Child Development and Family Science, BS—Child Life Specialization

About the Child Life Specialization

Our Child Life Specialization provides you with the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue certification as a child life specialist and work in various healthcare settings. We focus on the emotional and developmental needs of children and families during stressful and challenging times. Through coursework and practical experiences, Graduates of the Child Life Specialization are prepared to pursue graduate studies, internships, and certification as Certified Child Life Specialists.

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Why Study Child Life at CWU?

We have a long-standing reputation for excellence in the field of education, and the Child Life program is no exception.

Our faculty are experienced professionals dedicated to helping students achieve their goals and succeed in the field. Our Child Life program is endorsed by the Association of Child Life Professionals. We combine theory and practice, so you will have the chance to develop course skills and apply your knowledge to children.  

Where is this program offered?  

How much does this program cost?  

Explore information on Cost, Aid, and Value to make an informed decision about investing in your education at CWU. 

Where can I find more information?

Please visit the CWU Academic Catalog for current information about admission requirements, course descriptions, learner outcomes, and credit information. 

All Child Development and Family Science students complete a Multi-term Practicum or Internship Experience in an agency suited to their professional goals. Students who specialize in child life will select a site where they gain experience working with children. 

Careers and Opportunities

Graduates of the Child Life Specialization are prepared for a variety of careers in the field. 

  • Child Life Specialist: After certification, you could be a Child Life Specialist and work in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings to provide emotional and developmental support to children and families during medical procedures, hospitalizations, and other healthcare experiences. 
  • Child Life Assistant: Child life assistants work under the supervision of Child Life Specialists to help support children and families in healthcare settings. You could help with activities, provide emotional support, and assist with documentation and other administrative tasks. 
  • Child Life Coordinator: You could oversee child life programs in healthcare settings, ensuring that the programs meet the needs of children and families and that the staff are properly trained and supervised. 


Our Students Stand Out in the Community 

Our Child Development and Family Science (CDFS) Department prepares students with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to stand out in community, government, and graduate settings. See CDFS Student Research and Program News featured in Pearson Education articles, Pulse articles, the Yakima Herald and more. 

Join the Child Development and Family Consumer Science Club   

Expand your community at Central Washington University by participating in clubs and activities. Meet your fellow Wildcats and gain knowledge outside of the classroom by joining the Child Development and Family Science Club.

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Child Development & Family Science

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