Accelerated Program

Save time and money. Finish with two degrees and gain eligibility to become a Certified Child Life Specialist.

This track is for Missouri State undergraduate students who would like to start their master’s degree coursework as they finish their bachelor’s degree.

  • Take courses that count towards both degrees
  • Gain a competitive edge by pursuing a MS degree

How it works

If you meet the admission requirements, you can start taking graduate courses in your senior year.

Up to 12 hours of graduate-level credit will count toward both your bachelor’s degree and master's degree.

You’ll take course work for the advanced track.

When to apply

Apply during your junior year. You’re encouraged to apply before you take CFD 510, CFD 557, CFD 562 and CFD 563.

Mixed-credit coursework
Course Title Credit hours Type of graduate coursework
CFD 610 Child Life Theory and Practice 3 Required
CFD 657 Growth and Development: Middle Childhood-Adolescence 3 Optional support elective
CFD 662 Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect 3 Optional support elective
CFD 663 Administration of Programs for Children and Families 3 Optional support elective

MSU Child Life Studies coursework is pre-approved by the Association of Child Life Professionals to meet the 10 course requirements required to sit for the Child Life Professional Certification Exam administered by the Child Life Certification Commission. 

Course Categories for Certification  

Grad Course(s)  

Family Systems  

CFD 761  

Advanced Family Studies 


CFD 680  

Research Methods in CFD 

SFR 780 

Educational Research Methodology 


CLS 715  

Play and Therapeutic Intervention 


CLS 710  

Childhood Death and Bereavement 

Child Development   

(includes 2 courses)  

CFD 705  

Growth and Development: Infancy through Early Childhood 

CFD 657 

Growth and Development: Middle Childhood to Adolescence 

Child Life course  

CFD 610  

Child Life Theory and Practice 

Additional course options (must choose 3) 

ECE 675  

Working with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children and Families in Early Childhood 

CLS 705 

Aspects of Childhood Illness and Disease 

CLS 720 

Trends and Issues in Child Life 

CLS 730 

Cultivating a Trauma-Informed Lens 

Child life students and instructors in hospital
Careers and outcomes

Along with helping sick and injured kids, you’re set up to do more in the child life practice field.