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The University of Texas at Dallas
Graduate Admissions

Graduate Program in Human Development and
Early Childhood Disorders


Professors: Thomas G.R. Bower, Duane Buhrmester, Bert S. Moore, Margaret Tresch Owen, John W. Santrock, Melanie J. Spence, Robert D. Stillman, Marion K. Underwood, Deborah Wiebe
Associate Professors: Pamela Rollins
Assistant Professors: Shayla Holub, Mandy Maguire, Candice Mills
Clinical Faculty: Cherryl Bryant
Senior Lecturers: Toosje Van Beveren


The Master of Science program in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders is designed for students with professional interests in early child development and disorders. The curriculum offers a strong foundation in the normative path of physical, cognitive and social development with specialized training in diagnostic and intervention techniques needed to work with developmental disorders of early childhood. The program is designed for students interested in a career in the delivery of services to young children who show developmental delays and disorders and their families. This program provides training to those who desire to work with infants and young children and their families in early childhood intervention programs and other professional settings, including schools, hospitals, and medical/therapy clinics. Classroom training is combined with practical experience in a variety of clinical and educational settings, both on campus and in the community. Students graduating from the program qualify to work as Early Intervention Specialists and Developmental Specialists. They also qualify for Level 2 Infant Mental Health Endorsement by the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.


The principal sites for the academic and research activities of the The Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders program are located at UTD and the Callier Center for Communication Disorders on the main campus in Richardson, and on the campus of the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Facilities at the main campus include research and observational laboratories, and laboratories dedicated to infant assessment. On-campus fieldwork opportunities with preschool-age children with special needs are available in the Preschool Language Development Program held at Callier-Richardson. The Callier Center on the UT Southwestern Medical Center campus operates a laboratory preschool, and the Callier Center on both the main campus in Richardson and the medical center campus offer a number of other educational and clinical programs serving young children.  These facilities, and various community programs and settings throughout the Metroplex, provide essential educational, clinical, and research environments for training in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders. Practicum and Internship placements provide supervised on-site and community based fieldwork experiences with young children with special needs and their families.

Admission Requirements

The University’s general admission requirements are discussed here.

The Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders program is designed for students with backgrounds in psychology, special education, early childhood education, social work, and communication disorders. Students from other disciplines are also encouraged to apply. Those from other fields are generally not required to take leveling courses.

Admission to the Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders program is based on a review of the applicant’s GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and narrative description of interests, relevant experiences, and career goals. In general, a combined Verbal and Quantitative score on the GRE of at least 1000 is advisable based on our experience with student success in the program. However, there is no minimum cut-off score for admission nor does a score of at least 1000 assure admission to the program.

Degree Requirements

The University’s general degree requirements are discussed here.

The plan of study includes a set of required foundational courses, elective course options, and supervised practical experience in applied settings designed to prepare students to work with children and their families.

Students are advised that participation in off-campus practicum and internship requires a criminal background check.  Students excluded from off-campus sites for any reason may be unable to complete all degree requirements. 

The Master of Science program requires a minimum of 48 semester hours. Specific degree requirements follow.

Required Core Courses (24 hours)

HDCD 6319 The Developing Child: Infants and Toddlers 
HDCD 6312 Atypical Development
HDCD 6315 Assessment Theory
HDCD 6316 Developmental Assessment
HDCD 6335 Intervention Paradigms
HDCD 6310 Parent Education
HDCD 6320 The Developing Child: Preschool Years
HDCD 6370 Intervention with Young Children

Practicum (3 hours)

HDCD 7V20 Practicum in Disorders of Young Children

Internship (6 hours)

HDCD 7V20 Internship in Disorders of Young Children

Electives (15 hours)

HDCD 6325 Service Coordination of Community Resources
HDCD 6395 Medical and Biobehavioral Factors in ECD
HDCD 6330 Families and Culture
HDCD 6385 Child Psychopathology
HDCD 6355 Family Outreach and Assessment
HDCD 6390 Infant Mental Health
HDCD 6V81 Special Topics in Early Childhood Disorders
HDCD 6360 Behavior Management
HCS 6350 Social Development
HCS 6331 Cognitive Development
HCS 7382 Health Psychology
COMD 6307 Language Acquisition or HCS 6368 Language Development
COMD 7V62 Seminar in Autism
HDCD 7V98 Independent Study
HDCD 7V80 Independent Research


Last Updated: August 26, 2010