Erikson Institute

451 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60654-4510

School Details

Erikson Institute is a private graduate school and research center that was established in 1966 and originally known as the Chicago School for Early Childhood Education. In response to the urgent need for early childhood professionals to staff programs for young children, Maria Piers, Lorraine Wallach, and Barbara Taylor Bowman, three prominent child advocates founded the institute with the help of businessman and philanthropist Irving B. Harris. In 1967, the school was able to award master’s degrees through an affiliation with Loyola University. In 1969, it was renamed the Erikson institute in honor of the noted psychoanalyst and developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson. Through academic programs, applied research, and community service and engagement, the Erikson Institute works to improve the care and education of children from birth to eight years old. Through its core values of relationship-based education, commitment to social justice, diversity and complexity Erikson helps to prepare early childhood professionals to help children reach their full potential and to support families within the community. Through its hard work and dedication, Erikson estimates that 4 million young children are positively affected from the work of its faculty, researchers, alumni, and students. In its 46 years of existence, Erikson has graduated 1,800 alumni.

In order to be accepted to the Erikson institute, applicants must have earned at least a 2.75 grade point average on a 4-point scale from an accredited institution of higher education while earning their bachelor's degree and must have at least one year of practical experience with children from birth to eight years old. Online applicants are expected to have two years practical experience. The deadline for application is March 1st for all programs except Master of Science in child development with child life specialization, which is January 17th, and Online Master of Science in early childhood education, which is October 15th.  All applicants pay a non-refundable fee of either $50 for degree programs or $40 for certificate programs. The acceptance rate at Erikson is 95%.

The Erikson Institute campus was specifically built to accommodate educational, research, and clinical activities. The facility was newly constructed and makes up nearly 75,000 square feet over the span of three floors in a building located in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

As of the fall semester of 2011, there were approximately 220 master’s degree students, 15 doctoral students, and 60 certificate students enrolled at Erikson. Of the students, 96% are women and 28% represent a minority group. Students range in age from 21 to 63 with an average age of 30 years old. Erikson has enrolled students from 28 states and 9 countries and retains students at a rate of 80%.

Classes at the Erikson Institute are small with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio and are designed to help students gain an understanding of children as a whole. In class, students learn to assess and treat children’s developmental, behavioral, social-emotional, and learning issues through a well-rounded, multidisciplinary approach that covers all dimensions of child development. Some of the key areas of focus are a relationship-based approach to working with children and families and a focus on self-reflection. Whether in class or online all students are taught by nationally recognized faculty who excel in teaching, applied research and community engagement.


Students whose schedules do not allow the time for in class learning can opt for fully online degree programs at Erikson.  All online courses are built on the same rigorous, effective, time-tested curriculum as our campus-based courses. Students who choose to earn their degree online can choose from three fully online programs offered that include; a MS in early childhood education, a bilingual/English as a second language certificate program or infant specialist certificate courses.

Tuition at the Erikson Institute is charged per credit hour. The master’s degree, certificate, and doctoral programs are each $880 per semester credit hour. In order to help students with financing Erikson is equipped with a financial aid office and offer scholarships and fellowships.




School Overview:

  • Sector Of Institution:
    Private, not-for-profit, 4-year or above
  • Religious Affiliation:
  • Highest Level Of Offering:
    Master's degree
  • Total Enrollments:
  • Adult Age Enrollments:
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