Child Life Specialist Certificate

The Child Life Certificate includes the coursework required by the Association of Child Life Professionals for eligibility to complete official child life internships and take the Child Life Professional Certification Exam.

Completing the Child Life Certificate does not constitute certification by the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Certified Child Life Specialists often work in pediatric hospitals but may also work in other spaces (e.g., courtrooms, funeral homes or bereavement services) where children may experience trauma. The field of Child Life is evidence-based, providing interventions (e.g., therapeutic play, education, self-care, stress reduction, distraction, etc) with children and families that are developmentally appropriate. As members of a child’s care team, Child Life Specialists serve an important role in improving the illness-related experiences of both patients and their families. 

Students may not declare the Child Life Specialist Certificate and either the Child Studies and Youth Development or Family Relationships minor.

Students must complete an application in order to be admitted to the certificate. The application is available at:

Program Requirements

(33-35 credit hours)

Required courses:
FSW 245Children and Families: Ages Conception - 123
FSW 261Diverse Family Systems Across the Life Cycle3
FSW 295Research and Evaluation Methods3
FSW 318Child Life Theory and Practice3
FSW 435Death Studies3
FSW 445Therapeutic Play for Child Life Specialists3
FSW 481Adolescent Development in Diverse Families: Ages 13-253
FSW 340Internship3
Choose 3 of the following:9-11
FSW 375
FSW 385
Culturally-Informed Practice
Interpersonal Violence
Child Abuse & Neglect: Assessment & Child Safety
Family Theories
Principles of Human Physiology
Medical Terminology for Health Professionals
Issues of Health & Wellness for the Young Child
Public Health Disparities Past and Current
Medical Ethics
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Psychopathology
Total Credit Hours33-35