Child Life

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. 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.

This program can be completed 100% online.

Other Concentrations




Required Semester Hours 36-51

Program Highlights

  • 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

Program Requirements

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

  • 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. Students can choose to fill out the Child Life Applicant Reference Form.

  • Completion of all prerequisite courses including:

    • Lifespan Development

    • Family Development

    • Research Methods

    • Statistics

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


What Can You Be

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



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Student Orgs & Activities

Association of Child Life Professionals