Child Life Emphasis

A woman helps a young girl make crafts.Mission Statement: The mission of Child and Family Studies is to educate and inspire students to improve the lives of children and families by using a holistic approach based on family systems theory. 

General Information: Undergraduate students with a major in child and family studies select major courses and electives to prepare to work with children and their families in educational, institutional and human service settings.

In addition to the general education and college core, course work in child and family studies has a family systems perspective and focuses on developmental observations.  A broad knowledge of the child and family is acquired through courses in family dynamics, communications, psychology, developmental disabilities, computer science and contemporary issues affecting the quality of life. 

Students with an emphasis in child life are prepared to provide for the developmental and psychosocial needs of children and families in health care settings. Typically, child life professionals facilitate and supervise therapeutic and diversional play experiences, prepare children and families for medical procedures and surgeries, assist with the provision of education and coping skills development and advocate for family centered programming. The child life academic program is designed to facilitate knowledge and application of foundations in theories of child and family development, play, stress and coping and multidisciplinary practice important for successful transition to the professional role.
In addition to comprehensive course work, our child life students complete a 70-hour practicum in a local pediatric health care facility under the supervision of a certified child life specialist.  This practicum experience is designed to provide foundational clinical skills necessary for successful internship placement.

Our child life students are very competitive in obtaining high quality child life internships and initial entry-level professional positions.   Previous internship placements have been with Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Tulane Children’s Hospital, Kosair Children’s Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and more.

Upon completion of all degree requirements, Child Life graduates are eligible to take the certification exam offered through the Child Life Certifying Committee.


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