The undergraduate certificate in Child Life is ideal if you already have your bachelor’s degree and wish to complete the coursework that supports the academic requirements to sit for the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) examination. This 7-course online certificate teaches you a range of therapeutic activities designed to assist children and families facing stressful healthcare or traumatic events requiring coping support (counseling, grief support, advocacy, etc.). Completion of this certificate will help you stand out in the growing and competitive child life field where the CCLS is being increasingly recognized as a necessary component to pediatric care.

Note: Additional coursework may be needed depending on your bachelor’s degree to fully meet the academic requirements to sit for the CCLS. In addition, all candidates for the CCLS examination must complete the required fieldwork/internship, which is not offered by the university. Additional information on these requirements can be found at

Certificate Objectives

Upon successful completion of this certificate, the student will be able to:

  • Provide an overview of the field of child life theory and practice.
  • Understand the issues faced by children and their families during times of acute or chronic illness.
  • Provide evidence of professional level academic training in the field of child life.

Certificate Requirements (21 semester hours)

CHFD307Child and Adolescent Development3
HDFS401Child Life Theory and Practice3
HDFS402Benefits of Therapeutic Play3
HDFS403Death, Dying, and Grief3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Family Resource Management
Family Communications
Select 1 course from the following:3
Research Methods for Sociology
Research Methods in Psychology
Select 1 course from the following:3
Medical Terminology
Healthcare: Moral Issues
Total Semester Hours21