Master of Science in Child Life

COLLEGE OF NURSING AND HEALTH SCIENCES

Department of Health and Human Sciences

The purpose of the program is to prepare students to become advanced practitioners in Child Life. Child Life Specialists help children and families understand and cope with illness, treatment, and hospitalization. They support coping and adjustment through therapeutic play, diagnostic education, and age-appropriate procedural and surgical preparation. Child Life Specialists also help children plan and rehearse coping skills, teach non-pharmacological pain-management techniques, and utilize other expressive avenues such as art, music, and bibliotherapy to support children and their families during times of stress. Child Life Specialists typically work in pediatric hospitals, but other employment settings may include clinics, rehabilitation centers, palliative care, dental offices, and camps for children with chronic health issues.

The program offers students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in an area outside of Child Life additional study in Child Life, and the opportunity to complete both the required Practicum and Internship experiences they would have not completed during their previous undergraduate work. The program also includes more rigorous study of Child Life theory and application as well as research, program administration, grant writing, and leadership skills. Those advanced areas of study would be very beneficial for Child Life Specialists who would like to pursue management positions within Child Life programs, or rely on grants to fund their programs.

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Career Information
Types of Jobs
  • Child Life Specialist
  • Allied Health Professional
Types of Employers
  • Pediatric hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Palliative care
  • Dental offices
  • Camps for children with chronic health issues
  • Non-profit organizations serving children with health issues
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
  • 100% Online

  • 2 Options to Choose From:

    • BS to MS accelerated program (36 hours) for professionals and students who have already completed the Child Life Practicum and Child Life Internship

    • Traditional MS program (51 hours) for professionals and students who have not completed the Child Life Practicum and Child Life Internship

  • Thesis and Non-thesis option

  • Interdisciplinary courses taught by graduate faculty including Certified Child Life Specialists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Counselors, and Advanced Practice Nurses.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
  • Complete a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.25 GPA on the last 60 hours of course work.

  • Submit GRE score.

  • A personal statement (1500 word limit) including background information about professional/volunteer experiences, professional goals, and future plans.

  • A resume that includes full name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, academic experiences, prior related work experiences, degrees held, honors, awards, special interests, and other appropriate information.

  • Two confidential letters of recommendation: One from the academic setting and one from the clinical setting. Confidential letters of recommendation must be sealed and signed by the recommender or submitted directly from the email address of the recommender.

  • Completion of all prerequisite courses including:

    • Medical Terminology

    • Lifespan Development

    • Family Development

    • Parenting

    • Research Methods

    • Statistics

    • Completion of at least 100 hours of volunteer or paid work experience with hospitalized children (ages birth to 18 years)

ADMISSION DEADLINES
  • Fall Admission, application materials must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator no later than June 30.

  • Spring Admission, application materials must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator no later than November 1.

Upon evaluation of program application materials, qualified applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. Interviews may be on campus or held via video conferencing.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
  • Completion of 36 hours of graduate course work with a “B” or higher in each course. Passing score on the comprehensive exam. If thesis option is chosen, a passing score is required.

OR

  • Completion of 36 hours of graduate course work with a “B” or higher in each course. Successful completion of a Child Life Practicum (120 hours) and Child Life Internship (600 hours) under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. Passing score on the comprehensive exam. If thesis option is chosen, a passing score is required.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

 

Contact Information

holly.kihm@southeastern.edu

P: 985-549-2309

F: 985-549-3758

Mailing address: SLU 10863, Hammond, LA 70402

On-campus address: White Hall, Room 206

Program website