The Child Life program situates Child Life within HDFS. Coursework includes applied work in hospitals and healthcare settings. Courses meet the requirements of the Association of Child Life professionals and adequately prepare students for the Child.

Degree Type: Masters

Degree Program Code: MS_CLIF_NT

Degree Program Summary:

The Child Life program prepares students to work as Certified Child Life Specialist in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Students in the Child Life program have a dual focus on the study of issues and development in children and families, along with theory, practice, and research in Child Life. The curriculum combines courses in Human Development and Family Science with classes specific to issues in child life. Coursework also includes opportunities to apply theory and research in a hospital or other health care setting. Courses are organized in order to meet the coursework requirements of the Association of Child Life professionals, to provide students with adequate preparation for the Child Life internship, and to provide content knowledge for the Child Life certification exam.

The curriculum includes courses in the following areas:

  • Human development and family science
  • Theories and issues in family relationships
  • Research methods
  • The hospitalized child and family
  • Therapeutic benefits of play
  • Teaching and counseling children with chronic illnesses
  • Hospital practica
  • Hospital internship
  • Clinical project or thesis

Master of Science Graduate Students will have an opportunity to work directly with patients and learn how theory is applied to your work. The internship experience provides you with hands-on clinical training and the ability to develop professionalism and knowledge of Child Life practice. You initiate the internship application and interview process with the hospitals of your choice. Internships are then contracted between UGA and the specific hospital. This program works in congruence with the Association for Child Life Professionals (ACLP) requirements for becoming a certified Child Life Specialist. Upon completion of coursework and the Child Life internship, graduates will be qualified to sit for the Child Life certification exam. For more information on becoming a Child Life Specialist, visit the ACLP website.

Locations Offered:

Athens (Main Campus)

College / School:

College of Family & Consumer Sciences

Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Drive
Athens, GA 30602



Human Development and Family Science

Graduate Coordinator(s):

View Degree Program Website

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