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 RequirementsCourse #Course titleCr.DDC
Child Life Course Taught by CLSHHS 425Working w/Children in HC Settings3 
Child Development CourseEDC 240 Psych of Child Development: Birth-18yrs3GESB
Child Development CourseEDC 440The Developing Child: Birth to Three3 
Family Systems CourseSOC 445The Family3GESB
Play CourseHHS 305Intro to Therapeutic Play  
Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying CourseHHS 325Death, Dying, & Bereavement3 
Research CourseHHS 410Quantitative Research & Statistics4 
Choose 3 Additional Courses:
Course #Course titleCr.DDC
BIOL 103Anatomy & Physiology I4 
BIOL 105Anatomy & Physiology II4 
EDC 414Early Childhood Special Needs3 
EDC 439Child Maltreatment & Trauma3GEIN
EDC 446Cognitive/Memory Development in Children3 
EDC 460Educating the Exceptional Child3GEIN
HHS 312Family Preservation & Recovery3 
HHS 380Religion, Medicine, and Health3 
PSYC 455Health Psychology3 

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)
[email protected]