Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Development Degree Program

Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Development Degree Program

Find the best online bachelor’s in human development degree programs for students who want to work with vulnerable populations, at-risk children, or families in crisis so that they can develop the required problem-solving, communication, and counseling skills.

Frequently Asked Questions About Human Development Degrees

Students who wish to work with vulnerable populations, at-risk children, or families in crisis can develop the required problem-solving, communication, and counseling skills by earning a bachelor’s degree in human development.

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This undergraduate degree requires the completion of 120 credits, which can typically be earned either online or on campus in a minimum of four years.

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Students in this program will typically take courses in sociology, psychology, family counseling, and more. Students can also select concentrations such as child development, family advocacy, and case management. Some programs may also include a fieldwork component.

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Although additional certifications may be required for some roles, graduates generally qualify to work as youth program specialists, community education instructors, family financial planners, social service managers, and more.

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Best Online Bachelor's in Human Development Degree Programs
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How do we determine the best online human development bachelor's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursuing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for an inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Human Development Degree Programs

  1. #2

    Arizona State University

    Tempe , AZ
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    74K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1240/25

    Online Degrees

    BA in Educational Studies

    Concentrations

    • Business
    • Community Health
    • Family and Human Development
    • Global Studies
    • Health Innovations
    • Personal Health
    • Political Science
    • Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 114-120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #3

    University of Louisville

    Louisville , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/25

    Online Degrees

    Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Organizational Leadership & Learning

    Concentrations

    • Career & Technical Education
    • Counseling & Human Relations
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Healthcare Leadership (term or flex option)
    • Leadership
    • Training & Organization Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    14K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Human Development

    Concentrations

    • Adult Development and Gerontology Concentration
    • Early Childhood Development Concentration
    • Women’s Development Concentration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  4. #6

    Empire State College

    Saratoga Springs , NY

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    7K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Human Development
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Development
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Human Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Human Development and Family Studies
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. #9

    Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    Online Degrees

    BS in Family and Consumer Sciences

    Concentrations

    • Human Sciences
    • Child Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. #10

    Maryville University

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/22

    Online Degrees

    BA in Human Development and Family Studies

    Concentrations

    • Child Life Specialist
    • Early Child Development
    • Youth Development
    • Family Life Education
    • Adult Development and Aging
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #12

    Hope International University

    Fullerton , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    990/19

    Online Degrees

    BS in Human Development

    Concentrations

    • Addiction Studies
    • Behavioral Psychology
    • Community Mental Health and Counseling
    • Family Studies
    • Graduate Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  9. #13

    Amberton University

    Garland , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Student body

    1K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Professional Development

    Concentrations

    • Human Behavior and Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  10. #14

    San Diego Christian College

    Santee , CA

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    Online Degrees

    BA in Human Development
    • Required Credits: 123
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  11. #15

    Amridge University

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Degrees

    BS in Human Development
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion time: 4 years
    • Format: Online
  12. #16

    Warner Pacific University

    Portland , OR

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Degrees

    BA in Psychology And Human Development
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students