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Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Development

Pursue your graduate degree education in early childhood development at Erikson.

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Find your why at erikson

Go Further with an Early Childhood Graduate Program Degree

Find your graduate program at Erikson Institute, Chicago’s premier graduate school with a 100% focus on early childhood. Join us at the forefront of the field, connecting knowledge to research to policy to inspire leaders and professionals — all in the service of children and families.

Why Early Childhood Leaders Choose Erikson Institute

Earn a top-notch early childhood graduate degree that comes with a reputation.

Erikson alumni go on to hold leadership positions in early research, field work, and policy across the U.S.

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Flexible Programs

In-person, hybrid, virtual. Part-time. Full-time. At Erikson, our graduate programs are designed to accommodate the life busy people lead.

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Child Development Goals

Pursue studies grounded in developmental psychology while drawing on insights from neurobiology, anthropology, education, sociology, and health.

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Close-Knit Culture

Attend an institution where faculty, staff, and peers know your name and your story. When you attend Erikson, you join a global network of early childhood leaders.

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Premier Faculty

Learn from and network with Erikson faculty, nationally recognized for their knowledge, scholarship, and expertise.

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Field Experience

Apply your learning in real-time with up to 900 hours of supervised field work, taking theory and putting it into practice using reflection to gain new insights.

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Reflective Practices

Realize your capacity for professional self-awareness and self-care and create more profound, productive connections with the clients, communities, and organizations you serve.

Hear from Our Alums

Paige Gulling
Paige Gulling
MS/MJ Dual Degree 2019
“I chose to pursue the dual degree program because my end goal has always been to work with DCFS. Understanding how law and policy and child development mesh together will give me the tools to help protect children.”
Tammy Jessup
Online MS Early Childhood Education 2021
“With each and every class I take at Erikson, I feel inspired by what I’m learning. My professors have brought forward real wisdom and share of their own experiences in child development.”

Graduate Programs

Explore Our Early Childhood Graduate Programs

With flexible in-person, hybrid, and online early childhood graduate programs for degree-, certificate-, or licensure-seeking students, Erikson Institute offers a focused path towards career enhancement.

Choose one of our hybrid or fully virtual Master’s degree programs in early child development, children’s law and policy, early childhood education, or social work.

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Learn how culture, social class, and social relationships influence human development, from infancy through middle childhood, in our flexible Child Development PhD program.

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Dive deep into early childhood programs to earn new credentials that both improve your career prospects and enrich the lives of children with whom you work.

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Seek your post-master’s early childhood education license or ECE endorsement in one of two intensive one-year programs designed for those who want to work with young children.

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More than 90% of Erikson Students Receive Financial Aid

As a premier graduate school for early childhood development, Erikson participates in several federal and state financial aid programs and awards over $2 million in scholarships each year.

Explore financial aid opportunities

Upcoming Early Childhood Graduate Program Events

Learn more about the admissions process or attend a program-specific information session.

See All Upcoming Events

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Career Services

Your Graduate Degree Takes Your Career Further

92% of our master’s degree students who graduated in 2020 found a job in their field within 6 months of graduation.

  • Social Work
  • Child Welfare
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Child and Family Therapy
  • Early Intervention
  • Hospitals and Child Healthcare
  • Child Life
  • Preschools and Childcare
  • Infant Mental Health
  • Public and Private Schools
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Informal Education

 

Learn more about Career Services

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Early Childhood Graduate Program Faculty

Early Childhood Leaders Teach at Erikson

Learn from the field’s experts.

At Erikson Institute, our nationally-recognized faculty share knowledge, research, and experiences to guide tomorrow’s leaders.

Develop close and collaborative relationships with Erikson’s professors — respected voices for children doing the critical work and research to further our practices — and become a leader in your field.

Meet our Faculty

News and Press

The Latest in Early Childhood Development News and Research

Review a policy brief, devour research articles, and unpack the latest early childhood development news and trends.

See all News and Press