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Child Life

Undergraduate Certificate

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 www.childlife.org.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online program is reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace. Course topics include:

  • Changes in family dynamics related to illness and hospitalization
  • Pediatric psychosocial care
  • Benefits of therapeutic play
  • Issues of death and dying
  • Stages of grief and coping strategies
  • Family resource management
  • Family communications

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • 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.
  • Degree at a Glance

    Admission Requirements

    There is no fee to complete the university’s admission application. View steps to apply.

    After you complete the enrollment application, an admissions representative will contact you with details about how to submit this required documentation:

    • Your official bachelor’s degree transcript from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
    • Signed statement of understanding (SOU)

    Note: Your bachelor’s field of study may impact the need for additional coursework to sit for the CCLS licensing examination. Please see the Child Life Council website, www.childlife.org for more information.

    Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.  

    An AMU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

    Need help?

    Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an AMU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


    Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

    Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

    View Tuition and Fees Details  

    *To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, AMU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

    Paying for School

    Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

    Ways to Save

    Undergraduate Book Grant

    Ebooks are provided at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $250 per academic semester if you are registered as a full-time student.

    Transfer Credits

    Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

    Employer Contributions

    AMU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.