Child Life Coursework Pathway

The Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) defines a Certified Child Life Specialist as a child development expert who works to ensure that life remains as normal as possible for children in healthcare settings and other challenging environments. Child life specialists provide services in a variety of healthcare settings, including inpatient units, surgery areas, intensive care units, emergency departments, clinics, and outpatient treatment areas. Child life specialists also provide services in other settings such as dental offices, community organizations, special needs camps, and a variety of other areas. To an ever-increasing extent, child life specialists are involved in providing grief and bereavement services not only in the hospital setting, but in hospice programs, home hospice, community organizations, bereavement centers, support groups, and grief groups and camps.

While Weber State University does not offer a Child Life program, we do offer a pathway to support certification. Eligibility requirements are listed below. Historically this is a competitive career field and some students had difficulty securing internships. For the most up-to-date information, we encourage you to visit

Eligibility requirements to become certified include:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (minimum)
  • Specific Coursework: listed below
  • Completion of an ACLP accredited 600-hour Child Life Internship (hours must be volunteer and no compensation involved)
  • Passing the ACLP Child Life Exam

Weber State University possible course offering in the following content areas:

  • Child Life Course Taught by a CCLS
    • FAM 4450 Children & Families in the Medical Setting
  • 2 Child Development Courses 
    • ECED 2500 Development of the Child
    • ECED 3570 Infants & Toddlers: Development and Practice, or
    • FAM 4500 Comparative Study of Childhood and Adolescent Development
  • Family Systems Course
    • CHF 2400 Family Relations, or
    • FAM 3650 Family Processes
  • Play Course
    • ECED 2620 Planning Creative Experiences for Young Children, or
    • ECED 4270 Young Children's Play
  • Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying Course
    • SW 3000 Death and Dying
  • Research Course
    • FAM 3850 Current Research Methods in Child & Family Studies
  • Three Additional Courses (strongly recommended, though not required) that applicants pursue in the following areas:
    • Human Anatomy/Physiology - HTHS 1110 & 1111
    • Medical Terminology - HTHS 1101
    • Ethics – FAM 2990B

Revised 07/26/23