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
Professors: Julia Evans @, Margaret Tresch Owen @, John W. Santrock @, Melanie J. Spence @, Marion K. Underwood @
Professor Emerita: Susan W. Jerger @
Associate Professors: Shayla C. Holub @, Mandy J. Maguire @, Candice M. Mills @, Pamela R. Rollins @, Noah J. Sasson @
Assistant Professors: Jackie Nelson @, Andrea Warner-Czyz @
Senior Lecturers: Dawn County Brinkley @, Meridith Grant @, Karen Huxtable-Jester @, Nancy Juhn @
I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours2
Communication: 6 semester credit hours
COMM 1311 Survey of Oral and Technology-based Communication
RHET 1302 Rhetoric
Mathematics: 3 semester credit hours
Choose one course from the following:
MATH 1306 College Algebra for the Non-Scientist
MATH 1314 College Algebra
or MATH 2417 Calculus I
Life and Physical Sciences: 6 semester credit hours
Select 6 semester credit hours from Life and Physical Sciences core courses (see CLDP advisor for options)
Language, Philosophy and Culture: 3 semester credit hours
Choose one course from the following:
HUMA 1301 Exploration of the Humanities
LIT 2331 Masterpieces of World Literature
PHIL 1301 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 2316 History of Philosophy I
PHIL 2317 History of Philosophy II
Creative Arts: 3 semester credit hours
Choose one course from the following:
ARTS 1301 Exploration of the Arts
AHST 1303 Survey of Western Art History: Ancient to Medieval
AHST 1304 Survey of Western Art History: Renaissance to Modern
AHST 2331 Understanding Art
DANC 1310 Understanding Dance
DRAM 1310 Understanding Theater
FILM 2332 Understanding Film
MUSI 1306 Understanding Music
American History: 6 semester credit hours
Choose two courses from the following:
HIST 1301 U.S. History Survey to Civil War
HIST 1302 U.S. History Survey from Civil War
HIST 2301 History of Texas
HIST 2330 Themes and Ideas in American History
HIST 2332 Civil War and Reconstruction
Government / Political Science: 6 semester credit hours
GOVT 2305 American National Government
GOVT 2306 State and Local Government
Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 semester credit hours
Component Area Option: 6 semester credit hours
AND one of the following:
PSY 2314 Lifespan Development
PSY 2364 Animal Communication
CGS 2301 Cognitive Science
II. Major Requirements: 36 semester credit hours
Major Preparatory Courses: 6 semester credit hours (0 semester credit hours beyond Core Curriculum)
Major Core Courses: 21 semester credit hours
CLDP 3303 Normal Language Development
or CLDP 3305 Language and Literacy Development
CLDP 3310 Child Development
or CLDP 3339 Educational Psychology
CLDP 3332 Social and Personality Development
CLDP 3342 Exceptional Children
or CLDP 4344 Child Psychopathology
CLDP 3362 Cognitive Development
or CLDP 3365 Child Learning
PSY 3392 Research Design and Analysis
Major Related Courses (15 upper-division semester credit hours)
Guided Electives: 3 semester credit hours of one of the following:
CLDP 4394 Internship
or CLDP 4395 Co-op Fieldwork
or CLDP 4397 Thesis Research (Honors Thesis)
or CLDP 4V98 Directed Research
or CLDP 4V99 Individual Study
Plus 12 semester credit hours of courses with CLDP prefix or any of the following courses: CGS 3342, CGS 4312, CGS 4313, CGS 4314, CGS 4315, CGS 4352, CGS 4353, ED 4352, ED 4363, ED 4357, NSC 3345, NSC 4352, NSC 4353, NSC 4354, NSC 4367, PSY 3331, PSY 3333, PSY 3361, PSY 4331, PSY 4343, PSY 4359, PSY 4362, PSY 4364, PSY 4373, SPAU 3301, SPAU 3304, SPAU 3340, SPAU 3343, SPAU 3344, SPAU 3345 or SPAU 4308.
III. Elective Requirements: 42 semester credit hours
Free Electives: 42 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.
Fast Track Baccalaureate/Master's Degrees
UT Dallas undergraduate students with strong academic records who intend to pursue a master's degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders (HDCD) at UT Dallas may consider an accelerated undergraduate-graduate plan of study. If accepted into the program, students may take up to 15 semester credit hours of graduate courses that may be used to complete the baccalaureate degree and also to satisfy requirements for the master's degree. Students must maintain a 3.000 grade point average and earn grades of B or better in graduate courses taken.
Students should apply for Fast Track admission in the semester they reach 90 semester credit hours. To qualify for application, undergraduate students must have completed at least 18 semester credit hours in major core courses at UT Dallas. To be eligible for Fast Track admission, students must have completed at least 90 semester credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree, and meet program admission requirements, including submission of GRE scores. Apply to the Fast Track program through the HDCD Program Office. Students should consult with a graduate advisor regarding admissions criteria and plans of study.
1. Incoming freshmen must enroll and complete requirements of UNIV 1010 and the corresponding school-related freshman seminar course. Students, including transfer students, who complete their core curriculum at UT Dallas must take UNIV 2020.
2. Curriculum Requirements can be fulfilled by other approved courses from 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.
3. A required Preparatory course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement. Six (6) semester credit hours are counted in Core Curriculum.
4. Required for EC-6 Teacher Certification.