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Curriculum - BS in HES Human Development and Family Studies, concentration in Child Life

The program requires 120 hours and consists of a comprehensive foundation of courses related to the growth and development of the healthy child as well as the hospitalized child. Students participate in many laboratory and practicum experiences with children. These experiences, along with theoretical information, provide a foundation necessary for working with hospitalized children and their families. This curriculum leads to child life certification by allowing qualified students to sit for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination upon graduation.

Major Courses (15 hours):

  • HD 202 Infant/Toddlerhood
  • HD 205 Preschool
  • HD 302 Adolescence
  • HD 382 Parent and Family Development
  • HD 472 Program Evaluation - View a sample of this course - students are asked to participate in a matching exercise to review research design.

Child Life Concentration:

  • HD 203 Medical Terminology
  • HD 321  Conceptual and Creative Experiences for Young Children I
  • HD 322 Conceptual and Creative Experiences for Young Children II
  • HD 422 Centers and Programs
  • HD 426 Hospitalized Children and Youth
  • HD 451 Loss and Bereavement
  • HD 496 Child Life Internship
  • PHL 223 Medical Ethics

These courses are not available online and must be taken on campus or transferred from another institution.

  • BSC 215 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BSC 216 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

Please note that courses are subject to change.

The field of child life is a very competitive field. Towards the end of coursework, students will be ready to apply and compete for child life internships. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain an internship site through the application process (i.e., application, interviews, and such).  A minimum GPA of 3.0, 100 practicum and volunteer hours, competent interviewing skills, and the resources to relocate are basic requirements for students to enter the national competition for a child life internship.

Without a 3.0 GPA, 100 hours of quality practicum experience, and good interviewing skills, students discover it is sometimes very difficult to secure a child life internship. It is the student’s responsibility to acquire the skills and experiences needed to obtain an internship placement. While completing the child life coursework, students will need to continuously accumulate practicum hours with children, including in the hospital under Certified Child Life Specialists.