Child Life Studies Graduate Program

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Why continue your education with the child life studies graduate program?

The Master of Science in Child Life Studies prepares students to excel as Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) in healthcare settings by fully developing and enhancing the professional knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective child life services with children who have chronic or acute illnesses and injuries, and their families.

Our graduate program offers the following advantages:

  • Our graduate program is for students who plan to become Certified Child Life Specialists and for already practicing Certified Child Life Specialists.
  • There are two tracks to our graduate program:
    • The standard track prepares students to become practicing Certified Child Life Specialists who work to minimize the psychological stress and trauma that children and their families experience during a healthcare encounter.
    • The advanced track prepares students for greater professional responsibility as Certified Child Life Specialists, including the application of research into clinical practice, the role of mentor to colleagues, the attainment of healthcare leadership positions or the pursuit of doctoral studies.
  • Students in the advanced track can complete their degree entirely online. Students in the standard track only need to spend one semester on the Springfield campus to complete a clinical laboratory experience at a local children's hospital under direct supervision of child life faculty and local Certified Child Life Specialists.
  • We offer an accelerated graduate program for Missouri State University's Child and Family Development majors who have already been accepted to the Child Life Option undergraduate program.

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