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Academic Programs

Child Life Advanced Standing (Online)


  • Program Overview

    Our Child Life Advanced Standing Program is designed for Certified Child Life Specialists who are seeking a master’s degree and who want to strengthen their knowledge and practice.

    You will deepen and grow your advocacy skills as you provide family-centered care in healthcare and community settings. Coursework will prepare you to:

    • Strengthen your skills in leadership, supervision, and program development.
    • Support your grant-writing skills.
    • Develop your knowledge and use of research to support the field of pediatrics and child life.
    • Strengthen your skills for teaching children, youth, and their families about illness, injury, and trauma.
    • Strengthen strategies to minimize stress and anxiety for children, youth, and their families.
    • Learn from classmates and from faculty, who are all Certified Child Life Specialists with years of experience working in the field.

    We are a fully online program dedicated to the principle that learning occurs in the context of meaningful relationships. You will experience a range of interactions that support collaborative and hands-on learning.

    Supervised fieldwork/advisement is not a requirement of this program and the advanced standing track does not lead to certification.

    This program culminates in a Master of Science and requires 30 credits.


    Did you know we also offer a Child Life Online Program? This program is designed for those seeking a master’s degree while learning to be an advocate by providing family-centered care in a variety of settings through coursework and fieldwork. 


    Child using a toy otoscope to look at a graduate student

    ACLP Endorsed

  • Admissions Requirements

    In addition to the main admissions criteria, there are additional requirements needed to apply for this program:

    • Candidates must be certified Child Life Specialists.
    • At least one letter of recommendation must be from a Child Life Specialist (most likely your current supervisor).

    You will be asked to use a range of technological tools as part of your online program. You must have a dedicated computer or tablet and stable Internet access. You will be expected to become familiar with the online tools, reach out to ask for support as you navigate the technology, and strengthen your presence and skill set in the online environment.

  • Coursework

  • Career Opportunities

    Your degree will provide you with a range of career opportunities, including:

    • Child life programs in hospitals, clinics, and other health care settings.
    • Child advocacy and family support in child protective services or adoption agencies.
    • Community and private practice
  • Faculty

The advisory aspect of the fieldwork was very helpful and felt very personal even though [the program is] online. I felt the presence, guidance, and support from my peers and advisor.
Jessica Torres, GSE ’19