Child Life Specialist Graduate Certificate

The Child Life Specialist Graduate Certificate is designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and now wish to complete the necessary coursework to become eligible for certification as a child life specialist. The Child Life Specialist Graduate Certificate includes 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 admitted to the Child Life Specialist Graduate Certificate complete five graduate-level courses (FSW 535, FSW 545, FSW 575, FSW 581, and FSW 616). In addition, students are required to complete a field placement (FSW 640) either in a healthcare or agency setting working with diverse children. Students admitted to the Child Life Specialist Graduate Certificate may complete undergraduate courses (e.g., FSW 261, FSW 318) if they do not already have these courses that are required for national certification as a child life specialist.

Required Coursework
FSW 535Death Studies3
FSW 545Therapeutic Play for Child Life Specialists3
FSW 575Family Theories3
FSW 581Adolescent Development in Diverse Families: Ages 13-253
FSW 616Graduate Social Work Research I3
Field Placement
FSW 640Internship0
Total Credit Hours15