Child development practitioners and researchers focus on providing better ways to foster the intellectual and emotional development of children. 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 surroundings.
This 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. 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 schoolwork.
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. Students who elect to add teacher certification will develop a strong foundation in child development and accumulate teaching skills by combining a degree in child learning and development with an elementary teacher certification.
The University’s Career Center is an important resource for students pursuing their careers. Professional career counselors are available to help clarify career goals, provide strategies for mastering job interviews and writing professional cover letters and resumes and help students connect with campus recruiters.
UT Dallas offers two undergraduate degree plans in child learning and development:
Junior and senior child learning and development majors with at least a 2.5 GPA are eligible to receive college credit for a volunteer internship in the community.
The Fast-Track program enables undergraduate students to take up to 15 hours of graduate courses that will count toward both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in applied cognition and neuroscience, communication disorders, or human development and early childhood disorders. Students must have at least 90 credit hours and meet the graduate admission requirements to qualify.
The School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences is focused on the intersection of mind, brain and behavior. Through the school’s research-intensive culture, our professors and students work together to unravel mysteries that will improve human lives. They accomplish this by translating the latest research into treatments and sharing this knowledge through community outreach.
BBS Areas of study include:
Bachelor of Science: Child learning and development*, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology*, speech-language pathology and audiology*
Master of Science: Applied cognition and neuroscience, communication disorders, human development and early childhood disorders, psychological sciences
Doctor of Philosophy: Cognition and neuroscience, communication sciences and disorders, psychological sciences
Doctor of Audiology: Audiology
*May be combined with a teacher certification degree plan
In addition to the many research opportunities in faculty labs, students can also gain valuable experience through the school’s four affiliated centers committed to research, treatment and outreach.
To learn more about the research centers affiliated with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and to view a complete list of the school's research labs, visit
Melanie Spence, PhD
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road GR41
Richardson, TX 75080-3021