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Child Life

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Child Life

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$0 Application Fee
$0 Transfer Credit Evaluation
$0 Textbooks & eBooks
72%Have Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt1

About This Program

American Military University’s (AMU) online undergraduate child life certificate prepares you to seek child life certification through the Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) examination.

In preparing for child life professional certification, AMU’s program acquaints you with the therapeutic activities associated with supporting families when they face challenging healthcare or traumatic events involving acute or chronic illness, injury, trauma, disability, loss, and bereavement. The program builds knowledge of coping support techniques, including:

  • Therapeutic play
  • Counseling
  • Grief support
  • Advocacy

This program is designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree and need to complete the academic requirements to sit for the CCLS examination. Visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website for additional requirements.

NOTE: This program has specific admission requirements. 

What You Will Do

  1. Explore child life theory and practice
  2. Understand the issues faced by children and their families during times of acute or chronic illness
  3. Gain professional-level academic training in the field of child life

Program at a Glance

Number of Credits
21
Cost Per Credit
$285 | $250*
Courses Start Monthly
Online

Program Requirements Printable Catalog Version

This course is a study of theories, research and practical interventions concerning the psychological development of the child from conception to puberty. Course content focuses on biological, intellectual, emotional and social development, and the dynamics of family, peer, school and other environmental influences.

Course ID: 3585

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This course is a study of theories, research and practical interventions concerning the psychological development of the child from conception to puberty. Course content focuses on biological, intellectual, emotional and social development, and the dynamics of family, peer, school and other environmental influences.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 3588

|
This course is a study of the dynamics of family interaction over the life cycle. Course content emphasizes the developmental, social, and cultural influences of the family in relation to a variety of personal and social experiences.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4699

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Child Life Theory and Practice will support students in the application of knowledge of child development to educate, prepare, and support children and their families through the processes of hospitalization and changes in family dynamics related to illness. Child Life Theory and Practice is taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist and will meet one of the requirements of the Child Life Council to become a Certified Child Life Specialist. Pursuit of Child Life certification upon completion of this course is not required but is encouraged.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4850

|
This course provides an overview of the principles of therapeutic play, including history, theories, techniques, applications and skills. The content focuses on basic therapy skill development within the context of ethical and cultural diversity-sensitive practice. Attention is given understanding the role of therapeutic play in the context of the participant’s clinical (medical treatment) and non-clinical system (family, school, community). Participants learn strategies for engaging children in art, music, and other alternative therapeutic play to educate them on an adult’s diagnosis or on their own diagnosis. Participants are introduced to a variety of online resources available for further support. Interest in or pursuit of Child Life certification is not required. (Prerequisite: HDSFS401)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4851

|
This course introduces students to concepts surrounding the nature of suffering and issues of death and dying. Students examine concepts from a theoretical perspective with attention to ethical and moral issues from a cross-cultural diversity perspective and the impact of death, dying and bereavement on a family and community. Participants explore stages of grief and apply them to case studies or their own patient experiences and engage with tools such as legacy building and memento creation, identify and utilize resources that promote positive coping skills, strategies related to providing children bad news or notifying them on death or impending death. Interest in or pursuit of Child Life certification is not required. Note: This course focuses on death, dying and grief in pediatric care
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4217

|
This course focuses on laboratory and field research methods applied in the study of human behavior. Course content emphasizes the development of sound methods of hypothesis testing, data interpretation and formal research report writing, the review of empirical, peer-reviewed literature, the critique and interpretation of applied research and the ethical responsibilities and codes of conduct related to psychological research
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/22 - 11/04/22 11/07/22 - 01/01/23 Fall 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 4200

|
This course introduces students to the purpose and techniques in social research: problem definition, research design, sampling and data collection methods including observation, interviewing, questionnaire construction and the use of documents and other unobtrusive data sources. The basic goal of all social research is to gather evidence in order to answer questions about the nature of relationships between individuals, groups, institutions, and societies. This course is designed to give the student a broad overview of the logic of social research, of the process of research design, and of the major types of data collection techniques and methods of data analysis.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session
05/21/22 - 11/04/22 11/07/22 - 01/01/23 Fall 2022 Session I 8 Week session

Course ID: 5009

|
This course is an elective option for the Child Life Certificate and the BA in Human Development and Family Studies degree/Child Life option. The course is accepted by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) towards the elective requirement for certification eligibility. It is not accepted towards any of the 7 specific courses. It is the student’s responsibility to secure their own practicum. APUS is open to establishing affiliation agreements with hospitals for the purpose of supporting a practicum placement. Note: Student will need to meet all of the requirements set forth by the clinical placement which may include a medical physical, immunizations, criminal background check and drug screens prior to being enrolled in the course. (Prerequisite: HDFS401)
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session

Course ID: 4897

|
This course is a basic study of the professional language of medicine. It is designed to include word construction, pronunciation, spelling, definition and use of terms related to all areas of medical science, hospital service and health related professions. The course uses a systems based approach that provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to derive meaning from common medical terms. Students will deconstruct medical word construction and language, as well as the derivation, roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Various structures and organization of bodily systems will also be examined.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Course ID: 4965

|
This course is an examination of moral issues and dilemmas within the health care profession based on associated ethical theories and principles. The course puts special emphasis on patient's rights, social justice of health care, and evolving health care technologies.
Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Courses Start Monthly

Next Courses Start Jun 6
Register by Jun 3

Admission Requirements

The following is required for admission into this program.  All documentation must be provided prior to course registration:

  • 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)

Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.

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.  

There is no fee to complete the AMU admission application. View steps to apply.

IMPORTANT NOTES

This program does not award professional licensure and does not qualify you to apply for teaching licensure. 

This program may be helpful in preparing to earn certain professional certifications. Additional clinical requirements are needed to sit for the Child Life Certification exam. The University does not assist with practicum/internship placements, and you must self-place for these experiences.

Please be advised that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many hospitals may be limiting internship placements at this time. We are making you aware as this may adversely impact your time to completion. Please speak with the practicum placement coordinator if you have questions by emailing Fieldexperience@apus.edu.

Additional coursework beyond the 7 course certificate 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 practicum/internship. Students must place themselves in a practicum or internship. The university does not offer assistance with placement, but is willing to negotiate affiliation agreements with hospitals that are open to the process. Practicum/internship support courses are offered for affiliated students. Additional information on these requirements can be found at www.childlife.org.

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

Materials Cost

Technology fee: $65 per course | $0 for active-duty military, National Guard members, and Reservists.

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 877-755-2787 or info@apus.edu.

Quality Education Should Be Affordable

So you can focus on the opportunities ahead, without the financial burden of more expensive schools who are not as invested in your success. Learn more about paying for school.

Consumer Information

Department of Education and State Disclosures

For information on costs, median debt, state licensure requirements and more, view the gainful employment disclosures and the program disclosures for Maryland residents.

1Alumni Graduated with No APUS-incurred Student Loan Debt As of December 31, 2021

Includes alumni who graduated with an associate, bachelor's, or master's degree from APUS. Student loan debt is defined as student loans and private education loans used for tuition, fees, living expenses, and book costs associated with courses taken at APUS. Many APUS students receive military tuition assistance and veterans education benefits, which are not student loan debt.

*Cost Per Credit Hour

To minimize out-of-pocket costs, U.S. active-duty servicemembers, their spouse/dependents, National Guard members, and Reservists receive a tuition grant that caps undergraduate, master's degree, and graduate certificate tuition at $250/credit hour. In addition, a university book grant provides no-cost textbooks and ebooks for all undergraduates and military-tuition-grant-eligible master’s-level students.
See all military student benefits.