Eligibility Requirements Effective January 1, 2019

To establish eligibility for the Child Life Professional Certification Exam, applicants must successfully complete and document each of the following requirements.  All requirements must be met and documented via the Eligibility Assessment by the registration deadline for the exam administration for which the applicant is applying.

Individuals who established eligibility prior to January 1, 2019, must re-establish eligibility under the current requirements including the completion of a new Eligibility Assessment.

Bachelor's Degree Requirement

A bachelor's degree (in any field of study) from an academic institution accredited by an organization that is recognized by either the US Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation or the international equivalent. Must be completed and documented on or before the registration deadline for the desired exam date. 


Graduation from an ACLP-endorsed child life academic program (during the period of endorsement) or 10 college courses in the following content areas:

  • Child Life Course Taught by a CCLS
  • 2 Child Development Courses
  • Family Systems Course
  • Play Course
  • Loss/Bereavement or Death/Dying Course
  • Research Course
  • Three Additional Courses

IMPORTANT: Click Here for Required Coursework Details

For each of the 10 required courses, it is recommended that students take a 3-credit course or the equivalent to have an appropriate depth of instruction.

A minimum of one full course must be completed for each of the required areas of study. (A minimum of two courses are required for the child development requirement.)

For a course to count, the required content must be the primary focus of the course.

All points within the Required Content section of each course must be covered within the course.

Applicants are required to submit university-generated course descriptions when applying for an Eligibility Assessment.

Applicants must be prepared to provide university-generated syllabi, if requested.

Each course may satisfy only one of the requirements; none can be applied to meet two or more of these required courses. For example, a child life course that addresses play may not be used to fulfill both the child life course and the play course requirements. It may be used to meet the child life course OR the play course requirement, but not both.

Click here for more important additional details about the required coursework.

600-Hour Child Life Clinical Internship

Applicants must complete a minimum of 600 hours of a child life clinical internship under the direct supervision of a Certified Child Life Specialist.

Supervisor Qualifications

To be eligible to supervise internship hours, a CCLS must:

  1. Maintain professional child life certification throughout the supervisory period
  2. Have a minimum of 4,000 hours of paid child life clinical experience prior to the start of the supervisory period
  3. Take responsibility for the educational development and guidance of the candidate in the clinical setting

A list of all Accredited Internship Programs can be found here. 

ACLP members also have access to search for an internship using the Internship Directory found here.

Verification of Requirements

All applicants must provide documentation of the successful completion of the eligibility requirements.