Who is this degree for?

Chronic or terminal illness, disability, injury, surgery, or trauma presents a unique set of challenges to a young child. Child life specialists advocate for these children and their families, helping them face the unknown, making the complex understandable, and facilitating the optimal development of children whose medical treatment has deprived them of the typical opportunities for learning and growth.

Intended for students wishing to working in a hospital setting, Erikson’s child life specialization helps you develop the skill and sensitivity required for this important role through focused course work and an internship at one of the Chicago area’s many top-ranked medical facilities.

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Before admission to the child life specialization, you must have 100 hours of experience in a hospital. We strongly recommend that you have this completed at the time you submit your application to the child life program.

Students complete the core child development curriculum, as well as two additional courses in child life in order to meet the course requirements for certification by the Child Life Council. Upon completion of all program course work, students apply for a child life internship at one of the hospitals in the area.

Download the hospital experience verification form [PDF, 1pg]

Course Work

Sample course schedules

Core Courses:

Specialization Courses: