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Dual Degree MJ in Children’s Law and Policy and MS in Child Development

Prepare to empower better policy for children and families.

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The Dual Degree program admissions are being paused for this year. We are not accepting applications for the Fall 2022 deadline, but may resume for Fall 2023. Please connect with us next fall if you are interested in applying.


Open Endless Career Opportunities to Serve Children and Families

The first of its kind in the nation, this program is offered in conjunction with Loyola University Chicago School of Law’s Civitas ChildLaw Center. Develop the leadership skills needed to advocate for children and families, and learn how to identify and address inequality in law and policy.

As a graduate of this program, you’ll earn an MS in Child Development from Erikson and an MJ in Children’s Law and Policy from Loyola University of Chicago.

Erikson’s Dual Degree Program Empowers You

Start in Fall or Spring and earn both a MS and a MJ in a hybrid format.


Fall or Spring Start Date

Full-Time: 28 months or 3 Years

$1,135 Credit Hour

Why Erikson

Our Dual Degree Program is Made For You

Start this Fall and earn your MS/MJ on campus with some online courses.

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Faculty Experts

Collaborate with our nationally recognized faculty, build a respected network of field experts, and learn from the field’s leading voices.

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Internship Experience

Gain real world professional experience during a two-semester internship, applying all you’ve learned in the field.

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This concentration prepares you to seek the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Early Care and Education (ECE) Credential, Levels 2-5, through the Entitled Route.

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Immersive Learning

Attend an Education Immersion Weekend, hosted annually by Loyola to reinforce what you have learned in class, as well as providing a venue for networking.

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Reflective Supervision Seminars

Gain a professional toolkit so you can be your most effective. Learn resilience and healthy professional practices alongside experienced practitioners.

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Look Into Erikson’s Robust Financial Support & Scholarship Options

With dozens of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, our team is here to help you make your graduate education more affordable.

Based on your unique professional goals, we can help you understand tuition and expenses, and identify possible financial support opportunities.

Financial Aid Options  Tuition and Fees


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Apply Now for Priority Scholarship Considerations

Applications received by March 15th (for Fall) and November 15th (for Spring & Summer) will receive primary consideration for scholarship awards.


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Career Services

Erikson Institute Supports You Every Step of the Way

Our Career Services team is there for you in both the preparation and search for a job.

  • Career counseling and workshops
  • Annual job fair and networking events
  • Interview prep and resume reviews
  • Career placement program
  • Student and graduate resume book

With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.

Meet our Career Specialists

Paige Gulling
Paige Gulling
MSMJ, Class of 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.”

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Open New Doors with Your Erikson MS & Loyola MJ Degree

Once you graduate, you’ll be able to put your degree to work right away. Here are a few of the roles Erikson graduates take on after graduation.

Learn More About Career Services

  • Government agencies and departments
  • Court and probation systems and services
  • Public and private schools
  • Community-based child and family support nonprofits
  • Hospitals and health care

Explore a Few of the Dual Degree Program Courses

Check out a few examples of the courses you’ll take in our program.

See all Dual Degree Courses 

Family and Culture
This course is designed to help students gain knowledge about diversity through an examination of social science research on child development, child rearing across cultures, and issues of equity, power, and privilege.
Social and Emotional Development I: Infancy and Childhood
This course focuses on the study of social and emotional development in children from birth through age eight.
Child and Welfare Policy
This course focuses on federal and state legal and policy efforts to protect children from abuse, neglect and other forms of maltreatment.
LAW 670

Further your marketability with our Gateway to Opportunity Credential.

Erikson Institute has partnered with Illinois Gateways to Opportunity to be able to provide an entitled application route for the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Early Care and Education Credential, Levels 2-5.

Students in the Dual Degree may seek these additional Illinois Gateways to Opportunity credentials to help demonstrate your content knowledge, skills and experience, especially to potential employers within Illinois. The application process, timing and related costs may vary.

Learn more

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Your Professors are Scholars & Advocates for Children

Gain expert perspectives working closely with leaders in the field.

Our faculty and teaching staff are nationally recognized. With specific research interests and decades of experience, each of our faculty enriches your academic experience, connecting you to new networks and the latest data.

Meet the Dual Degree Program Faculty

Dual Degree Program FAQs

Find answers to the biggest questions students ask about the Dual Degree program.

We award over $2 million in scholarships to students enrolled in our degree and certificate programs. Erikson also participates in the federal Direct Loan programs, and assuming you meet all eligibility requirements, you will have access to both Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans to help finance your Erikson education.

Over 90% of our students work either part-time or full-time as they are pursuing their Erikson degree. You can choose to enroll at Erikson as part of the day cohort with most of your classes during the day Mondays and Wednesdays, or as part of the evening cohort which will allow you to take your classes in the evenings. The cohort model allows you to balance your work and Erikson course schedules.

Because this is a 2½- or 3-year program (depending on whether you start in the fall or spring term), you will most likely be able to work either part-time or full-time during the first two years of the program before you start your internship year.

It’s important to note that depending on your chosen concentration and specific internship requirements, you will be required to be available during business hours two or three days per week during your internship year. Evening/weekend internships are very uncommon, so we encourage you to plan ahead and communicate as necessary with your employer in advance of your final year in the master’s program.

The staff in our Field Education and Career Services Office will work with you to prepare you for seeking positions while you’re enrolled at Erikson and upon graduating from the program. You’ll receive feedback on your resume and cover letters, and we also maintain a job board on our campus portal where employers list part-time and full-time positions for which they’re hiring.

The Career Services team also plans an annual social work, early education, and child development job fair for Erikson students and alumni. In concert with the job fair, you can submit your resume to be included in an annual Resume Book that we distribute to organizations and managers who are interested in hiring Erikson students and alumni.

Erikson students live in a wide range of neighborhoods in Chicago and in the suburbs. We do not offer campus housing. While we can’t make specific recommendations about where you should live, we encourage you to find a neighborhood that suits your style, taste, and budget. To help you in your housing search, we work closely with StudentSpace, a free apartment-finding service that specializes in helping graduate students find housing in Chicago.

Because of Erikson’s small size, you’ll have access to a wide range of both informal and formal student support services. These include:

  • The Field Education and Career Services team will help you identify and apply for your internship placement. Erikson has hundreds of pre-approved internship sites, so you don’t have to worry about finding a placement site on your own.
  • Advising about your financial aid options, including personal financial education, is coordinated through the Financial Aid Office.
  • Academic advising is facilitated through your faculty advisor and program director.
  • The Academic Success Center provides services to help you with the academic reading and writing expectations of your program. The Center also sponsors discussion groups for selected master’s program courses.
  • The Director of Disability Services provides advising and support for students with disabilities and students who need accommodations for their academic work.
  • WorkLifeMatters is a confidential student assistance program offered to all Erikson students through Guardian and Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH). You have unlimited access to consult with a professional counselor via telephone. Face-to-face counseling sessions are available, if needed, with an IBH network provider — and up to eight sessions are free of charge as part of WorkLifeMatters.
  • Validated parking at a reduced rate is provided to Erikson students in three nearby parking garages. You will also have access to deeply discounted public transportation through the CTA U-Pass program.