Academic Requirements to Become a Certified Child Life Specialist

There are two academic requirements to become a Certified Child Life Specialist:

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Specific coursework (two options to obtain required coursework)

Learn more about the two ways to obtain required coursework below.

Graduating from an ACLP-Endorsed Academic Program

If an individual graduates from an ACLP-Endorsed Academic Program, this will satisfy the academic requirements to apply to take the Child Life Certification Exam.

The purpose of program endorsement is to promote the interests of students through improving the quality of teaching, learning, and professional practice.

ACLP Endorsed Program Directory

10 College Courses

If an individual does not graduate from an ACLP-Endorsed Academic Program, they can obtain the required academic coursework needed to take the Child Life Certification Exam by completing 10 specific college courses.

Those courses are:

  • 1 child life course taught by a CCLS
  • 2 child development courses
  • 1 family systems course
  • 1 play course
  • 1 loss/bereavement or death/dying course
  • 1 research course
  • 3 additional courses in related areas

ACLP Pre-Approved Course List

FAQs: Academic Requirements

Read the frequently asked questions related to the academic requirements necessary to sit for the Child Life Certification Exam.

Glossary of Terms

The following is a list of terms and definitions commonly utilized during the becoming certified process.