Develop specialization for the healthcare field.
As a Certified Child Life Specialist in hospitals and community-based medical centers, you’ll be able to use your Erikson-acquired skills to advocate for children and their families in health-care settings as they cope with chronic and acute illness, injury, or trauma. Help them understand their complex health care challenges and to minimize the stresses brought on by medical procedures and the hospitalization experience.
Start this Fall and earn your Master’s in Child Development with a Child Life concentration.
CHILD LIFE Specialist Program CONCENTRATION HIGHLIGHTS
This 40-credit hour Child Life program can be personalized to your focus on child life. Apply by January 30th for this program that starts in the Fall on Campus.
Gain actionable, valuable child development knowledge for your work with children and families.
Meets the academic standards of the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP).
On completion of program requirements, be eligible to sit for the Child Life Professional Certification Examination.
Complete a two-semester internship with a minimum of 600 hours under the supervision by a Certified Child Life Specialist in an approved child life clinical program.
Learn from our nationally recognized faculty and build a network of colleagues.
Depending on your goals, choose from a 2 year or 3 year program.
Each concentration course allows you to delve deep into a key area of child development. You’ll build a toolkit of new skills to help you thrive in this demanding field as a certified Child Life specialist.
Erikson Institute Supports You at Every Step of Your Journey
Our Career Services team is there for you in both the preparation and search for a job.
With hundreds of partnerships and robust networks of alumni and field experts, the Career Services team is here to help you put your education into practice.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT & SCHOLARSHIP OPTIONS
With dozens of scholarships and financial aid opportunities, our team is here to help you make your graduate education more affordable.
Based on your unique professional goals, we can help you understand tuition and expenses, and identify possible financial support opportunities.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions.
In addition to the general requirements for admission to the child life specialist master’s program, we require the following for admission to this highly competitive child life program:
Yes, our endorsed program allows you to pursue an internship at any hospital offering a formal internship program across the US. Your final year at Erikson is intentionally designed to be able to be completed from anywhere outside of Chicago, with all of your required coursework being offered virtually.
No. This degree program is considered a campus program where you are required to complete some or all your courses at our Chicago campus. Our child life-specific coursework, taken over the 3 semesters prior to internship, is offered in-person in a “community learning lab” style environment with your cohort. Cohorts are small and lend themselves to close and meaningful learning relationships, especially in the time that you share together on our Chicago campus. This specific coursework is offered on-campus only.
If you complete our 3-year program, you can choose to complete the first 3 semesters in Chicago on our campus or virtually from any remote location (please note: some synchronous course sessions on Zoom may be required, while other work can be done asynchronously on your own schedule). Then, the following 3 semesters are completed on campus prior to your two internship semesters. Your internship semesters can be done from the location of your internship placements.
Our 2-year program is completed with 3 semesters on campus, and 2 semesters which can be done from the location of your internship placements.
Please see the list of accredited hospital sites across the nation on the ACLP website. Erikson will support you in securing an internship with mentoring and coaching.
We cannot guarantee placement in an approved child life internship since the decisions for acceptance into the internships are the purview of the child life clinical programs. If you are unable to secure an approved internship in either the fall or spring semester, you will need to secure a child life internship during the summer term after the completion of your coursework. If you do not secure an internship after three attempts, you will need to graduate from Erikson Institute with a Master’s Degree in Child Development, but without a child life concentration. You may continue to seek a child life internship on your own after graduation but as an independent applicant, not affiliated with Erikson Institute.