Child Life Specialist Certificate

For the Child Life Specialist profession, you can become certified through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) national organization. The only schools in the state of Utah that offer all the courses required for this certification is through the University of Utah and Weber State University. At USU, we do have some of the courses that can be taken as part of our major and/or minor, but the remaining courses will need to be taken through the University of Utah, Weber State University, or by researching other schools. 

As part of the certification, you are required to complete pre-internship experiences (practicum), and a 600-hour clinical internship. Many hospitals are now requiring the completion of a Child Life practicum before you are eligible to apply for an internship. The universities do not provide internship placement assistance, so be sure to research practicums and internships as part of your exploring of the certificate.

ACLP Requirements

10 college courses in the following content areas:

  • 1 Child life course taught by a Certified Child Life Specialist (Not available at USU)
  • 2 child development courses:
    • HDFS 3500 - Infancy and Childhood, and
    • HDFS 3570 - Youth and Adolescence
  • 1 Family systems course:
    • HDFS 2400 - Couple and Family Relationships (BSS)
    • HDFS 2660 - Parenting and Child Guidance
    • HDFS 4220 - Family Crisis Intervention
  • 1 Play course (Not available at USU)
  • 1 Loss/bereavement or death/dying course (Not available at USU)
  • 1 Research course:
    • HDFS 3130 - Research Methods (QI)
  • 3 additional courses in related areas
    • Anatomy/Physiology (BIOL 2320/2420)
    • Ethics (PHIL 2400)
    • Medical Terminology (NDFS 1600)
    • Developmental Psychology (PSY 2100)
    • Health Psychology (PSY 3110), etc