Education major engages with a child during a fun art activity

Child Life Specialist (Minor) (Certificate)

The first of its kind in the PASSHE system

Degrees & Offerings
  • Minor
  • Certificate
Format Option(s)
  • Hybrid (Online + In-Person)
Program Contact
Professor of Teaching and Learning, Child Life Specialist
illustration of Carver Hall
  • Child life specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness, and disability.
  • Child life specialists provide children with age-appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management and coping strategies, and play and self-expression activities.
  • Child life specialists also provide information, support, and guidance to parents, siblings, and other family members.

Course Descriptions

PROFSTUD 340 – (3) – The Children & Families in Medical Settings course introduces students to the role of a child life specialist and a psychosocial care framework of children and families in medical settings. Through a review of historical and current influences in pediatric healthcare settings, basic child life theory and practice will be explored.

PROFSTUD 341 – (3) – The Death, Dying, & Loss: Child & Family Perspectives course provides students with an understanding of pediatric death, dying, and loss by exploring the psychosocial, sociocultural, and ethical aspects of loss and through examining concepts of grief and bereavement. Theories of child and adolescent development provide students with a comprehensive framework for understanding illness and end of life care.

PROFSTUD 342 – (3) – The Applied Research Methods course helps students to understand and critically evaluate research, develop basic skills for conducting research, and to apply these skills in practical settings.

PROFSTUD 343 – (3) – The Child Life Practicum course provides students with the opportunity to work with hospitalized children and their families under the supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist. Practicum students will observe pre-procedural preparation, procedural support and distraction, and medical/therapeutic play. Practicum students will also facilitate playroom programming and bedside play activities.

PROFSTUD 347 – (3) – The Play & Expressive Arts for the Developing Child course provides an overview of the principles of therapeutic play, including history, theories, techniques, applications, and skills. The content focuses on understanding the role of therapeutic play as applied to clinical and non-clinical settings with children, adolescents, and adults.

PROFSTUD 414 – (3) – The Child, Family, and Community Engagement course introduces students to the family as a social system, including historical and contemporary theories related to family structure and functions, interaction patterns during times of transition, and the dynamics of
family life. Students examine diverse family systems, including parenting, caregiving, and family life from a cross-cultural perspective. From a clinical perspective, students learn how factors such as abuse, violence, and poverty influence development and how multidisciplinary teams provide optimal care to the child and family.

(*) Courses, which are offered in both online and face-to-face formats, will be taught by BU faculty along with certified child life specialists.

“Students must earn at least a C in each course of this certificate program.”

Courses and Curriculum

Child Life Certificate

The Husky Difference

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation is one of only two nationally recognized accrediting bodies for educator preparation
CAEP accreditation ensures we prepare new teachers to know their subjects, their students, and have the clinical training that allows them to enter the classroom ready to teach effectively.
96% +
Employment Rates
Additionally, our education majors can substitute teach in local school districts after completing 60 credits while pursuing their undergraduate degree.
College of Distinction for Education
College of Distinction
Bloomsburg has earned national recognition as a College of Distinction for its education programs, honored for its quality and high-impact teacher preparation.

Child Life Contact

Applying to this Program


  • Application Process

    Review the step-by-step process whether you're a first-year student, transferring to BU, or more.

  • Apply Now

    Ready to apply? Great!! Start your online application here.

Explore More