School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Child Learning and Development (B.S.)

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 hours of course work that can be completed within the free elective 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 hours)

I. Core Curriculum Requirements1: 42 hours

  1. Communication (6 hours)
    3 hours Communication (RHET 1302)
    3 hours Communication Elective (CLDP 3494)2
  2. Social and Behavioral Sciences (15 hours)
    6 hours Government (GOVT 2301 and GOVT 2302)
    6 hours American History
    3 hours Social and Behavioral Science Elective (PSY 2301)2
  3. Humanities and Fine Arts (6 hours)
    3 hours Fine Arts (recommend ARTS 1301)
    3 hours Humanities (recommend HUMA 1301)
  4. Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning (6 hours)
    3 hours College Math (recommend MATH 1306, MATH 1314 or MATH 2417)
    3 hours Quantitative Methods or Math (PSY 2317)2
  5. Science (9 hours)
    3 hours Science (recommend NSC 3361 or CGS 2301)
    6 hours Science Electives (including at least one course with a substantial laboratory component)

1 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.

II. Major Requirements: 40 hours including at least 30 upper-division hours of required and guided elective courses in the major (31 hours beyond Core Curriculum)

Major Preparatory Courses (6 hours)

PSY 2301 Introduction to Psychology2 (also satisfies 3 hours part B of Core Curriculum)
PSY 2317 Statistics for Psychology2 or STAT 1342 Statistical Decision Making2 (also satisfies 3 hours part D of Core Curriculum)

Major Core Courses (19 hours)

CLDP 3094 Research and Evaluation Laboratory (taken with CLDP 3494)
CLDP 3303 Normal Language Development
or CLDP 3305 Language and Literacy Development
CLDP 3310 Child Development
or CLDP 3339 Educational Psychology
or CLDP 4334 Lifespan Development
CLDP 3332 Social and Personality Development
CLDP 3342 Exceptional Children or CLDP 4344 Child Psychopathology
CLDP 3362 Cognitive Development or CLDP 3365 Child Learning
CLDP 3494 Research and Evaluation Methods2 (also satisfies 3 hours part A of Core Curriculum)

Major Related Courses (15 upper-division hours)

Advanced Guided Electives; 3 hours of one of the following:

CLDP 4394 Internship
or CLDP 4395 Co-op Fieldwork
or CLDP 4397 Honors Thesis
or CLDP 4V98 Directed Research
or CLDP 4V99 Individual Study
Plus 12 hours of courses with CLDP prefix or any of the following courses: CGS 2301, CGS 3342, CGS 4312, CGS 4313, CGS 4314, CGS 4315, CGS 4352, CGS 4353, ED 4352, ED 4355, ED 4357, NSC 3345, NSC 4352, NSC 4353, NSC 4354, NSC 4367, PSY 3331, PSY 3333, PSY 3361, PSY 4331, PSY 4343, PSY 4362, PSY 4364, PSY 4373, SPAU 3301, SPAU 3304, SPAU 3340, SPAU 3343, SPAU 3344, SPAU 3345 or SPAU 4308.

2 A required Major course that also fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement.

III. Elective Requirements: 50 hours

Advanced Electives (6 hours) Six hours of upper-division courses that do not have a CLDP prefix.

Free Electives (42 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 hours of upper division credit hours 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 credit hours including 9 required hours of foundation coursework and 9 credit hours of guided electives. At least 12 hours must be upper-division courses, of which at least 9 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 hours required)

PSY 3310 Child Development
or PSY 3339 Educational Psychology1
or PSY 4334 Lifespan Development*1
PSY 3332 Social and Personality Development
PSY 3362 Cognitive Development

Guided Electives Courses (select 9 hours)

PSY 3342 Exceptional Children1
PSY 4344 Child Psychopathology
PSY 4373 Psychological Assessment
PSY 4394 Internship in Psychology or ED 4693 Student Teaching Grades EC - 61 (approval of Associate Dean required)
SPAU 3303 Normal Language Development1
SPAU 3305 Language and Literacy Development
SPAU 4308 Language Disorders in Children
Other courses as approved by the Associate Dean

* PSY majors take an additional 3 hours of guided electives to replace PSY 3310 or PSY 4334.
1 Required for EC-6 Teacher Certification.