Erikson Institute Online

The Erikson Institute is a private graduate school and research center that specializes in early childhood education. Founded in Chicago in 1966, the institute emphasizes the use of applied research programs, which is why its faculty and researchers help local institutions — such as hospitals, schools, and service agencies — develop educational programs and materials. They also provide consultation and other services. The Institute is highly specialized, and as such it has only about 300 students enrolled at its campus and through its online program.

Programs Offered

Graduate degrees in child development and early childhood education, as well as a dual master’s program, doctorate in child development, and certificates, are available through the Erikson Institute. All of its degrees are available at its campus in Chicago, while the online program features only the Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, as well as an infant specialist and bilingual/English as a second language certificate, which trains monolingual teachers to instruct in a multilingual classroom. The doctoral program is executed through the Loyola University of Chicago.

The institute emphasizes a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to instruction that teaches students a relationship-based approach to working with children and their families. According to the school’s website, the class sizes are small, and the faculty is “nationally known for excellence in teaching, applied research, and community engagement on behalf of children and families.”


Erikson Institute has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 2000, and it is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. According to the school’s website, it is also authorized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to confer the master’s degrees in child development and early childhood education.


To enroll in the Erikson Institute, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. They must also have one year of practical experience with young children (up to 8 years old) in a supervised setting to enroll in the on-campus program, and two years for the online Master of Science in early childhood education program. Regardless of how the student takes the class, they need to submit a completed application which includes essays and work history, a self-disclosure form, application fee, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.

The requirements for doctoral applicants are similar. They need to show proof of prior academic performance, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a research paper or academic writing sample, and evidence of intellectual curiosity. The minimum required cumulative GPA is a 3.0, and the student must also have an acceptable score on the GRE. Their master’s degree must be in a field related to child development, such as education or psychology.

Admissions Contact

Erikson Institute
Admissions Office
451 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 755-2250

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