Missouri State University

Child Life Emphasis

Help develop a child's future

Our child life emphasis option prepares you to pursue a career as a child life specialist. Child life specialists work as members of the pediatric health care team who focus on the emotional and developmental needs of children by using play and other forms of communication that help reduce the stress of the health care experience for children and their families. This emphasis area also will prepare you to work in med-camps and grief support groups.

Four-year graduation plan sample schedule

This is a model four-year graduation plan. Your path to graduation may vary slightly  based on factors such as college credit you earned while in high school, your choice of general education electives, and placement in English and mathematics. See undergraduate catalog for complete listing of courses. This degree program can be completed in eight semesters.

Check out the course rotation (Springfield) or course rotation (West Plains) or search projected course offerings before scheduling your classes.

First semester (fall)

First semester courses Credit hours
ENG 110 Writing I3
CFD 155 Principles of Human Development3
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
CFD 163 Relationships in Today's Families3
Culture & Society/Humanities (1 of 2)3
CIS/CSC 101 - Computers for Learning2
CFD 150 Introduction to Child and Family Development1
Total hours16

Second semester (spring)

Second semester courses Credit hours
CFD 160 Principles of Development in Early Childhood3
BIO 102 Principles of Biological Science4
SOC 150 Introduction to Society3
ENG 210 Writing II: Writing Across the Disciplines3
Self Understanding/Humanities (1 of 3)3
Total hours16

Third semester (fall)

Third semester courses Credit hours
CFD 353 Childhood Illnesses, Injuries, Diseases and Disorders3
CFD 260 Supervised Experience in the Child Development Laboratories4
MTH 130 Contemporary Mathematics3
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
PLS 101 American Democracy and Citizenship3
Total hours16

Fourth semester (spring)

Fourth semester courses Credit hours
PSY 121 Introductory Psychology3
BMS 130 - Essentials of Nutrition3
HST 121 or 122 - Survey of US History3
CFD 306 Separation and Loss3
Natural World Elective3
CFD 257 Principles of Development in Middle Childhood3
Total hours18

Fifth semester (fall)

Fifth semester courses Credit hours
CFD 354 Working with the Hospitalized Child4
Psychology Elective3
CFD 562 Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect3
Upper Level Elective3
Total hours16

Sixth semester (spring)

Sixth semester courses Credit hours
Elective/Practicum/Special Topics3
CFS 120 or KIN 253/257 - Family Health2
CFD 366 - Preparation for the Internship1
CFD 454 Therapeutic Play Activities for Hospitalized Children3
Self Understanding/Creativity & Vision (2 of 3)3
PSY 441 Psychology of Adolescence3
KIN 210 Healthy Lifestyles: Preventive Approaches3
Total hours17

Seventh semester (fall)

Seventh semester courses Credit hours
CFD 563 Administration of Programs for Children and Families3
Culture & Society/Humanities (2 of 2)3
CFD 455 Infants and Toddlers: Development and Program Planning4
Elective/Practicum/Special Topics1-3
Self Understanding (3 of 3)3
Total hours14-16

Eighth semester (spring)

Eighth semester courses Credit hours
CFD 466 Internship in Programs for Children, Youth, Adults, and Families6
Credits to maintain full time student status ex. CFD 4996
Total hours12