Child Life

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE - A stepping-stone to becoming a Child Life Specialist! Our FULLY ONLINE program is designed to prepare you for CCLS certification. The coursework concentrates on childhood growth and development as well as the psychological impact of illness, divorce, and grief.

This program is perfect for...

...any individual wishing to learn more about child life, including: Child Life assistants, interns, pediatric medical providers, classroom teachers working with children having chronic or life-threatening illnesses. It's a stepping-stone to becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.

What you'll learn...

An overview of child life theory and practice, including the therapeutic role of play, the nature of suffering, stages of grief, medical terminology, community outreach, and technology.
Valuable information and practical skills that can be applied when working with children, adolescents and their families in healthcare settings and other challenging environments.
You’ll be equipped with a strong background in child development and family organization. You will study effective coping skills for families facing medical issues and other concerns.
Our program course work is conveniently designed to meet the individual requirements of the CCLS exam.



This program's course work is designed to prepare you for CCLS certification.

NOTE* The Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) credential is the exclusive certification offered by the Association of Child Life Professionals. For more information, visit

UCSB Extension/Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers courses that have been reviewed, earned pre-approval and are listed on the Association of Child Life Professionals Programs Offering Pre-Approved Courses or Academic Programs Offering Child Life Course
Our courses are a stepping stone to help you reach the next step towards becoming a CCLS.

The program requirements are defined in the Program Course Schedule. If planning to apply for an internship, please read: Does the Child Life program offer support for securing an internship/practicum?

Online Courses


20 total units to complete this professional certificate
Earn no less than a "C" in any particular course to be eligible for the certificate

Ready to start?

Individual Courses*
Complete Certificate Cost