School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Child Learning and Development (BS)
Providing better ways to foster the intellectual and emotional development of all of our children is a national priority. As such, well-educated university graduates are needed to go on to become expert child development practitioners and researchers. Over the last 60 years, the academic disciplines of developmental psychology and child development have accumulated a vast body of research-based knowledge about the factors that promote optimal child learning, development and well-being, as well as those that contribute to disadvantaged child development. The Child Learning and Development major provides undergraduate students a rigorous science-based curriculum that immerses them in the theories, findings, research methods, and best practices that the scientific study of child development has to offer.
The Child Learning and Development major focuses on the fundamental processes of child and adolescent development within the contexts of families, schools, peer groups, and larger cultural milieu. Its three objectives are to provide students with a strong foundation in 1) cognitive, language, and socio-emotional development, 2) research skills for conducting scientific studies and evaluating applied programs, and 3) translating scientific findings into practical applications for understanding and improving children's lives. Opportunities for supervised and independent research, as well as field placements that involve working with children, families, schools, and social services, are provided in addition to formal work.
The Child Learning and Development major prepares students for a wide range of careers in education, psychology, social work, family medicine, public health, family law, and public policy. The major is especially well suited for students seeking elementary teacher certification (early childhood - 6th grade) through UT Dallas's Teacher Development Center. By combining a major in Child Learning and Development with elementary teacher certification, students will develop a strong foundation in child development and teaching. Elementary Teacher Certification requires a minimum of 45 additional semester credit hours of coursework that can be completed within the free elective semester credit hours of the Child Learning and Development major. If you are interested in this combined child development/education program (called CLD/EC6), see an advisor to develop a degree plan.
Bachelor of Science in Child Learning and Development
Degree Requirements (120 semester credit hours)
I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours1
Communication (6 semester credit hours)
Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 semester credit hours)
Humanities and Fine Arts (6 semester credit hours)
Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 semester credit hours)
Science (9 semester credit hours)
II. Major Requirements: 40 semester credit hours3
Major Preparatory Courses (6 semester credit hours)3
Major Core Courses (19 semester credit hours)3
or CLDP 3305 Language and Literacy Development
or CLDP 3339 Educational Psychology
or CLDP 4334 Lifespan Development
or CLDP 4344 Child Psychopathology
or CLDP 3365 Child Learning
Major Related Courses (15 upper-division semester credit hours)
Guided Electives; 3 semester credit hours of one of the following:
or CLDP 4395 Co-op Fieldwork
or CLDP 4397 Honors Thesis
or CLDP 4V98 Directed Research
or CLDP 4V99 Individual Study
III. Elective Requirements: 38 semester credit hours
Free Electives (38 semester credit hours)
Students are encouraged to explore areas of concentration in Child Learning and Development as well as explore interests outside the field. Be aware that at least 51 semester credit hours of upper-division courses are required for graduation.
Minor in Child Learning and Development
This minor is well suited for students pursuing Elementary Teacher certification and for those generally interested in the psychological development of children. Students must complete 18 semester credit hours including 9 required semester credit hours of foundation coursework and 9 semester credit hours of guided electives. At least 12 semester credit hours must be upper-division courses, of which at least 9 semester credit hours must have been completed at UT Dallas. Students majoring in Psychology or Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology may minor in Child Learning and Development provided that no course is used to satisfy both major and minor requirements.
Foundation Courses (9 semester credit hours required)
or PSY 3339 Educational Psychology4
or PSY 4334 Lifespan Development4, 5
Guided Electives Courses (select 9 semester credit hours)
or ED 4693 Student Teaching Grades - Elementary (approval of Associate Dean required)
- Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed in parentheses are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
- A required Major course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
- A required Major course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Nine (9) semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
- Required for EC-6 Teacher Certification.
- PSY majors take an additional 3 semester credit hours of guided electives to replace PSY 3310 or PSY 4334.