Best Early Childhood Education Master’s Degrees Online Of 2023

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Sep 26, 2023

Early childhood is one of the most crucial parts of life, walking children through the building blocks of social, emotional and cognitive development. As young students discover how to connect puzzle pieces and solve simple equations, an early childhood educator guides them toward meaningful learning.

By earning an early childhood education master’s degree online, you can become one of those educators guiding young students through some of the most pivotal moments in their development. In this degree program, you’ll build critical skills and strategies for managing behaviors, fostering a love of learning and keeping your classroom running smoothly.

Are you ready to earn your early childhood education degree online? Explore this ranking of the top 10 accredited, nonprofit universities offering early childhood education master’s degrees.

Why You Can Trust Forbes Advisor Education

The Forbes Advisor Education team is committed to bringing our readers unbiased rankings and trustworthy, informative articles covering higher learning institutions, individual degree programs, bootcamps, professional credentials and various career paths.

Our team sources data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also pull information from reputable professional organizations and education providers’ direct websites. Our rankings use a strict methodology to determine the best schools, programs or bootcamps for each category.

Moreover, an expert advisory board of experienced professionals and educators reviews and verifies Forbes Advisor Education content to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Our Methodology

We scored 40 accredited, nonprofit colleges offering online early childhood education master’s degree programs in the U.S. using 16 data points in the categories of credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience and application process.

We pulled data for these categories from reliable resources such as the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; private, third-party data sources; and individual school and program websites. Data is accurate as of January 2023.

We scored schools based on the following categories:

Student Outcomes:

Overall graduation rate
Median earnings 10 years after graduation


In-state graduate student tuition
In-state graduate student fees
Alternative tuition plans offered
Median federal student loan debt
Percentage of students in federal student loan deferment

Student Experience:

Student-to-faculty ratio
Socioeconomic diversity
Availability of online coursework
Total number of graduate assistants
More than 50% of graduate students enrolled in at least some distance education


Fully accredited
Programmatic accreditation status
Nonprofit status

Application Process:

Acceptance rate

We chose the 10 best schools to display based on those receiving a curved final score of 86% or higher.

Find our full list of methodologies here.