Frequently Asked Questions - BS in HES Human Development and Family Studies, concentration in Child Life

General Information

When does your program begin?

You can begin the child life concentration in the Fall, Spring, or Summer.  Visit the UA academic calendar for when important dates. Application deadlines are July 15th for the fall semester, November 15th for the spring semester and April 15th for the summer semester.

How long does it take to complete this program?

This varies from student to student and depends on the following:

  • Course Load - Some students have a full-time job, some are enrolled full-time, and some take only one course per semester.  The maximum number of hours is 16 hours per semester.
  • Course Availability - Not all courses are available each semester.  Many upper-level courses have prerequisites that must be completed prior to enrolling an an upper-level course.  Therefore, completing the prerequisites will also influence how quickly you complete the program  Your advisor can assist you with planning your schedule. 
  • Course Enrollment Capacity - Each course has a maximum enrollment capacity.  The enrollment capacity for each course is different and is based on course content.

Are all courses offered online?

All courses are offered online except BSC 215 and BSC 216. These courses can be taken on campus or transferred from another institution.

Is there a maximum number of credit hours that can be transferred?

The university will only accept a maximum of 60 transfer credit hours from a 2-year institution (junior or community college) towards a degree. There is no limit on the number of hours that can be transferred from a 4-year institution. However, to earn an undergraduate degree from the university, you must complete a minimum of 33 hours from the university.

Can I complete the program or courses if I'm living outside the U.S.?

A majority of your coursework can be completed while living outside the U.S. Students are required and expected to have access to a reliable computer, broadband internet service, and to submit work in a timely manner. You will be expected to adhere to the same requirements and due dates for assignments as listed on the course syllabus. However, your final course in the program (HD 496) will be a child life internship and the internship will need to be completed in the U.S.

What if I already have a bachelor's degree in another discipline?

If you previously completed a bachelor's degree, you will need to complete the HDFS major courses, which is 55 hours of coursework.

Does this program require an internship?

Yes, students pursuing the child life concentration are required to complete an internship at an approved hospital with an established child life internship program. For more information on obtaining the required internship, click here.  Prior to the final semester, it is the student's responsibility to ensure necessary items are completed. Click here to view the student responsibility checklist.

Advising and Registering for Classes

Will I have an advisor?

Once your major is declared, the Department of Human Development and Family Studies will assign you an advisor and email you with information on how to contact your advisor.  Each semester you will discuss which courses to take with your advisor.

How do I declare the child life concentration?

Formal admission into the child life concentration requires the submission of an application packet.  To learn more about applying to the child life concentration, check out Special Requirements for Child Life Concentration.

Becoming a Child Life Specialist

Where do Child Life Specialists work?

Child Life Specialists are traditionally employed in the hospital setting. When considering child life, it is important to understand it is a career in which one needs to be willing to relocate for available job positions.

How do I become a Certified Child Life Specialist?

A Certified Child Life Specialist has met academic and professional requirements to obtain the CCLS credential. All Certified Child Life Specialists must complete a bachelor’s degree, ten courses related to child life including one child life theory course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist, a supervised 600-hour internship, and pass a national exam.

Undergraduate Admission Instructions

How do I apply to the program?

You may find instructions on how to apply, and links to the undergraduate application here.

Students submit an application to the child life concentration program usually during the second semester of their junior year. Acceptance and retention into the program is determined by:

  • Satisfactory recommendation of HDFS faculty committee
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 and a GPA of 2.5 in major core courses
  • Satisfactory completion of required courses

Do you evaluate transcripts before admission?

Visit our Registrar's website to learn more about transfer credit and visit the Transfer Course Equivalence Tables website. The Transfer Course Equivalence Tables will allow you to look up the university that you took your courses (or will take them) and it will reflect how the courses will transfer to UA from the other University or community college. If a course has 197 by the course suffix that means it will not transfer as a course here at the University of Alabama. If a course is not listed on this website then it has never been transferred here to The University of Alabama. For all other general education courses, or if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you will need to apply to the university in order to have an official transcript evaluation. Transcripts will be evaluated after you’ve completed the admissions process, and transcript reviews may take between 4-6 weeks to complete.

What if I am an International Student?

International students at The University of Alabama join a community that is culturally, academically, and economically diverse. Our students come from across the United States and more than 90 foreign countries, and international students represent almost 5 percent of our total student population. International students who are interested in pursuing a degree from The University of Alabama should first contact International Admissions.  The final course in the child life concentration (HD 496) will be a child life internship and needs to be completed in the U.S.