Today’s hospitals, clinics, and schools need qualified Child Life professionals to work with children having chronic or life threatening illnesses, as well as with their families. From performing assessments to applying coping strategies, Certified Child Life Specialists play an important role in providing care to children and their families facing difficult health conditions.

This Professional Certificate Program provides:

  • An overview of child life theory and practice, including the therapeutic role of play, the nature of suffering, stages of grief, medical terminology, community outreach, and technology.
  • Valuable information and practical skills that can be applied when working with children, adolescents and their families in healthcare settings and other challenging environments.

Intended Audience: Child Life assistants, Child Life interns or students, individuals interested in the field of Child Life, pediatric medical providers, classroom teachers working with children having chronic or life threatening illnesses, and individuals wishing to study specific subjects without pursuing the certificate.

The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification offered by the Association of Child Life Professionals. For more information, visit UCSB Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers courses that may meet the 10 college-level course requirement.  For more information visit Frequently Asked Questions - Child Life in our Help Center.

Additional Details

Program Course Schedule

Required Courses
(4 units total)
Course # Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Child Life: Introduction to Theory and Practice ED X370.2 4 Online Online Online Online
Elective Courses (16 units total)            
Therapeutic Role of Play in Pediatric Care ED X370.3 4 Online Online Online Online
Death, Dying and Grief in Pediatric Care ED X370.4 4   Online Online Online
Assessment, Preparation and Medical Terminology ED X370.5 4     Online  
Development & Administration of Child Life Programs ED X370.6 4 Online      
Child Life Internship* ED X370.7 4 Online Online Online Online
Outreach and Technology ED X370.8 4       Online
School Reintegration and Support ED X370.9 4     Online  
Child Development: Birth to 18 ED X370.10 4   Online   Online
Pediatric Palliative Care ED X370.11 4 Online      
Family Systems: Child, Family and Community ED X370.12 4     Online Online
Children with Special Needs in the Healthcare System ED X370.13 4 Online Online    
Research Methodologies in Child Life ED X370.14 4 Online      
Child Life and Trauma ED X370.15 4   Online    
Development, Theory and Approach of International Child Life Programs ED X370.16 4   Online    
Child Development: Challenges in Global Maternal and Child Health ED X370.17 4       Online
Child Life in Non-Traditional Settings: Beyond the Hospital ED X370.18 4     Online  
Early Child Development: Birth to Eight ED X370.19 4       Online

Online Online

*As requested. Note: Only 4 units of ED X370.7 can be applied toward the certificate.

This matrix lists courses we plan to offer during the time indicated and is subject to change. Additional courses may be offered; see our current quarter's catalog for the most up-to-date information.


The program requirements are defined in the Program Course Schedule. If planning to apply for an internship, please read: Does the Child Life program offer support for securing an internship/practicum?

The approximate cost of completion of this program is $2,700. Individual course fees are paid upon enrollment. Estimated costs are subject to change and do not include fees for course materials. For more information visit our Help Center.


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