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Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Development

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


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Go Further with a Graduate-Level Early Childhood Development Degree

Find your infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH) 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 gradual-level early childhood development 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

Headshot of Paige Gulling, MS/MJ Dual Degree 2019, Erikson Institute alum.
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, Erikson Institute alum.
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 Development Degree 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 with a social emotional learning degree.

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

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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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More than 90% of Erikson Students Receive Financial Aid

As a premier graduate school for early childhood development degree programs, 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.

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Career Services

Your Social Emotional Learning 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

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