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' 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)1
I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours2
Communication: 6 semester credit hours
Mathematics: 3 semester credit hours
One of the following:
or MATH 2417 Calculus I
Life and Physical Sciences: 6 semester credit hours
Language, Philosophy and Culture: 3 semester credit hours
One of the following:
Creative Arts: 3 semester credit hours
One of the following:
American History: 6 semester credit hours
Two of the following:
Government / Political Science: 6 semester credit hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 semester credit hours
Component Area Option: 6 semester credit hours
or STAT 1342 Statistical Decision Making
AND one of the following:
II. Major Requirements: 36 semester credit hours3
Major Preparatory Courses: 6 semester credit hours3 (0 semester credit hours beyond Core Curriculum)
Major Core Courses: 21 semester credit hours
or CLDP 3305 Language and Literacy Development
or CLDP 3339 Educational Psychology
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: 41 semester credit hours
Free Electives: 41 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.
- Incoming freshmen must complete and pass UNIV 1010 Freshman Seminar and the corresponding school-related freshman seminar course. Students, including transfer students, who complete their core curriculum at UT Dallas must take UNIV 2020.
- Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from accredited institutions of higher education. The courses listed are recommended as the most efficient way to satisfy both Core Curriculum and Major Requirements at UT Dallas.
- A required Preparatory course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Six (6) semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
- Required for EC-6 Teacher Certification.