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.

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 illness-related 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 important 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.

Program Requirements

(33-35 credits)

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 494Internship with Families and Children3
Choose 3 of the following:9-11
Writing For Helping Professions
Perspectives on Child Maltreatment and Child Advocacy
Global Child Advocacy Issues
Family Violence
Professional and Systematic Responses to Child Maltreatment
Family Theories
Principles of Human Physiology
Medical Terminology for Health Professionals
Issues of Health & Wellness for the Young Child
Medical Ethics
Introduction to Psychology
Foundational Experiences in Psychology
Abnormal Psychology
Total Credit Hours33-35