Child Development & Early Education

Earn your PhD in Child Development & Early Education and prepare for a career in higher education, research or leadership. Designed for working professionals, this program offers courses at night or in mixed formats.

Program Features

  • Early childhood interaction
    48 credit hours post-master’s*
  • Tracks in Child Development or Early Childhood Education
  • Courses meet once a week in the evening or in mixed formats that could be in person or online, determined by the professor (e.g., five Fridays in person + 30% online)
  • All courses take place on TWU’s Denton campus
  • Small class sizes
  • Qualifying exam after completion of coursework
  • Dissertation required
  • Knowledgeable and supportive faculty with expertise in child development, early childhood education, child life and developmental psychology

*Individual requirements may vary

Course Requirements

Program Information

The PhD in child development & early education covers advanced content in child growth, development and early education, with options to study specific age groups from infancy through adolescence. Students receive integrative and interdisciplinary training in theory, application and research as well as advanced training in research methodology, statistics and qualitative analysis.

Gain marketable skills:

  • Ability to apply child development and early childhood education knowledge to professional and academic practice
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Academic/scholarly writing skills
  • Quantitative and qualitative research skills

Courses offered by semester

Faculty Advisors

Faculty from two departments serve as advisors for the child development & early education PhD students.

Advisors currently accepting students:

Career Opportunities

  • Faculty at a college/university
  • Child care administration
  • Early childhood education administration
  • Public policy
  • Federal or state agency positions
  • Research

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Ph.D. in Child Development & Early Education

Program Contact

Melissa McInnis Brown, Ph.D.

Application Deadlines

No deadline - Rolling admissions

Admission Requirements

  • GPA of 3.5 on previous graduate work
  • Relevant master’s degree or prerequisite equivalents for core area

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Three academic or professional references should submit letters of recommendation as PDFs on institutional or organization letterhead to . Recommenders should include student name and "Ph.D. in Child Development & Early Education" in the subject line.
  3. Collect and submit the following documents as separate pdf files in ONE email to with the subject line (YOUR FULL NAME) Ph.D. in Child Development & Early Education. Please attach all items as PDFs.
    • Vita/Resume
    • Letter of intent - 500 word essay/goals statement that meets the following expectations:
      • The page layout should meet APA standards.
      • It should reflect your academic writing skills and have a professional tone.
      • It should include the date it was written and your name and return address.
      • The first paragraph should identify:
        • Who you are.
        • What degree program you are seeking.
        • What degree(s) you have already earned and include where you earned the degree(s).
      • The body of the letter should identify:
        • Your professional goals.
        • Why you believe that a degree from the Child Development & Early Education program at Texas Woman’s University will help you reach your goals.
        • Topics in child development and early childhood education that you are particularly interested in an/or passionate about.
        • Any faculty members that you would like to work with and explain why you would like to work with them.
        • Your strengths and skills that will help you to be successful in the program.
        • How you plan to use the degree after graduating.


Melissa McInnis Brown, PhD
Associate Professor

Page last updated 1:13 PM, January 23, 2023