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 with 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
Professors: Margaret Tresch Owen @mowen, Pamela R. Rollins @rollins, Melanie J. Spence @mspence
Associate Professors: Shayla C. Holub @sch052000, Mandy J. Maguire @mjm053000, Candice M. Mills @cxm056000, Jackie Nelson @jan110030, Andrea Warner-Czyz @adw052000
Assistant Professor: Meghan Swanson @mrs180008
Professors Emeriti: Susan W. Jerger @sjerger, John W. Santrock @santrock
Professors of Instruction: Karen Huxtable-Jester @kxh014900, Nancy Juhn @njuhn, Emily Touchstone @exw010200
Associate Professor of Instruction: Meridith Grant @mga061000
I. Core Curriculum Requirements: 42 semester credit hours2
Communication: 6 semester credit hours
COMM 1311 Survey of Oral and Technology-based Communication
COMM 1315 Public Speaking
RHET 1302 Rhetoric
Or select any 6 semester credit hours from Communication Core courses (see advisor)
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
Or select any 3 semester credit hours from Mathematics Core courses (see advisor)
Life and Physical Sciences: 6 semester credit hours
Select 6 semester credit hours from Life and Physical Sciences Core courses
Language, Philosophy and Culture: 3 semester credit hours
Select 3 semester credit hours from Language, Philosophy and Culture Core courses
Creative Arts: 3 semester credit hours
Select 3 semester credit hours from Creative Arts Core courses
American History: 6 semester credit hours
Select 6 semester credit hours from American History Core courses
Government / Political Science: 6 semester credit hours
Select 6 semester credit hours from Government/Political Science Core courses
Social and Behavioral Sciences: 3 semester credit hours
Or select any 3 semester credit hours from Social and Behavioral Sciences Core courses (see advisor)
Component Area Option: 6 semester credit hours
AND one of the following:
PSY 2314 Lifespan Development
PSY 2364 Animal Communication
CGS 2301 Cognitive Science
Or select any 6 semester credit hours from Component Area Option Core courses (see advisor)
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 BBSU 3310 Community-Based Service Learning
or CLDP 4390 Directed Research and Writing
or CLDP 4391 Individual Study and Writing
or CLDP 4395 Co-op Fieldwork
or CLDP 4397 Thesis Research
or CLDP 4V96 Teaching Internship
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 4314, CGS 4315, CGS 4352, CGS 4353, ED 4352, ED 4363, ED 4357, 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.
Incoming freshmen must enroll and complete requirements of BBSU 1100.
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, completed a minimum of 36 hours of general education core curriculum classes, 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.
Minor in Child Development: 18 semester credit hours
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, and Hearing Sciences 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
Choose three courses from the following:
PSY 3310 Child Development
or PSY 3339 Educational Psychology
PSY 3332 Social and Personality Development
PSY 3362 Cognitive Development
Guided Elective Courses: 9 semester credit hours
Choose three courses from the following:
PSY 4344 Child Psychopathology
PSY 4373 Psychological Assessment
PSY 4394 Internship in Psychology
or ED 4693 Student Teaching - Elementary (approval of the Teacher Development Center required)
SPAU 3305 Language and Literacy Development
SPAU 4308 Language Disorders in Children
Other courses as approved by the Associate Dean
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.