in working with children, families, or aging adults are best suited for a bachelor's in child and human development.

Students will generally need 120 semester credit hours to obtain a degree, which often takes around four years of full-time study to complete. Graduates may choose to pursue a postsecondary degree in psychology, social work, education, or other humanities fields.

There may be additional requirements to graduate with your bachelor's in child and human development, including choosing a concentration within the program. In general, concentrations require students to focus on specific age groups, relationships, or communities. Some common concentrations include adult development and aging, family studies, and social work.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Popular Online Child and Human Development Programs

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

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Program?

Family Finance

This course prepares students to assist individuals and families in making decisions relating to investing, credit, and budgeting.

Individual and Family Development

Students take this course to be able to identify physical and emotional changes that occur throughout a person's life.

Family Life Education

Family life education offers a perspective of familial relationships across the human lifespan. Students will learn how to interact with diverse social groups and settings.

Human Development Lifespan

Students learn about addressing the developmental needs of individuals and families. Students may also engage with individuals, families, and social agencies.

Infant and Child Development

In this course students will learn about human development from conception to adolescence. Students will explore how people develop, learn how to reason, and develop relationships.

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Program?

Admissions requirements for an online bachelor's in child and human development do not differ from those required for an on-campus degree.

Applicants will need to submit an application to their school of choice. Applications will also typically need to include test scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and transcripts.

Application

The first step in applying for an online degree in child and human development is to complete the application. An application includes an overview of your personal information, your education history, and what jobs you may have held.

The application may also ask for supplemental documents such as a transcript, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Test Scores

Some colleges require applicants to take entrance exams, like the SAT or ACT. Applicants will need to have their applicable test scores sent to their colleges of choice.

Required test scores and tests will differ based on institution. Several college entrance exams are available, so it's best to check which tests are accepted at the colleges you want to apply to.

Letters of Recommendation

Some colleges will require applicants to submit letters of recommendation. Applicants can ask former teachers, supervisors, and even colleagues for a letter of recommendation.

Letters of recommendation highlight academic and work achievements. Be sure to give your recommenders plenty of time to complete and submit their letter of recommendation.

Essays

As a part of the application process, applicants will also need to submit an essay explaining why they are best suited for that specific college's child and human development program.

Essays are a great way to highlight any applicable achievements and skills to show how well you will perform at a specific college.

Official Transcripts

Applicants to child and human development programs will need to ask schools they've attended to send official transcripts to the institutions where they wish to apply.

An official transcript is necessary for applicants to show their academic history to demonstrate they are able to handle the coursework for an online bachelor's in child and human development.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Degree?

Career Outlook

There are several career paths you can take if you have a bachelor's degree in child and human development. The career you choose will also depend on your concentration and the age group you prefer to work with.

This degree is a good choice for those wanting nonprofit, social work, and healthcare careers. Graduates in child and human development made an average salary of $63,000 as of March 2022, according to Payscale. While this degree may yield great jobs and salaries on its own, professionals in this field can also improve their salary potential by pursuing graduate studies.

A bachelor's in child and human development can prepare you for a career in psychology and education.

Career Paths

Early Childcare Worker

Childcare workers foster important development in young children and typically work in childcare centers, schools, or private homes. A graduate degree or other certifications may yield a higher salary in this field.

Median Annual Salary: $25,460

Social Worker

Social workers are there to help people cope with issues and can work in various settings, such as mental health clinics, schools, and human service agencies. Some social workers only need a bachelor's degree to practice, while clinical social workers will need a graduate degree.

Median Annual Salary: $51,760

Community Health Worker

Community health workers serve as a liaisons between communities and health care, government, and social service programs.

Median Annual Salary: $48,140

Social and Community Manager

Social and community service managers typically work in nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. These managers often oversee programs that support public well-being.

Median Annual Salary: $69,600

Substance Abuse Counselor

Addiction counselors provide treatment and counseling to those needing support for substance use issues. In many states, addiction counselors need a certification or license that might require graduate education.

Median Annual Salary: $47,660

Child and Human Development Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

It is common for students with a child and human development degree to pursue advanced degrees to improve their career and salary outlook.

While this degree prepares students for careers right out of college, a lot of students choose to pursue graduate degrees in counseling, education, and social work. The type of advanced degrees, licenses, and certifications required depends on the career path.

Students should consider which career paths appeal to them while studying something as broad as child and human development. They may need other degrees and certifications in order to pursue certain careers.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Program?

Cost

While online degrees tend to be less expensive than studying on campus, be mindful of any fees associated with learning online. When looking for an online bachelor's in child and human development, it's best to compare the costs of a private or public institution and in-state or out-of-state schools.

Program Format

When applying to an online bachelor's in child and human development program, it's important to consider your learning needs and how much time you have to pursue a degree.

Students who prefer to learn independently may do well in an asynchronous program, while others may thrive in a live, or synchronous, learning environment.

Full-time and accelerated programs often work best for students who want to graduate as soon as possible. Part-time programs may be best suited for students who have to juggle other responsibilities or want to go at a slower pace.

Location

Online college programs give you a lot of flexibility on where you attend school. When choosing an online program, be mindful of any on-campus requirements. You should also decide if you want to be near your school of choice.

Some students would prefer to be close to their college to be able to access any on-campus activities and services. When you choose a program, additional fees for attending college out-of-state and time zone differences should also be considered.

Accreditation

Accreditation holds colleges to a set of standards to ensure that students are receiving a quality education. The U.S. Department of Education has a database of accrediting agencies that they recognize.

Accreditation also gives institutions access to federal and state funding and makes transferring credits easier. Employers will also have more confidence in an applicant that graduated from an accredited school.

Student Support

When researching online programs in child and human development, be mindful of what mentorships, career services, and other student services are provided for online students. If you are located near your program of choice, you should research if online students are able to access on-campus resources.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application used to apply for federal student aid, federal grants, work-study programs, and federal loans. Many states and colleges use FAFSA to determine a student's eligibility for financial aid. Make sure you fill out the FAFSA each year to be eligible for these aid programs.

Loans

Student loans must be repaid after you graduate and usually come with interest. Loans can come from the federal government, a bank or financial institution, or other organizations. Loans must be carefully considered because of their interest rates and long-term impact on your budget well after you graduate.

Grants

Student grant programs are federal or state-funded financial aid that are not required to be repaid. Grants can be merit-based, meaning you meet certain academic qualifications, or need-based, or awarded based on your financial needs.

Work-Study Programs

Work-study programs are part-time jobs for students with financial need. These programs allow students to earn money to help pay for their education. Work-study programs can also provide real-world experience for those studying child and human development.

Scholarships

There are several scholarships available to students who wish to major in child and human development. Scholarships range in amount and often require an application and essays to be considered.

Some scholarships have a minimum GPA requirement, but all students should be in good academic standing to be seriously considered for a scholarship.

Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Child and Human Development Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Most Affordable Online Child and Human Development Programs

  1. Appalachian State University
    Location

    Boone, NC

    Tuition

    $10491

    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.

  2. Colorado State University
    Location

    Fort Collins, CO

    Tuition

    $17914

    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.

  3. California State University, East Bay
    Location

    Hayward, CA

    Tuition

    $11422

    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.

  4. Utah State University
    Location

    Logan, UT

    Tuition

    $12738

    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).

  5. Washington State University
    Location

    Pullman, WA

    Tuition

    $17297

    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.

  6. Eastern Washington University
    Location

    Cheney, WA

    Tuition

    $10751

    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.

  7. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Tuition

    $18625

    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.

  8. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $9800

    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.

  9. University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Location

    Amherst, MA

    Tuition

    $21740

    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.

  10. Kansas State University
    Location

    Manhattan, KS

    Tuition

    $18002

    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.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Feature Image: Westend61 / Westend61 / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.