Pathway to Child Life

Child Life is the intersection of child development and health.

Child Life Specialists work in healthcare settings with children and their families to help navigate and cope with hospitalizations, illness, and disability.

Child Life Specialists are certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). The College of Education, Health, and Human Services provides academic preparation for students interested in pursuing this external certification. The ACLP requires that students earn and undergraduate degree in any field from an accredited institution and that course work includes 10 specific classes (outlined below).

The College of Education, Health, and Human Services recommends that students interested in pursuing Child Life Specialist certification major in either the B.S. in Health and Human Services with Human Services concentration or the B.A. in Children and Families. These two majors have the most overlap with the 10 required courses.

Course Requirements

ACLP Requirements Course # Course title Cr. DDC
Child Life Course Taught by CLS HHS 425 Working w/Children in HC Settings 3  
Child Development Course EDC 240 & 241 Psych of Child Development: Birth-18yrs w/Practicum 4 GESB
Child Development Course EDC 440 The Developing Child: Birth to Three 3  
Family Systems Course SOC 445 The Family 3 GESB
Play Course HHS 305 Intro to Therapeutic Play    
Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying Course HHS 325 Death, Dying, & Bereavement 3  
Research Course HHS 410 Quantitative Research & Statistics 4  
Choose 3 Additional Courses:
Course # Course title Cr. DDC
BIOL 103 Anatomy & Physiology I 4  
BIOL 105 Anatomy & Physiology II 4  
EDC 414 Early Childhood Special Needs 3  
EDC 439 Child Maltreatment & Trauma 3 GEIN
EDC 446 Cognitive/Memory Development in Children 3  
EDC 460 Educating the Exceptional Child 3 GEIN
HHS 312 Family Preservation & Recovery 3  
HHS 380 Religion, Medicine, and Health 3  
PSYC 455 Health Psychology 3  

Taking Courses as a Non-Degree Student

Are you attending another university/institution and would like to take classes at UM-Dearborn?

Please use the Guest Application.

Have you completed a degree at another university and interested in taking these specific courses?

Please use the Personal Enrichment Application.

If you have any questions regarding admission, please contact our Admissions Office.

Contact Information

CEHHS Office for Student Success
2150 Social Sciences Building (SSB)