Master’s Degree Programs in Child Life

Join our collaborative and supportive education community to earn your master’s degree and become a Certified Child Life Specialist—an advocate who works closely with children and their families in healthcare settings during stressful times as they cope with trauma, acute or chronic illnesses, and injuries.


What Program Is Right for You?

We offer fully online programs—one for aspiring child life professionals seeking accreditation and one for current child life specialists who want to deepen their practice and earn another accredited master’s degree.

Pretend surgery on doll

Child Life (MSEd)

  • Program for aspiring child life specialists leading to certification
  • Online courses combined with hands-on experiences, including an internship in a clinical setting
  • Taught by certified Child Life Specialists with years of experience working in the field
  • Scholarships available

Child life student and child

Child Life Advanced Standing (MSEd)

  • For current certified Child Life professionals who seek to advance their leadership, supervision, and program development skills
  • Online coursework within a community of students who are all working in the field
  • Strengthen practice and use of research to support the field of pediatrics and child life
  • Scholarships available

Our Approach

  • We’re for educators who want to spend every day face to face with the future.

    Bank Street holds a unique and highly regarded place in the world of education. We were trailblazers when we were founded in 1916—and our ideas, which were once radical, are widely practiced and accepted today. If you want to shape the future of education, this is where you start.
    Join us at Continuing Professional Studies this summer
  • We’re for democracy and equity.

    Our commitment to democracy and social justice is at the heart of our innovative pedagogy and desire to help all learners, both children and adults, actively make sense of the world. Equity and equality are always in a Bank Street educator’s mind—we meet students “where they are” in their learning with strengths-based activities and socially, emotionally, and culturally appropriate support.
    Teacher and two students smiling
  • We're for sharing good ideas.

    For a small institution, our reach is broad. Our mix of graduate and continuing education coursework, research programs, and professional partnerships with school districts across the country aims to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students.
    Child smiles while painting with teacher

Financial Aid

At Bank Street, we believe education is an investment that will change your life—and the lives of the students you’ll work with. We’ll help you make it possible.

Every year, Bank Street’s Office of Financial Aid administers over $8.5 million in financial aid to students.  More than 50 percent of our students receive financial aid. Your individual financial status from the prior year is a key factor in determining your award. We encourage you to go through the financial aid process to find out what we can offer.

  • Do I qualify for financial aid based on my income?

    Your individual financial status from the prior year is a key factor in determining your award. Incoming students who earn up to $80,000 a year (or significantly more for students with families) are likely to qualify for a need-based scholarship at Bank Street. Our scholarship program makes the cost of attending Bank Street Graduate School of Education competitive with most other private schools in the New York region.

  • When should I apply for financial aid?

    You can apply for financial aid at the same time you complete your admission application. Filling out the FAFSA as early as possible is an important step for financial aid. Federal student aid, including scholarships, can significantly reduce your financial obligation without adding to student debt.

  • What types of scholarship opportunities are available for me?

    Our financial aid advisors would be happy to tell you more about the process and our many scholarship opportunities for new and continuing students, including external scholarships and program-based, diversity-oriented, public school-focused, and career changer scholarships, among others.

Why Bank Street?

Supporting the Emotional Needs of Children

In deepening your skills and practice, you’ll be better prepared to support children and their families when they need you the most.

Prepared in the Long Run

Bank Street is proud that 87% of its graduates remain in the field of education and 87% feel more confident in their specialty than comparison professionals.

A Growing Field

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of child, family, and school social workers, which includes Child Life Specialists, is projected to grow 7% from 2018 to 2028.

Jessica Torres is a Child Life specialist
Alumni Voices
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