Graduate Endorsement

We are currently reevaluating this program and are not accepting new applications at this time.

Graduate endorsement is a voluntary process by which graduate academic programs can be reviewed by a panel of child life academics. The endorsement process evaluates the applying program's structure, resources, and sustainability as well as their curriculum. If endorsed, graduate programs can provide assurance to their students that their offered coursework will meet ACLP certification requirements. Endorsement also allows the academic freedom to structure their programs as they see fit and cover required topics across their entire curriculum rather than prescribing specific courses.

In order for an academic program to be eligible for graduate endorsement, it must:
  • provide a master's degree in child life or related area with a concentration in child life
  • Employ at least 1.0 FTE faculty member who holds an advanced degree, is a Certified Child Life Specialist, and is involved in child life program decision making and curriculum development

Interested individuals:

Students who have either already obtained a bachelor’s degree; are changing career paths; and/or who wish to obtain a master’s degree to demonstrate their commitment to the field through graduation from a recognized institution

Students graduating from an endorsed program will still need to complete an eligibility assessment with ACLP but will not need to have each course reviewed as endorsement signifies inclusion of all areas of the course work requirement.

Students completing coursework at unendorsed academic programs will still be eligible for the certification exam but will need to have all of their 10 courses reviewed by ACLP, as is the current practice.

The Endorsement Process

1. Apply

  • Email your Graduate Endorsement Intent-to-Apply Form to
  • ACLP staff will send you information on logging into the ACLP Application Portal and an invoice for the application fee.
  • Applicants can submit their applications at any time but they will be processed quarterly. Our dates for beginning the review process are: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

2. Review

  • Once submitted, applications are evaluated for completeness by the ACLP staff. This initial review can take up to 2 weeks. If an application is incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant.
  • Applications are then reviewed by the graduate endorsement reviewers. Reviews can take up to 3 months to complete.

3. Decision

  • Applicants will receive decision letters via US Mail.
  • If endorsed, the academic program will be recognized as ACLP-endorsed for 5 years, pending annual submission of maintenance materials.
  • If denied, the academic program can appeal or re-apply. Appeals must be made in writing to the ACLP office within 3 months of the decision. 



  • Application Fee: $1750
  • Annual Maintenance Fee: $250
  • Appeals Fee: $500
  • Re-endorsement Fee: $1750

View Endorsed Graduate Programs

Endorsed Program Directory

If you have any questions about these materials or processes, please contact us at