BS in Human Development and Family Science with Emphasis in Child Life Specialist
Degree Program Description
The Child Life Specialist emphasis prepares students to support child development and family coping within the context of pediatric illness, injury, medical treatment, and grief in a variety of health care and community settings. Child life specialists use therapeutic play, psychological preparation, and coping skills interventions to help reduce the anxiety and stress related to illness, disability, hospitalization and medical procedures. Through a family-centered care approach, they provide parents and other family members reassurance and emotional support, help them understand psychosocial needs, and provide tools to help them prevent or minimize psychological trauma. Courses focus on understanding normal and exceptional child and family development, effective methods of working with children and families, as well as integration of theory and research into hands-on clinical practice experiences. In addition to a 100-hour practicum experience (selection is on a competitive, space-available basis) at MU’s Children’s Hospital, the student’s last semester is spent off-campus completing a 600-hour, unpaid clinical internship in a pediatric hospital setting. Students who successfully complete the degree program are eligible to take the Child Life Professional Certification Exam presented by the Child Life Certification Commission (CLCC).
Major Program Requirements
This academic emphasis requires that students successfully complete child life volunteer, practicum, and clinical internship experiences to attain this degree, as well as be eligible to take the Child Life Professional Certification Examination to obtain the CCLS credential after graduation. Clinical education sites require that students provide proof of health insurance, up-to-date immunizations, and student professional liability insurance. Students must also pass mandatory drug screens, criminal background checks, and any other required qualification checks prior to beginning any clinical education experience in child life. Failure to provide appropriate documentation, or pass drug screens and criminal background checks prior to the beginning of these experiences may necessitate dismissal from the child life emphasis in HDFS. The student is responsible for all costs incurred with these qualification checks.
Students must complete all university requirements, including general education, in addition to the degree requirements below, and must achieve a grade of C (2.0) in all HDFS courses taken to meet degree requirements.
|A. Requirements in HDFS||74-77|
|H_D_FS 1600||Foundations of Family Science 1||3|
|H_D_FS 2200||Research Methods in Human Development and Family Science 2||3|
|H_D_FS 2250||Child Life Volunteer Experience 3||1|
|H_D_FS 2300||Multicultural Study of Children and Families||3|
|H_D_FS 2400W||Principles of Human Development - Writing Intensive||4|
|H_D_FS 3050||Child Development: Birth to 3 (Infant/Toddler)||3|
|H_D_FS 3150W||Child Development 4-8 (Early Childhood) - Writing Intensive||3|
|H_D_FS 3430||Adolescence and Young Adulthood||3|
|H_D_FS 3500||Infant-Toddler Practicum||6|
|H_D_FS 3600||Partnering with Parents and Families||3|
|H_D_FS 3700||Preschool Practicum||6|
|H_D_FS 3800||Children's Play||3|
|H_D_FS 4100||Children in Healthcare Settings||3|
|H_D_FS 4110||Child Life Theory and Practice||3|
|H_D_FS 4130||Child Life Practicum 4||3|
|H_D_FS 4400||Childhood Death and Bereavement||3|
|H_D_FS 4700||Children and Families in Poverty||3|
|or H_D_FS 4720||Child and Family Advocacy|
|Supporting Coursework - See advisor for list of course options||3-6|
|H_D_FS 4993||Internship in Human Development and Family Science 5||15|
|B. Requirements in Related Areas||15|
|CDS 2190||Medical Terminology||3|
|COMMUN 1200||Public Speaking||3|
|or COMMUN 3571||Group Decision Making Processes|
|or COMMUN 3575||Business and Professional Communication|
|FINPLN 2183||Personal and Family Finance||3|
|NEP 1034||Introduction to Human Nutrition||3|
|PHIL 2440||Medical Ethics 6||3|
|or PHIL 1150||Introductory Bioethics|
|or PHIL 2400||Ethics and the Professions|
|PSYCH 1000||General Psychology||3|
|PTH_AS 2201||Human Anatomy Lecture||3|
|PTH_AS 2203||Human Anatomy Laboratory||2|
|SOCIOL 1000||Introduction to Sociology||3|
Should be completed no later than the 2nd semester of Sophomore year.
Students are admitted to H_D_FS 4130 on a competitive, space-available basis. Interview applications are considered the semester before the student wishes to take H_D_FS 4130. Student must have attained a 3.2 CUM GPA to be eligible to interview, in addition to completing coursework requirements. See the HDFS Child Life academic advisor for more information.
Students are admitted to H_D_FS 4993 only after successful completion of all other coursework including a grade of B (3.0) or higher in H_D_FS 4130. Students must be selected by hospitals outside of Columbia through a student-initiated, competitive nationwide application process
PHIL 2440 is preferred for child life certification eligibility purposes.
Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester. A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.
|ENGLSH 1000||3||H_D_FS 2300||3|
|GN_HES 1100||1||H_D_FS 2400W||4|
|H_D_FS 1600||3||SOCIOL 1000||3|
|Math Pathway||3||History or Political Science||3|
|PSYCH 1000||3||Gen Ed PHYS or MATH Science||1-3|
|COMMUN 1200||3||CDS 2190||3|
|H_D_FS 2250||1||H_D_FS 2200||3|
|H_D_FS 3050||3||H_D_FS 3150W||3|
|NEP 1034||3||H_D_FS 3500||6|
|PTH_AS 2201||3||PTH_AS 2203||2|
|H_D_FS 3700||6||H_D_FS 3430||3|
|H_D_FS 3800||3||H_D_FS 4110||3|
|H_D_FS 4100||3||H_D_FS 4130||3|
|PHIL 2440||3||H_D_FS 4400||3|
|H_D_FS 4700 or 4720||3|
|FINPLN 2183||3||H_D_FS 4993||15|
|Supporting Coursework/General Elective||1-3|
|Total Credits: 118-122|
The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.
MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.
Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.
Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.
For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.
Major and Career Exploration
The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.
If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.
If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major.
- If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.
- If you would like information about MU majors and degree programs, visit:
- the Degrees, Majors (Degree Programs), Emphasis Areas, Minors and Certificates page in the catalog,
- the MU Majors website.
For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.